There are various designs for segregating hot and cold air in data centers such as cold aisle containment (CAC), hot aisle containment (HAC), and chimney exhaust rack. These containment systems have different characteristics and impose various conditions on the information technology equipment (ITE). One common issue in HAC systems is the pressure buildup inside the HAC (known as backpressure). Backpressure also can be present in CAC systems in case of airflow imbalances. Hot air recirculation, limited cooling airflow rate in servers, and reversed flow through ITE with weaker fan systems (e.g. network switches) are some known consequences of backpressure. Currently there is a lack of experimental data on the interdependency between overall performance of ITE and its internal design when a backpressure is imposed on ITE. In this paper, three commercial 2-rack unit (RU) servers with different internal designs from various generations and performance levels are tested and analyzed under various environmental conditions. Smoke tests and thermal imaging are implemented to study the airflow patterns inside the tested equipment. In addition, the impact leak of hot air into ITE on the fan speed and the power consumption of ITE is studied. Furthermore, the cause of the discrepancy between measured inlet temperatures by internal intelligent platform management interface (IPMI) and external sensors is investigated. It is found that arrangement of fans, segregation of space upstream and downstream of fans, leakage paths, location of sensors of baseboard management controller (BMC) and presence of backpressure can have a significant impact on ITE power and cooling efficiency.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.