Technology in the data center and specifically at the cabinet level has significantly increased in productivity and density over the past decade. As enclosures have become more intelligent and flexible, cooling strategies have changed to be able to handle the increased port counts, connectivity and heat generated powering today's IT equipment.
Cooling and airflow management is oftentimes accomplished by airflow starting from under the floor of a cabinet, extending upwards and leaving through the chimney. By using static pressure, each enclosure can maintain a flow of cool air up through the cabinet without additional active, power-consuming components. When static pressure is too light to accommodate the cool airflow in your cabinets, active options exist in the form of fans and fan trays placed strategically around an enclosure. For the truly top of the line cooling equipment, self-contained water cooling systems . Custom tailored options exist which can also allow for cabinets in a data center with slab floors to raise the cabinets and take advantage of airflow management despite having no aisle airflow system in the floor.
By itself, cooling challenges often cannot be met simply by adding additional hot aisle chimney units, sliding isle doors and mounted containment panels across isles. However, these methods used in conjunction with an effective CRAC (computer room air conditioning) and active fan units spread throughout fan trays can succeed in containing as much conditioned air as possible while isolating and removing heat exhaust. Full aisle separation into hot and cold aisles can maximize the cooling and heating airflow with thermal containment as the cooling effect is enhanced for every enclosure within the contained space.
Great Lakes Case & Cabinet has worked together with Naisses Thermal Management Solutions to create an integrated closed-loop water-cooled enclosure specifically for the powerful compact servers becoming common in data centers everywhere. Excellent for applications where floor space and costly air conditioning add-ons are of concern, water-based cooling and liquid enclosures are becoming the go-to for high density data center computing. Since water has a much higher thermal efficiency than air, liquid cooling is able to target areas and items within your cabinet to cool.
While both air-based and liquid-based systems have their ups and downs, it is important to consider all of your options before implementing or upgrading a data center cooling system. For more information on data center cooling options and solutions, take a look at this Cooling Solutions PDF by Great Lakes Case & Cabinet.
To learn more about Great Lakes Case & Cabinet or their cooling solutions, please contact your local Accu-Tech representative today.