DCN November 2016 - Page 13

centre of attention concern, systems that can support space conscious upgrade cycles could be critical. Optimising your data centre cooling for the unknown demands of the future Data centre cooling must be a big consideration in the cloud based data centre age. Poor separation of hot and cold air expose the data centre to cooling energy inefficiencies (causing loss of cooling effectiveness), that can be caused by air leaking through cabinets (allowing hot air circulation back into equipment inlets instead of flowing into the CRAC units) and airflow obstructions (that constrict cooling airflow). To combat these challenges, aisle containment systems that address efficient thermal management should be deployed. Efficient aisle control, as well as good environmental management, are key to helping a data centre to remain environmentally friendly. Cold aisle containment, for example, can reduce fan energy by 20–25 per cent, and deliver 20 per cent energy savings from the chiller, all while paying for itself in about two years, according to PG&E. As rack heat densities increase, data centre managers should look for holistic cooling optimisation approaches such as airflow containment systems, cabinets with enhanced sealing features and energy efficient computer room layouts. Seven best practices The way data centres utilise their resources will undoubtedly continue to change as new technologies keep emerging. Furthermore, as more devices become integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT), downtime will not be an option. With this in mind, here are seven best practices to be taking into consideration:  ddress airflow management A In airflow management, the separation of hot and cold air within the server room is the first critical step to maximising cooling system efficiency. The segregation of hot and cold air has the ability to improve chiller efficiencies, reduce the total plant cooling capacity, and create more hours of ‘free cooling’, helping justify an economiser that otherwise might not have provided adequate payback. There are three basic solutions: • A vertical exhaust duct at the top of the cabinet to remove hot exhaust air from the cabinet • Hot aisle containment, which is an enclosure built around the hot aisle that provides strong seal to minimise leakage • Cold aisle containment, which is an enclosure built around the cold aisle that provides strong seal to minimise leakage By specifying cabinets that can provide a complete front/rear seal around equipment, airflow through the equipment can be maximised. This typically requires an extra set of baffles for use within the cabinet, blanking panels for open rack spaces and a barrier at the base of the cabinet.  emove barriers to higher R power/heat densities Removing constraints around critical airflow design opens the door to higher power and heat densities. This isolation is accomplished by a combination of accessories such as blanking filler panels, equipment mounting area perimeter sealing air dams and floor-tile cut-out brush seal grommets, along with a system to remove the return air from the room into a suspended ceiling return air space.  rack rack conditions and T environmental variables Keeping track of environmental variables will help create a more efficient rack design. Some servers generate more heat, while others may need more power. By seeing what system is taking up which resources, data centre managers can optimise their operations. It’s important to work with solutions that can provide the ability to look into the thermal and environmental performance of your infrastructure, giving you the ability to monitor, record and analyse environmental security and safety The separation of hot and cold air within the server room is the first critical step to maximising cooling system efficiency. 13