The internet age has spawned data center after data center. Every year each one of the internet giants switches on a new data center. Each data center has thousands or even tens of thousands of servers dense in densely packed racks. These servers generate a lot of heat and must be cooled to maintain efficiency and prevent failure.
One of the most common methods of data center cooling is the cold aisle method. The airflow is managed to send cold air through the aisle in front of the servers. Most servers draw air from the front of the chassis and the fans expel the hot air out the back. When there are multiple racks, they are lined up facing each other. That corridor between the two fronts of the servers is the cold aisle.
There are several best practices used when it comes to data center level computer cooling.
- Devices that move air in a direction other than front to back are located in another cooling environment.
- Use of raised floors to move air directly in front of the racks and upwards.
- Isolating the hot air flow and cold air flow so they do not mix.
- Use of high speed fans to push the air onto the servers with the rack.
There are more layout designs for data center cooling. While the aisle layout is the most common, the decision on which one to use depends on the layout of the data center and other factors based on the data center.