Data center containment has gone mainstream over the past decade, which has led to widespread implementation and adoption by many sites. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Uptime Institute, 80% of sites have implemented either hot or cold aisle containment. While the survey represented mostly larger facilities, many medium and small facilities have either implemented or are considering some form of containment. However, although containment is experiencing a high rate of adoption, many people are still unaware of the different options and strategies that are available to them, such as hot aisle or cold aisle containment, modular or legacy containment, or soft or hard containment.
It's important to note that regardless of the type of containment you're implementing, the overarching goal is to prevent the mixing of cold supply air with hot exhaust air. How effectively you do this does somewhat depend on the method that is used as well as what other airflow management initiatives are in place. With that being said, when it comes to reaping the benefits in terms of cooling efficiency and cost savings, we first need to understand the underlying science of containment.