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Do I plan for hot aisle containment in my data center or cold aisle containment?

If you have a choice, you should design a data center based on hot aisle isolation. Both cold aisle containment and hot aisle containment are equally effective but hot aisle containment does offer some advantages.

Since hot air rises you can uses physics to your advantage. You won’t have to force air through the system, which means less energy and lower energy costs.

The larger difference is in case of a catastrophic emergency where you lose power and cooling capability for an extended period of time. In such an instance, the surrounding cold aisle areas, which are typically larger in square footage, act as insulation, keeping the entire data center more stable. In one experiment a data center manager, using hot aisle isolation, purposely turned off the power in the data center. Because they used hot aisle isolation, the cold air aisle had enough cool air to keep the data center cool enough to operate for eight hours before he had to turn the air conditioning on again.

If the situation were reversed, and you had a cold aisle surrounded by larger areas of warm air, the operating time of your data center would be significantly decreased.

That being said, it depends on the infrastructure you are starting with. Where is your existing HVAC, CRAC units and other components? These things may dictate whether you use hot aisle or cold aisle isolation. The best thing to do is consult your Simplex expert.

What is the difference between meat locker curtains and Simplex curtains?

Simplex curtains are made from specially formulated compounds designed specifically for data center applications. If your application requires it, Simplex offers data center curtains that are Class A fire rated for smoke and flame and meet the requirements of NFPA regulations for use in the data center.

Other variations of Simplex curtains are resistant to static electricity, and since this is part of the curtain compound, this ESD resistance is permanent, unlike many other ESD-resistant curtains which are only protected by a spray-on application that wears off in a few months. Simplex curtains are also formulated to prevent outgassing and the release of vapors that could affect the operation of the servers in your data center.

Simplex does exhaustive testing of these materials to certify that will perform in the manner you need them to.

What is the advantage of strip doors as opposed to solid doors for the data center?

The advantage of strip doors in a data center is that they are less expensive and offer quick ingress and egress for data center personnel. They offer almost the same level of protection as solid doors.

The Simplex line of both sliding and swing doors for the data center offer a more attractive look, especially for high-profile data centers where there is considerable VIP and client traffic. Solid doors can also be outfitted with locks for added security, a feature that is especially important for co-location centers.

Are your curtains compliant with NFPA regulations?

Yes, Simplex curtains have been tested and found to be compliant with the most recent NFPA regulations for smoke and flame tests. Additionally our electromagnetic fuse links are resettable, which is another requirement of NFPA regulations 75 and 76 (click here to see video).

What are the requirements for flame resistance in a data center?

Every geographical area is different. You will need to determine the fire marshal who has jurisdiction in your area. This can be at either the city, county or state level. The best place to start is at City Hall or the County Fire Marshal.

If we have fire suppression in the aisles of our data center, do we need fuse links?

If the fire suppression in your aisles meets the satisfaction of the fire marshal, then you will not need fuse links.

Do you install your data center enclosures?

Simplex works with a nationwide network of dealers that also offer installation services. We will make sure you are paired with a dealer who can offer you such services.

Is a dropped ceiling t-grid adequate to support the added weight load of the curtain?

In most cases yes, but the installers will make sure that measures are taken to make sure that the installation of your data center is safe and solid and will meet the requirements of inspectors.

Are your data center enclosures designed to meet seismic requirements?

If you are attached to the T-grid assembly of your ceiling, then the T-grid should already be certified for seismic requirements, so your enclosure will also be seismically safe.

Can your data center enclosures be supported by threaded rod?

Yes, we offer special hardware that allows Simplex data center components to be suspended by threaded rod.