Cold Aisle Containment

When Cold Aisle Containment is the right choice

Cold Aisle Containment encloses the data center aisles with the air intake side of the computing equipment and the incoming cool air supply so that cool air only goes to where it’s needed—the computing equipment.

Choosing between Hot Aisle Containment (“HAC”) and Cold Aisle Containment (“CAC”) isn’t especially complicated. The room configuration and use case will usually determine which solution is best for your situation. Here are some cases where Cold Aisle Containment makes more sense:

Dedicated AI Data Centers

Data Centers dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) use computing equipment with processors capable of handling massive amounts of calculations at a very high rate of speed. Such processors use more energy and produce more heat. Cooling this computing equipment is even more critical than in typical data centers, and often every ton of available cooling is needed to properly cool AI computers. For AI, CAC with containment ceilings is usually preferred as it directs all cool air just to the AI computers.

data center subfloor cleaning

Partially Populated Data Centers

For data centers that aren’t fully populated with racks/cabinets or that have racks/cabinets that don’t yet have equipment in them, it is often desirable to supply cold air only to the areas of the room being used, allowing the rest of the room to be warmer. In these cases, CAC is often the best choice as not only can the cool supply air be downsized to the need, but it can be directed to just where it is needed—the intake side of the computing equipment.

Cold Aisles With In-row Cooling Units

In cold aisles with in-row cooling units intended to cool only the racks/cabinets in that cold aisle, either HAC or CAC can be employed. However, we see CAC employed more often as it ensures the incoming cool air from the in-row coolers is only going to the cabinets they are intended to serve.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to HAC being the best solution in the examples above, which is why we encourage reaching out to AIRSEAL for an in-depth discussion about your particular data center.