Norman S Wright Blog
High Efficiency Data Center Design

Enabling Higher Efficiency in Data Center Designs

Often overlooked as accessories to the technology they house, server racks are far more than folded, welded metal.

They are a critical backbone of your data center. Server racks have evolved over time to support new data center layouts, higher density equipment, and in some cases, become small data centers themselves.

As you invest in your data center, keep in mind these tips for your server rack strategy.

Deploying the Right Server Racks for the Job

There are a few things to consider when deciding which rack is most beneficial for your set up.  Server racks vary in size, enclosures, mounting, and scalability.

Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle

Thanks to the advent of hot aisle/cold aisle data center formats, server racks shed their old tinted glass doors in favor of perforated metal panels a long time ago.

The basic idea behind this popular layout is to arrange the server racks in uniform rows so that they create separate aisles for the hot and cold air.

This game change in design has remained the standard for mid- to large-sized datacenter layouts ever since.

Whether you do it with raised floors and perimeter cooling units, or on a concrete slab with in-row coolers, the idea is the same: the cold air gets pumped into the cold aisle, ingested through the front of the IT device, heated up, then ejected out the rear into the hot aisle.

From there, the hot air directs to the return inlets of the cooling unit, and the process starts again. When selecting racks, it is critical to standardize on uniform overall dimensions and choose racks that optimize to accommodate the highest amount of airflow.

Room Neutral Designs

Eventually, the hot aisle/cold aisle idea evolved into new designs that utilize the containment of both aisles. Sometimes referred to as close-coupled designs, this type of configuration is extremely efficient when compared to traditional hot/cold aisle designs because they allow for precise control and placement of the hot and cold air.

Working with a company that designs and manufactures turnkey solutions is critical when choosing this path. Our solutions start at basic single rack designs, all the way up to full-blown modular data centers.

Cable Management and Accessories

In addition to housing and protecting your IT assets, a good server rack should also be able to accommodate multiple accessories.

Making sure your racks fit with the correct number of blanking panels and side dams will help maintain the separation between these two aisles, increasing efficiency.

The other x-factor inside the racks is cable management. The ability to provide flexible cable management options as well as contain provisions for robust rPDU applications is a must-have.

Developing a Great Plan

Server racks should no longer be an afterthought. Selecting the right racks and rack layouts can enable the entire IT space to operate at its high efficiency.

We can help you achieve your data center design goals by taking a holistic approach to the data center space.

No matter the size and scope of your IT environment, we have the expertise and product sets to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to get started on your next project.

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