Keeping It Cool – Advanced Airflow Systems

air flowWithout proper airflow systems in place, Data102’s hot aisle containment system and computer room air conditioning units (CRACs) would be ineffective. The entire design of our Colorado data centers revolves around creating a circuit of air from the CRAC units, into the servers, out through the ceiling, and back through the CRACs. A number of systems have to be put into place to accomplish this.

Data102 uses cold air and hot air plenums in the floor and ceiling to keep the air moving. The floor of our Colorado data center is raised from the ground, creating an open area beneath the servers that pressurizes and channels the cold air coming out of the CRAC units. This cold, pressurized air is directed up to the front of the servers through perforated panels in the floor. The cold air is then sucked directly into the front of the servers and exhausted out the back into a contained hot aisle.

The ceiling in the datacenter is dropped, creating a pressurized, open area above the hot aisles. The hot air rises into the hot air plenum, which creates a stacking effect that pressurizes the area and pushes the air directly into the CRAC units, where it is cooled and recirculated into the floor to continue the cycle. The heat removed from the air is transferred into glycol water lines and pumped out of the building to a 150-ton dry cooler on the roof.

The server cabinets are also vital to the airflow process in the datacenter. Blanking panels are used to close off open areas in the cabinets so that hot air doesn’t accumulate and create hotspots around the servers, which could lead to hardware malfunctions. In addition, proper installation and cable management allows the hot air to be effectively exhausted from the servers, as opposed to blocking airflow and trapping heat inside the cabinets.

All of these systems have been put into place to keep our datacenter operating as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. This benefits our customers and ensures that their servers operate at peak performance without jeopardizing any hardware. These systems are closely monitored by our team of specialized datacenter technicians, and routine readings and maintenance ensure their continued performance.

While we already have the best airflow systems in southern Colorado, we are continuing to look at new ways of improving efficiency. We will be making several improvements over the coming year that will make the airflow system even better, including underfloor air baffles to direct the cold air more efficiently and utilizing our rooftop misters during the warm months ahead. These improvements show Data102’s determination to continue offering the best collocation and IT services in southern Colorado.