Live at DCW 2013: Daxten presents best practices for cooling and airflow optimisation in the Data Centre

21.02.13 03:45:00 MEZ

For 24/7/365 operation, it is an on-going responsibility for data centre and facility managers to ensure maximum reliability and availability in their data centre infrastructures. Doing so should use minimal resources, energy consumption and be as efficient as possible. Achieving the ambitious goals of increasing data centre efficiency and reducing energy expenditure are much easier than expected. For this Daxten is introducing its proven and recognised CoolControl best practice solutions. By implementing these purely mechanical tools in an existing or new data centre, it is possible to increase the cooling efficiency by up to 60 percent. The CoolControl range can be installed with minimal effort providing very short ROI periods. Daxten will show the following CoolControl solutions and further methods to increase the airflow and cooling efficiency in the Data Centre at Data Centre World being held at ExCel, London on the 27th and 28th February (Stand H35):

Metering, evaluation and targeted optimisation

“You can only improve things that can be measured and visualised”, and this philosophy is what is behind the CoolControl Cooling Assessment. Whilst on-site, the Daxten staff evaluate and log the current state of data centre airflow and cooling effectiveness, identify thermal problems and show how these can be solved easily and cost-effectively in order to set and achieve DC efficiency targets and goals.

Soft, solid or hybrid cold and hot aisle containment

The containment of the cold or hot aisles is the undisputed top best practice for optimising the data centre. The simple separation of hot and cold air can achieve up to 30 percent energy savings whilst eliminating hot spots and reducing hardware failures. CoolControl Containment systems are provided in soft (with curtain), solid (with solid panels) or hybrid (with a combination of soft and solid) materials for seamless integration even in legacy data centres with differing cabinet dimensions or existing fire suppression systems. 

Sealing horizontal and vertical open rack space

The fastest and least expensive way to optimise airflow and cooled air distribution in cabinets is by simply sealing free horizontal and vertical rack space with Daxten CoolControl Blanking Panels. The physical barrier keeps cold air at the front of the cabinet separated from the hot air at the back. This simple step not only ensures conditioned air is delivered to servers and network equipment, but helps prevent hot spots and downtime caused by overheating. The low costs and energy savings lead to a quick ROI normally in less than three months.

Efficient airflow from the raised floor to all rack levels 

To ensure conditioned air makes its way from the CRAC unit through the raised floor, to the cold aisle and finally to the front of the server racks, it is necessary to ensure optimal airflow conditions at all raised floor openings. Using conventional grill or perforated tiles are not ideal as they are not able to direct the conditioned air with the required pressure and velocity to equally cool hardware at the top and bottom of the cabinets. Daxten’s CoolControl passive floor tiles are equipped with fixed or adjustable airflow fins and baffles that ensure cooled air is directed to all cabinet levels.

Sealing cable openings in the raised floor

In addition to the required and essential perforated floor tile openings in the raised floor, there are often other openings for cabling and power supplies. According to the Uptime Institute, up to 60 percent of conditioned air escapes before it reaches the hardware it was meant to cool. It is very easy to solve this problem by using cost-effective and easy to install sealing solutions. The Daxten CoolControl Seal and KoldLok systems can seal any rectangular or round cut-out. There are various options made of foamed nitrile rubber panels, solid frames with brushes and thermo elastic polymers that seamlessly enclose cables and other equipment protruding through the raised floor.

Guide airflow under the raised floor

Even under the raised floor, it is important to guide the conditioned air to the server racks. By directing the airflow, cooled air cannot escape into unused areas in the raised floor resulting in decreased air pressure. PlenaForm airflow baffles are mounted under the plenum to reduce flow chambers, increase air pressure and airflow velocity in order to reduce cooling load on the CRAC system which in turn can reduce the energy requirements and costs. 

Optimised cooling for rack mounted network switches

Network switches that draw air from the sides or back of the rack do not get sufficient cooling when installed at the top of cabinets or if mounted in the hot aisle of the rack. The consequences are overheating, network and hardware failures. These problems can be exacerbated when the racks have been optimised with blanking panels. In general, blanking panels are highly recommended, but it cuts off the network switches from any cool air supply and leads to hot spots at the network switch intake vents. The SwitchAirBox systems can resolve these issues by actively or passively routing the cooled air from the front of the rack to the network switch fans. There are even versions specifically designed for cooling and dissipating heat on the Cisco 6509 and Nexus 7018 switches. 

The responsibility of the DC is on the DC manager’s shoulders – all other loads are carried by the ServerLIFT

DC managers, which are familiar now with a couple of best practices of how to efficiently optimise data centre environments and reduce costs, should take care of their own and of their IT staffs health. With ServerLIFT they can take some of the load and burden off their shoulders - quite literally. The ServerLIFT is a transport and lifting solution specifically designed for the data centre. It is capable of moving 227 kilograms of  IT equipment to any location within the data centre and can be used to automatically lift the load to a maximum height of 2.4 metres. Most of all, it allows data centre professionals to easily slide their equipment into the cabinet at any rack level without breaking a sweat.

Interested customers should contact Daxten to arrange an individual demonstration to see the new solutions or methods to optimise the airflow and cooling infrastructure in new and existing data centres. Or visit Data Centre World in London, on the 27th and 28th February at the DAXTEN stand H35.

For further information please contact Daxten on +44 (0) 20 8991 6200, info.uk@daxten.com or visit www.daxten.co.uk

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