Hot aisle/cold aisle is a layout design for server racks and other computing equipment in a data centre. The goal of a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration is to conserve energy and lower cooling costs by managing air flow.
In its simplest form, hot aisle/cold aisle data centre design involves lining up server racks in alternating rows with cold air intakes facing one way and hot air exhausts facing the other. The rows composed of rack fronts are called cold aisles. Typically, cold aisles face air conditioner output ducts. The rows the heated exhausts pour into are called hot aisles. Typically, hot aisles face air conditioner return ducts.
A containment system can be used to isolate hot aisles and cold aisles from each other and prevent hot and cold air from mixing. Containment systems started out as physical barriers that simply separated the hot and cold aisles with vinyl plastic sheeting or Plexiglas covers.
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