Servpac Blog

Hot vs. Cold Aisle Containment: What's Better?

on Mar 12

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When running a data center, one of the biggest challenges is managing heat. IT equipment and hardware can produce a surprising amount of heat very quickly. While internal fans on most devices help push heat out into the surrounding environment, not having a proper cooling system makes the facility hot enough to cause serious damage. This is where cooling comes into play. 

All data centers have an air cooling system in place, making it one of the largest expenses for facilities. Data centers are always looking for alternatives, and air containment systems are the latest energy efficient option over the traditional designs. Many data centers are adopting this new cooling option, but many wonder if hot or cold aisle containment is better for their facility. Let’s go over the differences between these two systems and what’s the better option for data centers.

Cold Aisle Containment

A cold aisle containment system (CAC) in a data center has doors at the end of the aisles and partitions on the ceiling that act as a physical barrier to contain the supply airflow. The doors prevent the air from leaking out of the aisle ends, creating a uniform flow of air and controlled temperature at the IT intake. Cold aisle containment systems are designed to eliminate hot spots and help data center facilities achieve efficient operating conditions.

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While they’re generally less expensive to operate and easier to implement, they can cause the overall facility to heat up and be more susceptible to leaks.

Hot Aisle Containment

A hot aisle containment system (HAC) uses a physical barrier to guide hot exhaust towards the AC return in a data center. This is usually done through the use of aisle end doors at the end of the aisle and vertical walls above the cabinet. This system has the advantage of the natural properties that cause warm air to rise in order to increase efficiency. 

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Unlike cold aisle contaminants, hot aisles are more forgiving for racks and equipment that live outside the containment architecture, due to the lower temperature areas. It can double a computer room’s cooling capacity because the hot air from the server racks is isolated. Hot aisle containment can also perform well in a slab environment by merely flooding the data center with an adequate volume of supply air and containing the exhaust air.

When it comes to data centers, any move away from the traditional cooling system is a step in the right direction. While cold aisle containment systems might seem like the easier and cheaper choice, hot aisle is the more effective and efficient option. This self-contained system ensures better air distribution, lower facility temperatures, and support of higher density IT equipment. That’s why MTP, Servpac’s new data center, implements a state-of-the-art hot aisle containment system to support all its racks, cabinets, and private suite colocation options. For more info, please call 808-237-5000 or request a FREE consultation.

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Servpac is a Hawaii-based telecommunications company providing innovative and integrated data center colocation, fiber internet, local cloud, business VoIP, and managed network solutions for businesses. The company is the largest local CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) in the state and provides 24x7x365 support for businesses to help them compete in the global marketplace.

Topics: technology, trends

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