How to fix hot spots in the data center

According to a study done by Uptime Institute, 10% of racks run hotter than recommended reliability guidelines. As data center rack power densities increase to an average of 5 kW/rack or greater, one can expect that the percentage of racks with hot spots will increase beyond this value. Hot spots can result in poor server reliability, performance, or even server damage. Data center operators take a variety of actions to eliminate hot spots, however, some of these actions result in short term fixes that might come with an energy penalty and some actions may even create more hot spots.


Airflow management is an easy and cost effective way to permanently eliminate hot spots while saving energy and can avoid the capital expense of adding more cooling units. This paper describes the root cause of hot spots, recommends methods to identify them, reviews the typical actions taken, and provides the best practices to eliminate them.

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