Data center cooling

What is data center cooling?

A data center is composed of multiple servers, switches, routers, firewalls and security equipment like cameras etc. It is an integral part of modern IT. They are housed in a single building and works 24*7 to serve millions of customers. They generate exceptionally high heat and therefore, sophisticated equipments are installed for cooling the building.

Data center cooling refers to the equipment, tools, techniques, and devices that are used to keep the temperature within an ideal range. The data center temperature is also monitored 24*7 by a dedicated team of professionals.

In this article, we will discuss data center cooling, components, and their common techniques which are in use today.

Basics of data center environment control

There is an important question of what actually is data center management control? Data center environment control includes the following important factors. They ensure that the data center equipment run efficiently and safely.

  1. Temperature
  2. Humidity

The recommended temperature for a data center is between 70 and 75-degree Fahrenheit or 21 and 24-degree Celsius. Some studies have shown that when firms try to keep the temperature below 70-degree Fahrenheit or 21-degree Celsius, they lose money.

Potential problems of data center cooling

Today’s data centers are huge and complex and there are following five challenges when it comes to data center cooling or environmental control.

  1. Adaptability and scalability
  2. Availability
  3. Life cycle costs
  4. Maintenance and serviceability
  5. Manageability

What are the components of data center cooling?

The data center cooling facility includes cooling equipment, air ducts, and temperature alarm system where automated notifications are sent to administrators in case the temperature rises in any rack or equipment of a data center.    

Data center cooling consist of the following components:

  1. Infrastructure – This includes cooling towers, air conditioners, air ducts etc
  2. Management – This included management software for data center cooling
  3. Monitoring – This includes equipment for monitoring temperature across the data center facility

Data center cooling techniques

There are various methods which are used to keep the temperature of the data center at the right level. Following are two common data center cooling techniques:

  1. Air-based cooling
  2. Liquid-based cooling

1. Air-based cooling

In air-based cooling, there are further two methods:

– Cold aisle/hot aisle

– Cold or hot air containment

In cold aisle/hot aisle, hot air is separated from cold air. This is achieved by placing the cold side of server cabinets away from the hot sides. This method isn’t efficient so data center managers need to push more cold air into server rooms.

In cold or hot air containment, it is ensured that the hot or cold air should not get mixed.     

2. Liquid-based cooling

Liquid-based cooling is a cost-effective and newer technology. Under this category, water is used along the hot side of the server cabinet to keep the temperature down. This method is called water-cooled racks.

Data center cooling vendors

Following are some of the top vendors in data center cooling solutions market.

  1. 3M
  2. 4energy
  3. Alfa Laval
  4. Black Box
  5. Daikin Applied
  6. Eaton
  7. Emerson Network Power
  8. Rittal
  9. Schneider Electric
  10. STULZ Air Technology Systems

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