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Data Center Cooling Strategies

Localized Row And Cabinet Level Cooling Methodologies

Room cooling can be inefficient and expensive. Four approaches for dissipating ITE heat loads include:

  • Air cooled: heat is transferred directly to the room air and cooled via traditional data center cooling

  • Indirect water-cooled: heat is transferred indirectly to water through an air-to-water heat exchanger located within the row or single cabinet

  • Direct water-cooled: heat is transferred directly to an attached heat transfer component, such as a cold plate

  • Hybrid direct and indirect water-cooled - selective cooling of highest energy-consuming components with direct contact liquid cooling and the balance of the cabinet is cooled via secondary air-to-water cooling device, such as a Rear Door Cooler (RDC).


To maintain maximum IT equipment (ITE) availability, all equipment must be kept below a specified temperature range—a requirement that has recently become more challenging to meet. As the need for information has increased, so has the processing power of the network equipment, resulting in increasingly higher processor densities and heat levels.

Elevated temperatures result in equipment failure, and ultimately, costly downtime, making the need for efficient cooling systems more important than ever. Since nearly all power consumed by the processors is converted to heat— which must be removed via air (convection)—the data center in which this equipment resides must efficiently provide cold air to network equipment intakes and recycle the hot exhaust to remove the heat and keep vital networking equipment operating.

Data Center Strategies - Cooling

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