The increased focus on green technologies and energy efficiency coupled with the insatiable desire of IT equipment customers for more performance has driven manufacturers to deploy energy efficient technologies in the data centers. This paper describes a technique to achieve significant energy savings by preventing the cold and hot air streams within the data center from mixing. More specifically, techniques will be described that will separate the cool supply air to the server racks and exhaust hot air that returns to the air conditioning units. This separation can be achieved by three types of containment systems — cold aisle containment, hot aisle containment, and server rack exhaust chimneys. The advantages and disadvantages of each technique will be outlined. To show the potential for energy efficiency improvements a case study in deploying a cold aisle containment solution for a 8944 ft2 data center will be presented. This study will show that 59% of the energy required for the computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units used in a traditional open type data center could be saved.

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