Data center cooling is a process of maintaining and balancing the environmental temperatures while making it suitable for IT equipment to be operative. The basic purpose is to remove the heat that is produced by the constant running of the infrastructure equipment. Cooling is one of the essential components of a data center infrastructure and is also one of the causes of the high costs of the facility.
Servers, computers and other equipment require constant power and this produces heat. Since the components are housed in an enclosed facility unless there is an outlet for the heat to escape, risks of the equipment blowing up or getting damaged are high. Without cooling solutions, even the technical people working on the equipment run the risks of health hazards. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) have laid down certain norms which the data centers must adhere to.
Cooling of air involves the use of CRACs (computer room air conditioners) that can convert warm air to cool air. The CRACs are flexible and can be used to cool a few racks or cool the entire facility. It maintains and distributes the temperature evenly across the room.
Another form of cooling is of raised floor systems The CRACs are utilized to supply cool air underneath and the air is circulated by fans to reach the servers and other components. The warm air that is caused by the heat rise and the CRACs gather the warm air from the top, cool it and brings it down to the floor to continue the process.
Another form of cooling is the liquid cooling. It involves the use of chillers to remove heat using a cooling tower that is placed outside the building. Cold water is transported to the data center racks or to a CRAH (computer room air handler). However, this can become more expensive as it requires more infrastructure.