Cool Air Flow for a Data Center


Most houses and public buildings have air conditioning in them for climate control, and this is done for the benefit of all occupants in a house or building. What some people may not realize is that a data center needs its own air conditioning, and a cold aisle containment system may be used for data cabinets and the computer that they house. Cold aisle containment solutions can go a long way toward keeping a data center running, and such cold aisle containment systems can be installed and maintained by IT professionals. An office building, for example, may have its own cold aisle containment system set up for the data server it uses, and without a cold aisle containment system, the computers will soon overheat and malfunction. What is there to know about data servers and their maintenance needs today?

The Nature of Data Servers

Someone working at an office or any other company with computers may want to know what a data server is and what it can offer. A data server room is a storage center where dozens, or even hundreds or thousands, of computers are stored in racks and are running constantly. These are no ordinary computers, however; they do not even have keyboards or monitors, and they are not designed for human use. Rather, these computers are all connected to one another with a vast network of cables, and when combined like this, the computer can form a single, powerful entity with a lot of storage space and processing power. In an office, for example, user PCs are linked to this powerful data center with cables, which allows those computers to share vast amounts of information with each other and have their processing power augmented as well.

This also calls for the right hardware. Not only does a data center have countless PCs running in it, but these computers need specialized racks on which to sit and stay secure. Such cabinets and racks often have clear plastic or glass doors, and these units also have holes in them where air and cables alike may flow freely. Some computers may be larger and heavier than others, so these larger units are placed on the bottom shelves so that they do not fall over or crush anything under them. As a data center expands, professionals may visit and set up new racks and cabinets, then place the computers in them and thread all the cables through them as needed.

Maintenance Needs

These computers are not left alone. While office employees will not be spending much time inside a data center, IT experts will make sure that all hardware is being taken care of to prevent any accidents. Computers are sensitive to heat, and if they get too hot, their components may malfunction, and this compromise the system and call for expensive repairs, too. Therefore, any business with a data center will invest in cold aisle containment systems, and these systems make use of rigorous air conditioning and air flow cycles to keep the temperature under control. Individual computers have their own fans in them and heat sinks to cool off, but on a data server’s scale, something more must be done. In fact, around 65% of IT equipment failures are due to inadequate or malfunctioning air conditioning in data server rooms.

This means investing in cold aisle containment systems, which make use of floor and ceiling units alike to bring in cold air from underneath to lower the air temperature and prevent the countless computers from overheating. In such a system, hot air is eliminated entirely, and the system will distribute cold air evenly throughout the room and prevent it from escaping, and thus hot spots cannot form. This keeps any of the computers from experiencing a dangerously high temperature, and the entire data server room is almost like a large refrigerator. Such a system can be highly efficient for electrical needs, which is important since data centers are known for using up a lot of electricity. The computers, and the cooling systems used to maintain them, must be as efficient as possible to keep the electric bill under control. This is also important as a data center is expanded over time to accommodate new computers and processing power.

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