How to Approach IT Cabinet Layout Without Racking Your Brain Over Cooling
Let’s say you’re a small or medium-sized organization with a small server room housing one or two IT racks; you’ve got the right equipment to satisfy your data needs, you have not encountered any issues with keeping that equipment cool, and life is good. But wait – now the company is adding capabilities, so you need a couple new appliances to manage the increased workload. Have you lost sleep wondering if the cooling you have in place today can handle the added heat load?
Not all IT Managers or Facility Managers, or even `The Guy’ in charge of your IT, think about the increased need for cooling when adding processing and storage appliances to their tech stack, yet the power consumed by each piece of equipment is equal to its thermal output, and each adds to the overall heat load of the room. Without proper server rack cooling, overheating is not just a risk – it’s almost a guarantee.
Simplify IT Equipment Climate Control with Enclosure Cooling
Now is the time to start planning for the future. When sized properly, the beauty of in-rack or in-row climate control systems (cooling integrated into IT cabinets) is that they satisfy the cooling needs of whatever equipment is added to a rack (up to the kW capacity of the cooling system – no need to over-provision and waste money), and they make it simple to add racks in an IT room without having to reconfigure cooling. Often these systems require no changes to the existing infrastructure.
When it comes time to add equipment to satisfy the company’s data needs, keep these benefits of enclosure cooling in mind:
- Enclosure cooling systems offer precise temperature, humidity and airflow control, all of which respond to varying equipment heat loads
- They offer valuable flexibility. Rittal enclosures are essentially building blocks that make it possible to add equipment (and equipment of different sizes) and take on higher densities as your needs evolve
- A modular enclosure can be compartmentalized, allowing IT equipment to be installed in the same cabinet as power equipment. This saves floor space in your data room, and makes it possible to have equipment operating on different power feeds
- Scalability. When you choose cabinets that feature liquid cooling, expanding rack and associated cooling capacity is as simple as adding another cabinet. Rittal’s modular enclosure solutions come with the most common accessories (cable management and PDUs) pre-installed, making it even easier to rapidly scale
- Should you have equipment with different cooling needs within the same rack, modular enclosures allow for thermal isolation – applying different cooling methods within the same enclosure to accommodate various types of equipment. This feature helps reduce cooling cost and eliminate the need for a separate dedicated system
Of the data cabinets that support medium to high density cooling, Rittal’s LCP DX line offers the precision, flexibility and scalability that small and medium-size organizations need. Available in closed loop rack and open loop inline options (closed loop rack options require no changes to existing infrastructure), the cooling can be coupled with one or two enclosed racks. Higher power processors and even higher rack densities are enabled with a closed loop, waterless, direct contact evaporative cooling – a safe, well-integrated liquid cooling solution. Some specific features that make this system ideal for organizations looking for efficiency include:
- Variable cooling capacity from 5-20kW per LCP DX
- Ability to install additional LCP DX units (space permitting) to support increased IT loads or future growth or upwards of 70kW computing with direct contact liquid cooling
- Small footprint that’s adaptable to a variety of installation sites
- Maintains set point temperature as heat loads vary
- Features eco-friendly refrigerant
No matter the size of your data center – a closet with one rack or an enterprise-level data center with thousands of racks – making intentional choices about the types of enclosure you employ can future-proof your data center in several ways, not the least of which is related to cooling. Rack and in-line climate control options make it possible to scale with growing data needs, without wondering how you’ll maintain precise temperature, humidity and airflow in order to ensure maximum uptime.