network switch racks

Keeping your data center at the right temperature is key to your company’s digital storage. Network switch racks need to be controlled or they could overheat, causing major data loss. Choosing the right setup and method for this temperature control is a delicate balance of effectiveness and energy efficiency.

To achieve this goal, 80% of data centers are looking to set up hot or cold aisle containment systems. But which is right for your company? Use this guide to determine the right method for you.

Hot Aisle Containment

Pros: Hot aisle containment systems are more versatile, functioning well in most types of data centers. Because of the open, cooled spaces in the room, leaks from the air conditioning systems have somewhere to go. This makes the entire system more energy efficient. There is essentially a bigger margin of error within the system, which can be beneficial when trying to minimize cost.

Cons: Because the system requires a system of ducts and connects to the ceiling, hot aisle containment is often the more expensive option. Also, given its name, this system makes the hot aisles much warmer, which can create an uncomfortable work environment for some operators.

Cold Aisle Containment

Pros: Unlike hot aisle containment, cold aisle containment does not require a system of air ducts and is generally less expensive to run. You basically only need to block off the top of the cabinets and add doors. This also makes it easier to switch an older data center over to this system.

Cons: In these types of systems, leaks are more common and are a bigger problem than in hot aisles. These leaks can cause air return to mix as well. IT technicians will need to be more diligent in preventing these leaks. Cold aisle containment also does not confine hot air into one aisle, making the entire room warmer.

To choose the best system for your data center, you need to consider your specific needs. Size, energy capacity, budget, and region may all play into this, so be sure to talk through all of these details with your team. It is also helpful to hire a professional to analyze your network switch racks and recommend a method for you.