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Cooling

How to Reduce Hotspots and Better Manage Heat in the Data Center

Traditionally, data centers were cooled by large computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units. Cold air is directed underneath the raised flor and discharged through perforated tiles to cool the IT equipment. Hot air exhausted from the equipment rises and is pulled back into the CRAC unit from the ceiling.

There are a number of problems with this scenario. First, the system doesn’t take into account where the most heat is being generated, so the CRAC unit must be set to a very low temperature in order to maintain a safe operating environment for equipment.

Second, most data centers implement excess cooling capacity for redundancy, but make the mistake of running all of the CRAC units at the same time. The excess airflow rushes past the equipment, mixes with the hot air in the ceiling and is pushed back down onto the racks and cabinets. A hotspot is created when the hot air finds its way into the equipment.

When operators discover a hotspot they immediately think they need more cooling capacity. However, adding capacity is simply going to create more hotspots in a frustrating vicious cycle.

A “pod” unit with in-row cooling can eliminate hotspots once and for all and dramatically reduce cooling costs. A pod is a self-contained data center within a data center — a unit that typically consists of two rows of cabinets flanking a central aisle that’s fully enclosed with roof and door panels. (Pods can also be designed to enclose equipment against a concrete or glass wall.) Pods are commonly used to house a customer’s equipment in a co-location facility, to create a lab environment within the larger data center, or to carve out data center space in an office or warehouse.

Pods can also be used within a larger data center facility to improve cooling efficiency. Because there is less physical space to cool, the cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard. Furthermore, state-of-the-art pod units employ in-row cooling systems that bring cooling directly into the row of cabinets. When the cooling unit is closer to the equipment, heat can be dissipated faster because the chilled air doesn’t have to travel as far and there’s nothing to obstruct airflow.

Enconnex offers fully customizable pod units to meet every need. Simply choose the type of aisle (rack-to-rack or rack-to-wall), type of doors, type of roof, type of materials, and panels and accessories. We will deliver the pod to your site for streamlined implementation.

You can also incorporate one of our high-capacity in-row cooling units to optimize efficiency. Available in condensate water, chilled water and DX air- and water-cooled configurations, these units deliver more than 100kW of cooling capacity to address today’s heat loads. In addition, their compact 45U design helps to maximize the available space within the pod environment.

Focusing the right amount of cooling capacity directly on your equipment can eliminate hotspots once and for all. Contact Enconnex to learn how a pod unit with in-row cooling helps you better manage heat in the data center.