DCN April 2017 - Page 25

cabling , Enclosures , Cabinets & Racks

PLUGGING THE GAPS

Do data centre racks and enclosures cost us money or save us money ? The answer to that question revolves primarily around airflow management . Neil Staley , product marketing executive at Excel , discusses the importance of a solid airflow strategy within the data centre .

The industry has made its

decision and in the UK at least , we all love the standard style ANSI / EIA- 301-E 19in network rack . These racks , from many different vendors , are used in hundreds of different types of deployments , but a key market for their use is within the data centre . In this market they can be deployed in their thousands . With such vast numbers being used in these facilities it ’ s easy when commissioning a deployment to look at the initial cost of the racks and not so much at the total long term return on investment ( ROI ).
Once the equipment is loaded and powered up , it will start to try and cool itself through its internal fans , which will draw ambient air through the unit . These units are fundamentally , from a physical point of view , made as individual items . Yet from a service point of view , they are also made to work in networks , clusters and together .
From a physical point of view one switch or server taking in ambient air , which is then cooled and expelled , is no problem . However , the issues arise in ‘ the real world ’ as they are deployed in their masses , along with other systems and machines in confined spaces , ie . the racks , to create networks .
This heated air can recirculate around installed equipment within a rack creating a potentially increasing ambient temperature and this can result in the overheating of IT equipment .
With the correct airflow management system , racks can help control the ambient temperature of equipment .
Airflow management systems
However , the racks that the IT equipment is installed in can help , with the deployment of airflow management systems , to control the ambient temperature of air running through the equipment and mitigate recirculation of warm air .
All vertical U spacing that is not populated with equipment should have a blanking panel fitted stopping warm air from easily traversing back to the front of the rack . These blanking panels can be fitted to cover several U with just one panel , for example 6U . However , it is said that using 1U panels could well be the best way to approach this . 1U panels allow for any MACs to be undertaken without issue , avoiding scenarios where a new 1U server needs fitting in a section of a rack that has a 6U plate fitted .
The same issues can happen within racks where there is
space for air ingress at the sides of mounted equipment . Facilities decide on a specific rack manufacturer for many different reasons . A particular feature rich rack may be chosen for use and provide the best fit , however it may come with a compromise .
Equipment deployed may be , and most probably will be , from numerous vendors with different mounting systems . This makes it virtually impossible for items to be housed uniformly to discourage air infiltration on the vertical plane .
Vertical baffle systems can very simply remedy this issue . Systems can be fitted where all apertures are blocked off . These systems fit between the outside of the profiles and side panels down the entire height of the rack . These systems can also infill small gaps between the struts that are intrinsic to the construction of the rack as well as the very top and bottom , which are areas that sit outside of the U profiles and where blanking panels simply cannot be fitted – creating a wall around the installed products therefore driving airflow to exactly where it needs to go – through the equipment .
This all leads towards one thing . Strategy , airflow strategy . Racks deployed with ergonomically designed airflow management and flexible solutions in a strategic way can help create more efficient , effective solutions and reduce the power usage effectiveness ( PUE ) of a data centre .
April 2017 | 25
cabling, Enclosures, Cabinets & Racks PLUGGING THE GAPS Do data centre racks and enclosures cost us money or save us money? The answer to that question revolves primarily around airflow management. Neil Staley, product marketing executive at Excel, discusses the importance of a solid airflow strategy within the data centre. T he industry has made its decision and in the UK at least, we all love the standard style ANSI/EIA- 301-E 19in network rack. These racks, from many different vendors, are used in hundreds of different types of deployments, but a key market for their use is within the data centre. In this market they can be deployed in their thousands. With such vast numbers being used in these facilities it’s easy when commissioning a deployment to look at the initial cost of the racks and not so much at the total long term return on investment (ROI). Once the equipment is loaded and powered up, it will start to try and cool itself through its internal fans, which will draw ambient air through the unit. These units are fundamentally, from a physical point of view, made as individual items. Yet from a service point of view, they are also made to work in networks, clusters and together. From a physical point of view one switch or server taking in ambient air, which is then cooled and expelled, is no problem. However, the issues &6R( FR&Vv&N( 2FW&RFWVBFV 76W2rvFFW"77FV0B6W26fVB76W2RFR&62F7&VFRWGv&2F2VFVB"6&V6&7VFP&VB7FVBWVV@vF&67&VFrFVFǐ7&V6r&VBFVW&GW&PBF26&W7VBFPfW&VFrbBWVVB&frvVV@77FV0vFFP6'&V7B&fpvVV@77FV&606V6G&FR&V@FVW&GW&R`WVVBआvWfW"FR&62FBFR@WVVB27FVB6VvFFRFWVBb&fpvVVB77FV2F6G&FR&VBFVW&GW&Rb 'VrF&VvFRWVV@B֗FvFR&V6&7VF`v&"fW'F6R76rFB0BVFVBvFWVV@6VBfR&涖rVfGFV@7Frv&"g&V6ǐG&fW'6r&6FFRg&BbFP&6FW6R&涖rV26&RfGFVBF6fW"6WfW&RvFW7BRVf"WReRआvWfW"B26BFBW6rPV26VBvV&RFR&W7BvF&6F2RV2pf"72F&RVFW'FVvFWB77VRfFr66V&0vW&RWrR6W'fW"VVG2fGFp6V7Fb&6FB2ePFRfGFVBFR6R77VW26VvF&62vW&RFW&R076Rf""w&W72BFP6FW2bVFVBWVVBf6ƗFW2FV6FR7V6f2&6Vf7GW&W"f"FffW&V@&V62'F7V"fVGW&R&6&6&R66Vf"W6R@&fFRFR&W7BfBvWfW"B6RvF6&֗6RWVVBFWVB&RB7B&&&ǒv&Rg&ЦVW&W2fVF'2vFFffW&V@VFr77FV2F2W2@f'GVǒ76&Rf"FV2F&PW6VBVf&ǒFF66W&vR fG&FFRfW'F6RfW'F6&ffR77FV26fW'6ǒ&VVGF277VR77FV06&RfGFVBvW&RW'GW&W0&R&6VBfbFW6R77FV2f@&WGvVVFRWG6FRbFR&fW0B6FRV2FvFRVF&PVvBbFR&6FW6R77FV066f6v2&WGvVVFR7G'WG2FB&RG&62FFP67G'V7FbFR&62vV2FRfW'FB&GFv6&R&V2FB6BWG6FRbFRP&fW2BvW&R&涖rV06ǒ6B&RfGFVB( 27&VFpv&VBFR7FV@&GV7G2FW&Vf&RG&fr&fpFW7FǒvW&RBVVG2Fv( 0F&VvFRWVVBF2VG2Fv&G2PFr7G&FVw&fr7G&FVw&62FWVBvFW&v֖6ǐFW6vVB&frvVV@BfW&R6WF27G&FVv0v6V7&VFR&RVff6VBVffV7FfR6WF2B&VGV6RFPvW"W6vRVffV7FfVW72TR`FF6VG&R&#r#