More on Data Centre Best Practices (Steve Phipps)

Further to my previous post on my experience with the CoolControl (CC) tiles, I have been spending some time in the Data Centre this morning with Daxten again looking at some options for hot aisle containment.

Over the weeks, I have been installing the grommets in the tiles below the cabinets in order to block cold air from mixing with hot air inside the cab.  This has proven to be very effective.  However, some experimentation today has proven even more valuable.

In my last blog I mentioned that I had installed some of the CC tiles to disrupt the air flow in the cold aisle, but that due to the velocity of the air so close to the grilled tile, the air was not travelling up the face of the cabinet, but rather bouncing back at the CRAHs.  I have a test piece of pleniform with holes strategically placed in it to provide a buffer against the flow of air to slow it down to 30% of its normal velocity, however, I haven’t found time to fit it yet.  On investigation, we noticed that the delta T between the top of the rack and the bottom was between 4-6 Degrees Centigrade.  I have the set point at the CRAH’s set to 24 Degrees C.  And we also found that the ordinary grilled tiles (I had left them in spaced between the CC tiles) were exerting a negative downward pressure that prevented cold air from reaching the cabinets!

The obvious thing was to replace the grilled tiles with blank tiles and the temperatures reduced to 17-19 Degrees C at the bottom and 19-21 degrees C at the top.  This suggests that I can now start to play with upping the set point back at the CRAHs to raise the dry bulb inlet temperature to 25 Degrees C.  Replacing the grilled tiles seemed counter-intuitive, however it made a significant positive difference!

More to come when I get round to looking at the pleniform….

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About Steve Bowes-Phipps

Over 20 years of operational systems management experience, specifically managing data centres since 1996. After a stint managing data centres and IT operations in the UK and Ireland, joined ambitious web hosting company GlobalCenter who were expanding from the US into Europe. Sitting on the senior management team, oversaw the building of five data centres in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris until Exodus Internet bought the company in 2001. There, moved into a more strategic role, dealing with blue chip customer issues and relationship management, process improvement and building a culture of continuous improvement. Spent four years in Visa Europe managing strategically important projects and processes. In 2007, joined his Alma Mater, Hertfordshire University, to become their head of Data Centres and has been working with the UK’s Higher and Further Education IT funding arm, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) ever since, to assist in embedding Green ICT in UK HE and FE institutions, and more recently across the EU as well. In 2010, the University of Hertfordshire became the first European university to comply with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres, and was recognised in the European Datacentre Leaders Awards 2010 Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards (GEIT) 2011 and the EAUC Green Gown Awards 2011. In addition, Steve has lead the University to win three internationally-acclaimed awards.

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  • Large Rubber Grommet

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  • joss

    Thanks, i totally agree with this…

  • dsadsadsa asda

    Ive realised a whole lot from reading through this post and I hope that I can catch up on other these kinds of posts soon.1

  • Gregory Smith

    Interesting post.


    Hi – thanks for the comment. I’ll let the web developers know.