Posted by: PTSacco
Tech Target journalist, Mark Fontecchio, asked me to speak on the topic of Hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment and how it stokes fire-code issues. In a summary, Hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment is a way for data centers to isolate hot and cold air streams so they don’t mix with one another and cause energy inefficiencies. In the process of mixing these air streams it is very easy to violate the numerous fire codes that require detection and prevention devices throughout the room. I told Mark that in short, there is no good fire suppression methodology for inside rack containment systems. For that purpose, coupled with temperature variance in a hot aisle, we choose to do it in different ways. One of the major things I stressed to Mark and to any facilities manager is to always be in compliance with your local fire inspector, because if they conduct an inspection, see something they weren’t notified about and don’t like it, they could shut you down. Many people deploy these systems in ignorance of the law. Many people do it and manufacturers are manufacturing the pieces, but the local inspector is the final authority. If the local inspector doesn’t realize what’s going on, the whole job might not be compliant, which will cost you major bucks to rectify.
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