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Poor Airflow Management – a Significant Factor Contributing to Unplanned Data Centre Downtime

5th, September 2017

It is estimated that the average utilisation of cooling infrastructure within UK data centres is less than 40%. If you consider the fact that a significant proportion of unplanned data centre outages are related to thermal issues this leads to a conclusion that a significant number of cooling systems are either not effective or are underperforming.

Through direct hands on experience, Workspace Technology a leading data centre design and build specialist, has identified that in many instances the root cause of poor thermal performance is a direct result of poor airflow management combined with a failure to effectively monitor and report ongoing rack temperatures.

Roy Griffiths Technical Director commented "even though the data centre industry has significantly improved its understanding of airflow and cooling dynamics over the last decade it is surprising how regularly we identify cooling solutions that are inappropriately deployed. In turn, this leads to a range of issues including stranded capacity, short cycling, over cooling and hotspots".

Ineffective data centre cooling and poor airflow performance contribute directly to increased risk of equipment failure. From a green perspective, ineffective cooling solutions will also result in significant levels of wasted energy.

Roy Griffiths goes on to comment that "in many instances Operators and Data Centre Managers simply install additional cooling capacity as a strategy to overcome ongoing thermal issues. Whilst this strategy might resolve short term issues, it will often compound the underlying problems building up more issues for the future.

Data Centre operators should consider a more pro-active thermal management strategy where they are unsure if the installation is thermally compliant and fit for purpose. Workspace Technology recommends that operators conduct formal thermal surveys, cooling inspections and undertake tests to ensure that cooling resilience is maintained".

Workspace Technology offers a range of Data Centre Audits and Optimisation Services deployed through an experienced team of data centre infrastructure, airflow and cooling experts tailored to help organisations address ongoing thermal issues.

For more information on Workspace Technology's Data Centre Audit & Optimisation Services please contact or call 0121 354 4894.

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