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Airflow Dollars & Cents / How to increase Airflow ROI


“Airflow is easy, like low hanging fruit.” Although airflow is tough to see, you can feel the hot spots in a data center.  If you find yourself hitting cooling capacity and choose to improve your airflow, you may not need to invest in another CRAC unit. Incorporating improved airflow management would create a positive impact on ROI since:


(Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment)

Cost of Investment


Understanding air inconsistencies, through temperature measurement, provides valuable insight into the health of different parts of your data center, including:

  • equipment longevity
  • hot spots
  • power supply

From a dollars and cents standpoint, airflow efficiency is desired to improve ROI. That’s right, ROI is the goal and airflow analysis is the game. Airflow improvements contribute to an easily achievable element in improving the health of your data center since it directly correlates with improving performance and optimizing the current environment.

For example, by installing blanking panels to close open spaces in racks, the recycling of hot air, exhausted from the back of the equipment, can be reduced.  Unrestricted recycling of hot air causes equipment to heat up unnecessarily and may require lower set points from your cooling equipment. By optimizing the airflow within your server racks, you can help insure your critical IT equipment is being cooled in the most power efficient manner. For more examples, check out APC’s white paper.

“Smart airflow can improve the efficiency and health of your data center, from a dollars and cents standpoint.”

Chris Dyas, Sales Engineer

Chris Dyas, one of 42U’s top sales engineers and leading subject matter expert for over 15 years, compares the goal of an airflow ROI to that of a solar panel ROI: “It may take ten years to pay off blanking panels in your rack because we’re talking about cents.” When addressing the health of a data center, we’re really addressing the cooling strategy and eliminating potential failure of detrimental failure equipment, like a power supply. Without effective cooling for your servers, replacement costs will be far greater than implementing preventative measures at the beginning.

The true ROI of improving your airflow would come from the ability to:

  • more effectively cool your equipment to prevent premature failure,
  • eliminate hotspots,
  • and inevitably lower overall costs through an improved airflow management strategy.

How have you found that improved airflow has helped you? We want to know.

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