Data Center Aisle Containment

Ready for aisle containment? Ready to contain your hot or cold aisle? Great! Containment walls, doors, and ceilings - hot aisle or cold aisle - offer the best value to total isolation.

Aisle Containment systems can be very useful in managing airflow in the data center. While they aren't hard to configure and setup, there are some important considerations and prerequisites before you begin. It is helpful to consider every "step" simultaneously because each decision can impact other multiple issues.

 

Prerequisites to Installing a Containment System in the Data Center

Data Clean positions aisle containment as the third solution in the sequential path of airflow management improvement. Inter Rack containment comes AFTER implementing hot aisle - cold aisle layout, managing cutouts, and installing in-rack blanking panels! The reason for this is that any containment system is only as effective as the weakest component.

Hot and cold aisles in a computer room

Containment doors and walls are only one of several components needed to achieve hot/cold aisle containment.

In order for containment to be most effective, you must first manage by-pass airflow:

  • Install blanking panels in any open server rack space
  • Add barrier panels, if needed, between server rack rails and cabinets
  • Seal off any raised floor cutouts

Without these critical components in place, aisle isolation cannot be achieved and the containment doors and walls will have limited effect. Containment in the data center only really make sense when bypass airflow is managed.

While curtains are the most visible cooling solution, they are also the most inexpensive. This discussion is specific to softwall curtain systems for data centers and computer rooms.

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