The biggest operational expense in any data center is round-the-clock cooling. As data centers grow in density to meet ever-increasing demands for performance and availability, the demand for cost-efficient cooling grows as well. Choosing the right data center rack is a critical part of meeting these demands.
As standard industry practice, racks are typically configured to create a cold aisle and a hot aisle. Because most hardware draws in cool air through the front side and exhausts hot air through the back side, the front of racks face each other to create the cold aisle and the backs face each other to create the hot aisle. Separating the air prevents hot exhaust air from being sucked into the equipment, allowing it to function at the proper temperature.
To ensure compatibility with a hot-aisle/cold-aisle configuration, airflow management accessories, including blanking panels and vertical airflow baffles, may need to be added to the average data center rack. However, this approach won’t meet the airflow demands of today’s high-density data center. There will still be a chance of hot and cold air mixture, which hampers the cooling system’s operational efficiency.
The high levels of heat produced by next-generation servers have increased manufacturer specifications for clearance to allow for unobstructed airflow within the rack. Now, the clearance recommendation is typically between six and 11 inches. The rack you choose must have adequate capacity to house cabling without impeding airflow through your equipment.
You can significantly reduce operational costs by improving airflow efficiency. This can be done by decreasing the cold air volume requirement in the data center.
The solution? A data center rack that doubles as a self-contained cooling system.
DAMAC takes a two-pronged approach to cooling efficiency in the data center.
First, DAMAC’s Fastrack is built for hot-aisle/cold-aisle configuration and surpasses airflow requirements for active equipment. Thanks to its high-airflow design, data center temperatures can be raised two degrees without any risk to your equipment.
Fastrack was specifically designed to maximize cooling efficiency. There is no air leakage along the sides of the equipment, and a built-in front perimeter air dam eliminates air mixing as long as the preset factory position in the mounting rails is maintained.
Fastrack’s rear coffin section allows for unimpeded exhaust airflow through the rear of the cabinet while providing plenty of space for cabling and power distribution units (PDUs). A perforated mesh door enables airflow of at least 82 percent.
The second component of DAMAC’s approach to data center cooling efficiency is our aisle containment system. When installed with Fastrack or any other data center rack, hot air and cold air are completely isolated, which can quadruple cooling efficiency. Instead of cooling down an entire room, you only have to cool a certain amount of square footage.
We’ll explain more about hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment in a future post. In the meantime, let us show you how we can dramatically reduce your data center’s cooling cost with the energy-efficient Fastrack and our aisle containment system.