Maximizing Server Airflow

High Class Communications Blog Image2 Maximizing Server Airflow

Data Centres continuously cram more computing power into their networks to meet the growing demand for more IT resources. The need for more computing power is increasing continuously. Cooling has become a very serious concern. 

Finding the right cabinets to provide structure and order was a given a few years back. This given has now evolved to finding the cabinets that can also address cooling.  According to a study conducted, cabinets that are taller, wider and deeper is the most obvious answer to cooling for a majority of data centres.  Vertical expansion does seem to be the way to go. But this too is a limited resource set by the height of the ceiling and doorways in data centers. In the end, companies still face the same cooling concern. Airflow issues are discussed extensively in this article.

Others believe cabinets designed and configured to maximise airflow like HCC’s Curved Series just might be the viable answer. Cabinets designed to allow horizontal air to flow freely and efficiently instead of just providing structure and order could be the solution for those with very limited data centre space.  If a particular cabinet provides more cable management capabilities, better.

According to Oracle the maximum rate of heat released from a fully configured server is 90,000 BTUs/hr (94,955 kJ/hr). To cool the server properly, adequate airflow must travel through the server. The direction of the airflow is from the front to the back of the server. The approximate server airflow is typically at 2500 CFM and at 4200 CFM maximum.

To ensure adequate airflow Oracle recommends a minimum clearance of 36 inches (914 mm) at the front and the rear of the server for ventilation. If the server is not completely populated with components, data centres must cover the empty slots with filler panels or blanking panels (create a new hyperlink here. This should point to shop with blanking panels on display). Good cable management will also minimize interference with the server exhaust. The addition of mesh doors and more efficient exhaust fans can ensure that network systems operate at their peek and deliver as expected.