This is the fourth and final post in our “Inside the Rack” series.
In the first post we discussed how even if you keep the room cool, your system can still overheat. Making small changes inside the rack can have a big impact on the bottom line.
In the second post, we discussed how the new uPDU can streamline things inside the rack and open space for hot air to move away from the equipment.
As part of the third post we discussed how cable management can not only keep things visually easy to understand, but how the organization also helps increase airflow in the equipment.
In this post, we’re going to cover another simple and often overlooked solution inside the rack: blanking panels.
Prevent Hot Air Recirculation
The goal for keeping the equipment cool is to direct the hot air away from the equipment. The equipment is designed for air to flow through the front of the equipment and out the back.
When you’re choosing racks, you’ll have an option between open racks or enclosures. The open rack systems can be helpful for reaching equipment and making updates. You might think that the open sides or even perforated panels would be better for dissipating heat around the equipment. But in reality they offer very little control over air flow.
Choose the enclosed racks or install blanking panels. This seemingly insignificant is critical in directing the air towards the path of the least resistance – out the back and away from the equipment. Using blanking panels is more efficient and cost effective than pumping cool air into the room.
To recap our “Inside the Rack” series, as computing needs increase for data centers, there’s also an increase in racks and equipment to meet the demand. This means an increase in heat as well. Without a strategy in place, this could cause overheating and the potential for downtime within the data center.
Data Center equipment is designed to operate efficiently at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a waste of energy and money to keep it any cooler than that. Pumping the room with cold air – even if it’s at 77 degrees – without redirecting the hot air away from the equipment is still a waste of money. So it pays to focus on efficiencies inside the rack.
Finding ways to consolidate and organize within the racks can lead to large savings within the data center. Areas that should be a part of your strategy are the power management, cable management and how you’re using the space around the rack.