Data Center

Learn Whether Room, Rack or Row-based Cooling is Best for Your Data Center

In a previous post, I wrote about a free Schneider Electric Energy University course that provides a primer on data center cooling systems, a good option for those who may be new to the data center world. In this post, I’ll cover the next course in the cooling series, which explains how to choose whether room, rack or row-based cooling makes the most sense for your data center.

“Choosing Between Room, Row, & Rack Based Cooling For Data Centers II,” builds on the first installment by explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each of the three cooling methods with respect to issues including cost, electrical efficiency, cooling unit location and more. In less than an hour you’ll come away with a working knowledge of the issues to consider when choosing a cooling architecture for your data center.

As the course explains, with today’s data centers trending toward higher and higher densities, some form of containment system nearly always makes sense. Beyond that, however, the choice you make will come down to evaluating each method against a set of criteria. In order to aid in that effort, the course includes a handy, downloadable chart that offers pros and cons of each cooling method against five criteria: agility, system availability, life cycle cost (TCO), serviceability and manageability.

Because cost is always a key concern, the course delves deeper into that aspect. It provides a chart that shows expected first costs per watt for each of the three cooling methods, while clearly presenting the assumptions the chart is based on. You’ll learn which method has the lowest and highest cost and why, and how the equations change with different data center rack power densities.

Of course, first costs are just that – initial costs, mainly for capital equipment. Ongoing costs, such as for electricity, tell the rest of the story and the course goes into that aspect as well. You’ll learn how to determine whether it’ll save you money in the long run if you opt for one of the methods with a higher first cost given the electrical savings it provides over time.

Location of cooling units is another key consideration when choosing among cooling options. The course explains what options you’ll have with each method of cooling, and tradeoffs in areas such as flexibility and performance.

Reliability is another key concern with cooling, so the course explains the various options for providing redundancy under each of the three main cooling methods. Need to provide redundancy for a high-density data center? The course will clearly explain which option is best and why.

Find out whether room, row or rack-based cooling makes the most sense for your data center. Check out the free course, “Choosing Between Room, Row, & Rack Based Cooling For Data Centers II.” You’ll find it in the College of Data Centers at Schneider Electric’s Energy University.


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