CRAC Units: The Muscle Behind the Hot Aisle Containment System

CRAC Unit at Data102A vital cog in the cooling machinery of Data102 is the Computer Room Air Conditioning units (CRAC). The term “air conditioning” could conjure an image of a rattling box propping open a bedroom window, but CRAC units are large, expensive, sophisticated machines that keep perpetually hot areas cool—year round—with peak efficiency. Thanks to the economies of scale, Data102 is able to provide cool, climate controlled conditions for all of its servers at a much cheaper and more efficient rate than a single business could achieve.

The CRAC units are the linchpin of the hot aisle containment system. Hot air from the rear of the servers is contained in “hot aisles” and then cycled through the ceiling into the CRAC units, which cool the air using a water/glycol mixture similar to radiator fluid. The new cold air is recirculated under the raised floor in the datacenter and back to the front of the servers while the water/glycol mixture is piped up to the roof where a 150-ton dry cooler exhausts the captured heat. The end result is a datacenter operating at peak efficiency and temperature for all of its hosted servers.

This complex system requires over a dozen 10- and 20-ton CRAC units, all of which cost roughly $1000 per ton in addition to the installation, maintenance, and energy costs. Once installed, the machines are closely monitored by our professional datacenter technicians to ensure that the units are not only running, but also that they are running as energy efficient as possible.

All of this is in place to give your servers a temperature-controlled location in which to operate so that you don’t deal with service interruptions. It takes a lot of time, attention, and money for a single business to setup and maintain the proper conditions for a server. Simply throwing a server into a closet or next to an air conditioning unit will put you at risk of damaging your expensive equipment and potentially losing business. Those are not risks you want to take.

Colocating with Data102 will ensure that your servers run safely and efficiently. We have a number of controls in place to keep your hardware safe both internally and externally, and we offer services to make your web presence as hassle free as possible. But the cooling system and CRAC units are the heart of the infrastructure that makes us the best datacenter in southern Colorado.