Server Coldspots: Like a spoiled vacation, they limit your capacity and efficiency7 min read

by | Aug 20, 2013 | Blog

The Atlantic in August is the best place to be on a steamy hot day. But, as you paddle out lazily, trying to avoid exuberant children, you might experience an unpleasant shock to your system by floating into a patch of water that’s cloyingly warm, or a spot that drops 20 degrees too cold for no apparent reason. Your pleasant environment has been rudely interrupted. Just like data centers, we prefer our temperature to remain comfortable and consistent. Any threat of hotspots, or maybe worse, coldspots, and we both tend to freak out.

In data centers, hotspots and coldspots are self-explanatory. Should there be any dramatic change in environment, and data processing equipment will likely malfunction. We’re all familiar with computers that burn our thighs and cell phones that refuse to turn on if left too long in a sunny car, and so too are data center operators well aware that overheating technology must be controlled. So, they cool it down. However, the air-conditioning solutions, aisle containment options, and other cooling infrastructure initiatives suck in exorbitant amounts of power (which of course equal money and waste) while simultaneously creating the opposite problem: concentrated coldspots.

Ridding your data center of hotspots is an obvious necessity, but managers can easily overlook the coldspots. According to various sites visited by Upsite Technologies in the past year, 35% had coldspots, or areas in data centers that don’t allow for proper airflow and thus waste energy. The best place to start solving the problem is by calculating your site’s Cooling Capacity Factor (CCF) and then addressing the 4R’s (Raised Floor, Rack, Row, and Room) by sealing openings to promote optimal AFM (airflow management). We all want to maximize our power usage, efficiency, and capacity in data centers, and by addressing coldspots, alongside the well-known hotspots, we can dive straight into decreased costs and increased capacity.

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