Data Center Hot and Cold Aisles

September 10, 2021

IT equipment generates a lot of thermal energy, making cooling practices an essential part of data center management. Hot and cold aisles focus on increasing the efficiency of your cooling system. Let’s take a closer look at these methods and how containment systems play a role in cooling.

What Are Hot and Cold Aisles?

Hot and cold aisles in data centers are a way to manage the heat produced by IT equipment over time. Data centers are set up to expel hot air into one aisle and receive cold air from another. This setup improves efficiency because it prevents the cool air from mixing with the hot air, which would decrease the effectiveness of the cooling system.

The cooling systems in hot and cold aisles can vary. You will have an efficient setup as long as the cold air produced by these systems stays separate from the hot air. Cooling methods can include:

  • Air conditioner and handlers
  • In-row cooling units
  • Direct-to-chip cooling
  • Calibrated vector cooling
  • Evaporative cooling

Different cooling systems offer different benefits. Learning more about the system options can help you find the right method for your data center.

What Are the Benefits of Cold Aisle Containment?

Cold aisle containment (CAC) isolates a cool air supply from hot exhaust air and redirects the cool air through the equipment. This cooling method has become increasingly popular in data centers for its many benefits, which include:

  • Effective isolation from hot air
  • Focused cooling rather than general regional cooling
  • Higher cooling capacity than other systems
  • Overall increased efficiency

What Are the Benefits of Hot Aisle Containment?

Hot aisle containment (HAC) encloses the area where hot exhaust air exits, preventing the hot air from mixing with the circulating cool air. The primary benefit of HAC is that it allows your cooling system to reach maximum efficiency. This containment method also helps to keep the room cooler overall.

Which Type of Containment Is Best for Your Data Center?

If you’re looking to build your data center from scratch, hot aisle containment may be your best option, since it requires less equipment to achieve. However, hot aisle containment is challenging to implement in existing data centers. If you need to modify an existing data center, you can fit a cold air containment system into your current setup and enjoy the benefits of focused cooling.

Beyond choosing an appropriate containment method, there are many steps you can take to achieve more effective airflow and cooling. Consider your data center’s layout and how you use airflow devices. Some of the best data center cooling practices include better cable management along with hot and cold aisles. Explore your options and identify your thermal needs when you design your airflow and cooling setup.

Explore Data Center Solutions With DataSpan

DataSpan is an expert in data center airflow. With our products and services, you can achieve efficient airflow around the clock. Take a look at our data center products and services, including our airflow containment systems, to find the right equipment for your needs. If you have questions for us, feel free to reach out online or by phone.