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CFD Analysis Benefits Every Type of Data Center

Posted by: Stéphane Bourgeois on June 23, 2016

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running an enterprise data center, a colocation/multi-tenant data center (MTDC) or a hyperscale/cloud data center: Data center managers are responsible for controlling availability, capacity and efficiency performance.

Data center environments are dynamic; just like the technology they support, they must be flexible and adaptable. To keep up with the pace of today’s high-tech applications and demands, change is necessary. But some level of risk is always associated with making a change inside your data center, as it could impact those performance factors through unplanned downtime, product incompatibility or slower service.

A simple but effective CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis tool combines IT asset data, physical architecture, power, cooling, networking and airflow simulation to help data center managers better implement changes.

A simple but effective CFD analysis tool can help data center managers better implement changes.

This simulation software can be used for predictive modeling, what-if scenarios and capacity planning. It provides valuable information about the current state of your data center, as well as predictions about its potential future state based upon proposed changes so you can make decisions that eliminate negative impact on availability, capacity or efficiency.

CFD analysis software is useful in all sizes and types of data centers.

Enterprise Data Centers


Each data center operator eventually assembles a unique configuration of devices over time. The way these devices are designed and interact with each other determines a data center’s usable capacity and downtime threats. By simulating changes with a CFD analysis tool before changes ever occur, enterprise managers can discover the best data center configurations before devices and equipment are placed or moved.

Enterprise data center managers can use CFD analysis software to:

  • Visually assess cooling airflow and equipment temperatures
  • Investigate causes of and potential solutions to overheating
  • Pre-test any scenario or configuration to ensure thermal and electrical resilience of IT assets
  • Pinpoint which IT assets will fail in a given configuration to avoid downtime
  • Run failure scenarios to confirm availability after a potential change
  • Compare the impacts of different vendor equipment on the data center space
  • Increase usable capacity and rack utilization without sacrificing availability
  • Determine the best location for new equipment deployment to reduce impact on the rest of the room

Hyperscale/Cloud Data Centers


Hyperscale/cloud data center managers can use CFD analysis tools to design, commission and operate their facilities while reducing risk and costs. By simulating any changes before they happen, you gain the predictive accuracy necessary to safeguard your business against the uncertainty of data center performance.

Hyperscale/cloud data center managers can use CFD analysis tools to design, commission and operate their facilities while reducing risk and costs.

Model IT equipment by leveraging existing CAD files and utilizing a large number of intelligent parts, such as components, heat sinks, fans, PCBs, thermoelectric coolers, heat exchangers and heat pipes. The simulation will accurately predict the cause and effect of design or device changes on data center availability, capacity and efficiency.

Hyperscale/cloud data center managers can use CFD analysis software to:

  • Design for maximum achievable power and cooling capacities, from the chip to the chiller
  • Design and configure IT devices from scratch with risk-free testing
  • Simulate how well racks and other equipment perform with a chosen IT configuration
  • Understand the impact of planned changes before they actually happen
  • Plan data center refreshes using equipment and technology of the future without downtime risk
  • Predict how availability, physical capacity and cooling efficiency will interact
  • Know true boundary conditions for power density, outflow demand and footprints
  • Ensure that critical components operate below required temperature specifications under stress conditions

Colocation Data Centers/Multi-Tenant Data Centers (MTDCs)


By using CFD analysis simulation, colocators can determine the best way to design and operate data center space before equipment is moved or put in place. The simulated results can also be shown to prospective tenants to prove the value you offer and indicate how you can support their IT needs.

Colocation data center/multi-tenant data center managers receive financial benefits and uncover valuable information from CFD analysis, such as:

  • Predictions about future saleable capacity, as well as current data center capacity
  • Consolidated view of space sold vs. space available to quickly close a sale
  • Proof that service legal agreements meet power and cooling specifications
  • Creation of custom rack layouts and predict the impact of various power densities
  • Impact of hot-aisle vs. cold-aisle containment to identify which option provides the highest savings
  • Reduced utility costs through optimization of cooling controls that regulate VFDs and air temperature
  • Effects of CRAC maintenance and failure on data center space
  • Risk level associated with selling or leasing a space

Virtual Facility simulation software, available to Belden clients through a partnership with Future Facilities, combines 3D modeling and CFD analysis to demonstrate predictive modeling, what-if scenarios and capacity planning within all types of data center spaces. When you see the cause and effect of potential data center changes, you can eliminate uncertainty and feel confident about a change’s impact on availability, capacity and efficiency.

Interested in learning more about using CFD analysis software in your data center? Contact us! And to learn more about Belden’s data center solutions, designed to reduce costs, increase availability, simplify installation and maximize space utilization, click here.

Do you think your data center would benefit from CFD analysis?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below!


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Tags:Data Center, Hyperscale Data Centers

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