Cold Aisle Containment

If the cold air in the room is being used ineffectively you will have cooling problems. The easiest and most effective solution is to introduce cold aisle containment from Keyzone.



Cold Aisle Containment

Cold Aisle / Hot Aisle Containment is a simple, cost effective non intrusive solution to datacentre heat problems. If the cold air in the room is being used ineffectively you will have cooling problems. It is wrongly believed that this problem is only resolved by adding more air conditioning units or introducing chilled cabinets. The easiest and most effective solution is to introduce cold aisle containment from Keyzone.

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Dooris or Vinyl curtains are used to seperate the hot and cold aisles
Guaranteed improvements in datacentre cooling
Lower your carbon emissions
Save money by lowering your power usage
Cost effective and non intrusive
Suitable for any datacentre regardless of size and age

Free onsite survey

  • Aisle and room temperature and humidity
  • Aisle and room air-flows and balancing
  • Efficiency of room and building cooling systems
  • Life expectancy of your computer hardware (fans, HD etc.)
  • Server running times (crashes, freezes etc.)
  • Uptime resiliency and redundancies in the event of failure
  • “U” Space utilization, install more kit in existing racks
  • Power savings on hardware and building facilities
  • Significantly reduced building carbon emissions



The photograph above was taken in Yahoo’s london Data Centre. It shows the use of curtains to separate the hot and cold aisles, thereby reducing the amount of hot air that mixes with cold air from the plenum floor and dramatically increasing cooling efficiency. Inside the curtained off space are all of the open vents from the plenum floor and all of the cabinet fronts.

In combination with the curtains, each cabinet is fitted with blanking plates to ensure that the only path for cold air to pass is via a piece of equipment. Missing cabinets and missing equipment offers an alternative route for airflow that causes hot and cold air to mix reducing air handling efficiency.

The delta in temperature between the air inside the curtained off area and that outside is quite dramatic, being in the range of 10° to 15° Celsius. Refrigeration efficiency is increased by approximately 20%.

Installing curtains and organising cabinets and open floor tiles in a sensible way is something that everyone can do regardless of the age and condition of their data centre site. If the site is constrained by cooling capacity, the installation of curtains will allow more equipment to be installed. As a minimum the energy bills will drop markedly.

Numerous datacentres employ hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment, including Sun Microsystems. Storage vendor NetApp has employed vinyl curtains similar to those you see at Yahoo to contain the air in the hot aisles in its Silicon Valley data centre. These curtains alone save NetApp 1 million kWh of energy per year.

BT’s “Green Data Centre Vision” includes the use of vinyl curtains, a number of companies are now using this simple yet effective solution

Keyzone offers a free onsite datacentre audit for qualifying customers. Experienced engineers will visit your site to review your equipment, operational restrictions, and energy costs.

We will prepare and submit an audit report that will analyze your datacentre efficiency with practical advice and a list of recommendations.

The audit is performed without disruption to IT operations, and identifies key operating factors that affect your cooling energy consumption and the potential for savings. The recommendations for improvements made in the audit report will not require any IT equipment down time or rack movement.

How will it help my Servers?

  • · Hardware relies on good room conditions to operate at their peak.
  • · If your servers (HP) exceed 30°c “system performance may be reduced”.
  • · In the event of the server reaching high levels 30°c - 60°c, crashes and freezing will start with a total system shut down at 60°c.
  • · Inlet temperatures can range from 10°oc - 30°c for peak performances. (at sea level, add 1°c every 300m in altitude)
  • · Hard Disks hold heat and do not react well when exposed to high temperatures, causing, directory loss, bad sectors and disk failure.

How will Cold Aisle Containment Help?

  • · Balance room temperatures and aisle air-flows, delivering perfect conditions for your servers and hardware.
  • · Save cost and downtime for maintenance & replacements
  • · Cold air ducts available for servers & switches that intake from the side.
  • · Giving you peace of mind

How will it help with room temperature?

  • · Before cold aisle containment the room air is free to mix, where there is a flow, surrounding air will be attracted.
  • · CRAC units air-flows can be fast, this can often miss the cabinet all together cooling the data centre roof.
  • · Missing blanking panels allow the hot air to return to the front of the servers, without leaving the cabinet.
  • · Air is sucked around and over the top of the cabinets giving you high temperatures in the top.
  • · Temperatures can vary from rack to rack, creating unbalanced areas.

How will Cold Aisle Containment Help?

  • · Stop the air mixing together. Cold aisle temperatures will be consistent, allowing optimum aisle temperatures.
  • · Aisle will self balance for temperatures and air-flows.
  • · The hot aisle changes will give you better return air temperatures to the CRAC units and building chillers.
  • · Stop By pass air flow through racks and floor tiles

How will it help my CRAC and Chillers

  • · Most CRAC units are set to a low out temperature (9°c-17°c), with the return temperature being only a few degree above (21°c-24°c)
  • · Air can short circuit back to the CRAC units from the nearest vented tiles, or cold aisle, giving you low return temps, but still having high heat levels in the aisle.
  • · With the return air being cold the water pipes only have 1-2 degree temperature difference. This will make the CRAC & Chiller units very inefficient.
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