Running a data center is no easy feat. There is so much you have to think about, from working with the right data rack manufacturers to dealing with expansion in the future. But one of the most important things to consider when managing a data center is developing the proper airflow plan. Here are some tips for creating a data center airflow management plan for those struggling to get started.

Server Placement

In 1992, IBM developed an arrangement for the correct server placement. Essentially, the front of the server rack faces the front of the server rack and cold air flows into the aisle to cool the servers. The same is true for the back end, where the hot, exhaust air flows outward. By constructing the aisles this way, hot aisles and cold aisles are created to help the data center run more efficiently. This way, data center supervisors can save money on cooling equipment.

Floors and Ceilings

Another tip on creating a data center airflow management plan is to concentrate on the floors and ceilings. For example:

  • The data center cold aisles will utilize some perforated tiles to allow for the cold air to flow into the cold aisle, cooling the servers and switches.
  • The hot air then exhausts into the hot aisle and circulates into the CRAC units or air handlers.
  • Hot and Cold aisle containment helps to do this as efficiently as possible and helps prevent air mixing.

Server Rack Doors and Blank Panels

You must also get the proper server doors for your data center. Vented doors allow the cold and hot air to easily flow through. It is important to have these doors as open as possible with at. Doors should be at least 77% open.

It is also critical that there are no open spaces in the server racks. Any open RU spaces should be closed off with blank panels. This forces the cold air to be pulled in to the active equipment rather than bypassing this equipment through an open space.

Too many data center managers spend unnecessary money on cooling equipment. Though this equipment is beneficial, there are easier ways to keep things cool—like developing an airflow management plan. Pay attention to the layout. Warm air should face warm air so that the mixture of cold and hot doesn’t cause problems. Managers should follow IBM’s model. And they should work with trusted manufacturers like AMCO Enclosures to keep things safe.