Over the last several years, power demands, and hence cooling loads of IT equipment, have risen steadily as manufacturers have managed to pack more processing power into ever smaller spaces. At the same time, increased use of virtualization and cloud-based computing has increased the utilization rate and power draw of existing servers. IT managers require an effective means of optimizing performance, minimizing new infrastructure and keeping cooling costs down.
Containment strategies have naturally evolved to meet this need, providing data center engineers and IT managers alike with a new set of tools to meet the increased challenges that come with designing around high-density applications. Using physical barriers to segregate the cooler supply air from the hot discharge air, total containment can potentially increase the effectiveness of existing cooling equipment from 40 or 50 percent to as high as 80 or 90 percent efficiency.
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