5 Considerations when Choosing a Solution
When comparing hot and cold aisle containment it should be noted that, based purely on the physics involved, both hot and cold aisle containment offer exactly the same level of energy efficiency. The reason aisle containment improves the energy efficiency of data centres is because it increases the temperature of the air returning to the air conditioning units and thus increasing their efficiency. This increase in return temperature can be achieved by either solution equally well however in practice hot aisle containment often reaches a higher level of operational energy efficiency. This is because “most” of the data centre e.g. all of the space barring the contained aisle at the back of the server cabinets is kept at the supply air temperature, often around 25°C. This means the return air leaving the servers (within the hot aisle) will rise to 34°C +. With a cold aisle containment system “most” of the data centre, e.g. all of the space barring the aisle at the front of the servers, would be kept at 34°C +, to gain maximum efficiency. Many data centre operators feel this is too hot for members of staff to work in and then don’t raise the temperature as high as they could. This in turn limits the efficiency gained from the containment system.
Putting this point to one side there are 5 other factors to consider before choosing which solution is right for your data centre.