Top 10 Data Center Cooling Stories of 20159 min read

by | Dec 30, 2015 | Blog

As 2015 comes to an end, we took a look back at our top stories from the The Upsite Blog. It was a busy year with many things to talk about, with everything from the 4 delta T’s of data center cooling to the relationship between PUE and airflow management. We shared a lot content that we hope you not only enjoyed reading, but also found useful. Here are the top 10 articles that data center professionals like you shared the most:


1. The 4 Delta T’s of Data Center Cooling: What You’re Missing 2015-06-24 00-54-00When was the last time you had a conversation with anyone trying to sell you something for your data center and Delta T (ΔT) didn’t pop up at least a couple times? This bit of jargon is so pervasive in our industry that no one is surprised to hear “Delta T” as a slick rock band parody of the Beatle’s “Let It Be” at conference parties and hospitality suites. It’s just as natural. Nevertheless, there is a little more to ΔT than is typically understood.

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2. The Trend Towards White IT Racks: Should You Make the Move?

White cabinetsCabinet manufacturers report a growing percentage of their sales are for white server cabinets and we are starting to see some white equipment at conference exhibit halls, where just a couple years ago the prime variations tended to be flat black versus rippled black versus glossy black, with the occasional novelty color reflecting a marketing ploy to exploit a particular high profile or high buzz end-user customer endorsement.

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3. Airflow Management vs. Thermal Management: What’s the Difference?

airflow vs thermalIt comes as no surprise that in any conversation around data center energy efficiency, cost reduction, and overall health of IT infrastructure, there lies two common denominators: airflow management and thermal management. While they are commonly coupled together as ‘one in the same’, there are distinct differences between the two. A common misconception is that improving airflow management will improve thermal management. This, however, is not the case.

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4. Bypass Airflow: Not as Simple as You May Think

shutterstock_214765276-1024x682Increasing density and the pressure to save money in the data center are driving awareness towards the importance of improving airflow management. One of the most fundamental aspects of airflow management is bypass airflow. While airflow management best practices are becoming more well-known and better understood, bypass airflow and how to reduce it is less understood with several common misconceptions creating confusion.

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5. IT Equipment Delta T and Flow Rate: How They Impact Your Data Center

Data center airflowAs we discussed in our recent blog post, reducing bypass airflow is key to increasing cooling capacity and reducing operating costs. Airflow management improvements allow for the reduction of conditioned airflow rates from cooling units, either by reducing fan speeds or by turning units off. This reduces the amount of bypass airflow in the room by making the delivered flow rate of conditioned air closer to the flow rate required by IT equipment.

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6. Air Segregation: How to Measure Effectiveness

AisleShotThe following is an overview on a subject that has many scientific and engineering papers written and available in the public domain. Avoiding the ‘blinding with science’ approach I present a pragmatic view of air segregation effectiveness.

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7. 8 Reasons Why Colocation Operators Should Care About Airflow Management and Cooling Efficiency

colocationThe unprecedented growth in the colocation industry, along with the fact that global data center power consumption estimated to be approximately 3% of the entire global production, means that colocation operators have found themselves enjoying a thriving industry while simultaneously being thrust into the spotlight as one of the world’s largest consumers of a very controversial resource—power.

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8. Managing Airflow to Meet the Business Need

6SigmaDCXThe data center industry can take pride in the huge innovations it has made in the energy performance of cutting-edge data centers. Only 10 years ago, many people would say that an average of 3kW per rack was the limit to air cooling, and a PUE of 2.5 was common even in state-of-the-art data centers.

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9. The Relationship Between PUE and Airflow Management in Data Centers

shutterstock_246098935In data centers without chillers, PUE reductions can now be achieved with DX CRAC units using either digital scroll compressors or multi-stage compressors. In all instances, good airflow management practices increase opportunities for free cooling economization, which will usually lead to significantly lower PUE’s than the examples cited above.

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10. 7 Airflow Management Considerations in Building a New Data Center

ProjectImageIf you think a title about some number of airflow management considerations in building a new data center is going to ring up the normal litany of plugging holes with filler panels and floor grommets, separating hot aisles from cold aisles, minimizing or eliminating bypass and re-circulation, deploying variable air volume fans (VFD or EC), intelligently locating perforated floor tiles and measuring temperature at server inlets, then you would be sorely mistaken.

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BONUS: Top Data Center Trends and Predictions to Watch for in 2016


What changes are in store for the cloud and data center industry in 2016? We set to find out by talking to industry experts Lars Strong, Bruce Taylor, Vince Renaud, and Ian Seaton, here’s what they had to say.

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