The Benefits of Virtual Containment

The benefits of virtual containment eliminate the cost and time associated with installing full containment.  At its core, virtual containment uses a system of products to ensure the delivery of the right amount of air to servers.

Virtual containment reduces bypass airflow

Virtual containment reduces bypass airflow and prevents the mixing of cool supply air with warm exhaust air from surrounding equipment. These benefits are achieved through a combination of directional airflow panels, airflow control devices, and doors at the end of the aisles. This configuration of products is less expensive and faster than installing physical containment structures.

Virtual containment utilizes directional airflow

Unlike physical containment systems, virtual containment utilizes directional airflow panels to direct airflow toward the face of the rack. These panels can achieve a 93% capture index – the amount of air delivered through the panel that directly enters the face of the server rack. This technology significantly reduces the amount of bypass air.

Virtual containment for legacy sites

Additionally, advances in directional airflow panel design have introduced multi-directional panels where airflow is split evenly and angled in two directions. This allows for the delivery of directional airflow to racks on either side of a cold aisle in a legacy data center that has only one accessible airflow panel. And, for applications where less airflow is required but directionality is needed to more precisely match cooling with heat loads, perforated directional panels are also available.

Virtual containment saves energy

Using a directional panel can save more than 40 percent in fan energy by enabling a rack with equal load to be effectively cooled, using approximately half the CFM of a conventional panel. With less air required and higher Delta Ts, fewer computer room air-handling (CRAH) units may be needed in a new data center. Fewer CRAHs reduce capital expenditures by up to 40 percent. In retrofit applications, CRAH units with fixed-speed fans can be set to standby mode, or variable-fan drives can be adjusted to operate at lower static pressures, saving more energy.

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