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Cooling » Cooling Overview
  Practical Solutions for Resolving Cooling Issues in the Data Center
Thermal cooling of high-density data centers is a challenging and mission critical task. Shortcomings in a design can compromise the reliability of the facility, increase operational costs, and shorten the life span of electronic equipment.
The threat of overheating servers and/or critical equipment represents a potential crisis that regularly keeps IT professionals up at night. Despite widespread awareness of this dilemma, finding the correct, long-term solution for the delivery of healthy and dependable data centers remains a challenge. The industry has made several preliminary attempts to unify its approach toward data center cooling, such as standardizing hot/cold aisle cabinet layouts, front-to-back cabinet air flow systems and vertical underfloor (VUF) and vertical overhead (VOH) air distribution systems, each with its’ own unique benefits and challenges.
Strategies that can be employed to help minimize these risks and further improve the standards for delivering healthy data centers that will function efficiently over the long haul:
Design with flexibility in mind: Since most mission-critical facilities will undergo four or five complete computer equipment change-outs
  over their lifetime, they require a flexible design that will help to ensure minimal cost and risks throughout the upgrade process,
while still maintaining continuous uptime. Some of the key factors in design flexibility include installing oversized piping and providing

space for additional computer, mechanical and electrical equipment.

Interface in the design process: IT professionals must interface with design engineers when planning the layout for the computer
room. This will enable them to better understand how to lay out equipment racks applying the hot-aisle/cold-aisle strategy, and how to
arrange perforated tiles (where a raised floor supply plenum is utilized) in order to optimize the cooling air distribution. Additionally, this
interface will help the IT staff understand the limitations of the space which will be left in their hands long after the design engineer is gone.
Use published guidelines: Several professional groups, such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning
  Engineers (ASHRAE), 7x24 Exchange, and the Uptime Institute have begun publishing universal standards to aid in space planning,
  estimating load growth, and designing mechanical and electrical systems. These guidelines represent the first step toward providing a
  benchmark for establishing higher standards in data center design.
Employ Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD): CFD modeling works in the following way: The design engineer describes the computer
  room by inputting a description of the physical space, including walls, roof, raised floor, equipment placement, and equipment loads.
  The CFD software then divides the computer room volume into millions of "cells." Energy, mass and momentum conservation equations
  are then solved simultaneously by an iterative process for each cell, with the result being the conditions of state - temperature,
  pressure and velocity – for each cell. The physics and mathematics behind this process are well understood, and the process provides
  good predictions for actual applications.
While the threat of overheating continues to loom large among the IT community these five steps can play an integral role in moving toward more standardized and cost effective means of designing and maintaining healthy data centers at their inception and throughout their entire lifecycle.


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