How to improve your Hot Aisle and Cold Aisle approach in your Data Center

If you own a private or colocation (colo) Data Center you know that temperature is one of many enemies.

Keeping your infrastructure properly cooled is crucial for optimal operation and longevity of your investment.

When we are dealing with servers there is no problem since their depth will equal to the depth size of the typical rack dimensions:

  • Depth: 47.2 in
  • Height: 81 in
  • Width: 31.5 in

The only thing you have to do is to make sure to order proper intake fans to accommodate hot/cold aisle approach.

Problem is with most of the networking gear where typically depth is less than standard rack size dimensions.

For example Cisco 2960x dimensions are as follow:

  • Depth: 14.50 in
  • Height: 1.75 in
  • Width: 17.5 in

As you can see the depth is far less than what we need. Because of that hot/cold aisle approach will be jeopardize due to heat or cold air being stranded inside the rack making the flow broken.

Airflow Problem
Airflow Problem

In order to fix that problem we can leverage so called sleeves or air ducks.

As a sample I would recommend the followings to improve your airflow system:

    • Cisco branded sleeve originally developed for Nexus 2000 Fabric Extenders but they work perfect as well with Nexus 3000 switches. By its custom design I would not use them for anything else.


  • Panduit CDE2
    • From Panduit website: This Net-Direct™ Air Inlet Duct provides cold airflow directly into the switch but it also reduces fan power consumption by up to 250W, improving energy efficiency and reliability for increased cost savings.

Panduit CDE2

  • Panduit CDE1
    • From Panduit website: This Net-Direct™ Air Inlet Duct provides cold airflow directly into Cisco 4948, 4928, and 4924 switch intakes from below.

Panduit CDE1

Now Panduit offers wast amount of different airflow ducks and I would strongly recommend checking their website out. They provide custom air ducks for almost any device.

If you are in the process of a green field design or just trying to improve your existing one please make their website one of your stops.

I hope this has been informative to you and thanks for stopping by.



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