(From Wikipedia) A data center (or datacentre) is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices. The most commonly used metric to determine the energy efficiency of a data center is power usage effectiveness, or PUE. This simple ratio is the total power entering the data center divided by the power used by the IT equipment.
With the value of data being extraordinarily high, down time is not an option. Servers are packed together, the power is always on, they generate heat, and while not widely publicized, they do catch fire.
A significant amount of power is consumed to keep computing equipment from overheating. Reducing the amount of power necessary to cool server cabinets will save money, hence, a variety of strategies have emerged for removing heat or channeling cool air where its needed.
AISLE CONTAINMENT – Data center operations experts employ cooling strategies that position server equipment to direct heat into designated aisles between racks. There are hot aisle containment and cold aisle containment configurations. When retrofitted to an existing data center,an aisle containment system may consist of boxing in an aisle between two racks by adding doors to both ends of the aisle and enclosing it with a ceiling. This captures cool air entering the enclosure. It also inhibits fire detection and suppression. Consideration must be given to fire protection when building aisle containment systems that are, in essence, a room within a room. Contact a fire protection professional to evaluate design and implementation of aisle containment.
FIRE CODES AND STANDARDS