Data Center Cooling & Why it's Important

Data centers are playing a larger role than ever before in our hyper-connected, always-on world. This constant demand creates a significant workload for data center hardware resulting in large amounts of heat entering the data centers every day. If the hot air is not managed properly the data center can overheat. That leads to hardware failures and loss of valuable data, not to mention causing data center operating costs to go through the roof. In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into what data center cooling is and why it is so important.  

What is Data Center Cooling?    

Ask any data center ops leader and they will tell you: proper data center cooling is critical. But what exactly is it?  

Data center cooling is managing temperatures inside of a data center to ensure they are optimal for equipment performance and operating efficiency. Simply put, data centers need to be at the right temperature, so the equipment doesn't overheat. While the concept is simple, finding the right solution for a specific data center need can get a little more complex. 

Data center cooling solutions are not a one size fits all approach and they vary from organization to organization depending on factors such as hardware, layout, budget and more. Choosing the right solution for the space is an important consideration for all data centers. Even data centers found in colder climates require proactive cooling solutions — they just might look different than those located in hot, arid climates 

Types of Data Center Cooling Solutions 

There are a few different ways to cool a data center. Depending on a specific facility’s need, it may require just one method or incorporate a combination of cooling solutions. Popular data center cooling solutions include: 

  • Air conditioning 
  • Aisle containment systems  
  • Liquid cooling 

Air conditioning is commonly used to cool data centers because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to manage. Although in larger facilities AC can prove to be inefficient and may not be able to keep up with the higher cooling demand.  

Liquid cooling systems are quickly gaining popularity as they can cool large amounts of equipment quickly and efficiently.  

Hot and cold aisle containment systems are also popular within large data centers because they can have a big impact on data center cooling efficiency. Aisle containment systems work by either focusing a cooling action on the front of the systems (cold aisle containment) or by preventing hot air from entering the space by trapping exhaust air and directing it into the AC return (hot aisle containment).  

To understand why data center cooling is so essential, let's go beyond the surface and dig deeper. 

Why is Data Center Cooling Important?   

Equipment Reliability      

Data center managers know that proper data center cooling is essential for ensuring the reliability of their equipment. Overheating in a data center can lead to complete equipment failure, data loss, equipment repair and replacement costs, and increased maintenance time and budget. In short, a data center cooling system customized for the facility can help prevent a catastrophe. 

Data Center Cost Savings    

Power and cooling are the two main drivers of cost within a data center. Fortunately, the right data center cooling solutions come with financial benefits. Data center cooling solutions can help reduce energy costs by reducing the amount of electricity used to power and cool equipment. By implementing an efficient cooling system, businesses can reduce their CapEx (Capital Expenditures) in their data centers.  

Using the proper cooling techniques also helps equipment last longer by ensuring it is operating at the correct temperature. That can reduce the amount of money spent replacing equipment and keep downtime to an absolute minimum.  

Environmental / Sustainability     

As more data centers are built, people are becoming more worried about their effects on the environment. Cooling systems such as air conditioning units can take advantage of natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By using air from outside instead of machines inside the facility to cool things down, businesses can use less energy.  

Organizations are also looking to renewable sources for cooling to reduce their environmental impact and provide long-term operational cost savings. 

Wrapping Up   

As technology advances and we continue to rely more heavily on our data centers to help run our digital world, the need to prevent potential failures due to hardware overheating will become increasingly important. 

Proper data center cooling is critical for both hardware performance and data preservation and enables the effective utilization of resources within data center facilities.  

Fortunately, there are a variety of methods available for cooling a data center or controlling its temperatures. Understanding these solutions can help minimize any risks associated with heat while ensuring maximum performance from your data center's hardware. 

Find out how custom engineered aisle containment systems from DAMAC, a Maysteel Product, can help you protect your hardware and make your data center more efficient. Contact our team to get started. 

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