This is a simple, cost effective, and efficient way to help reduce the environmental profile (cooling) of our data centers. For a minimal cost we could potentially save a lot of money trying to cool our IT data centers. Using only a plastic (or similar material) that would add an extra layer of abstraction between the hot and cold aisles in our data centers. They are easy to maintain and are made so as to not hinder access to cabinets, racks, frames, servers, or any other data center related equipment. From the research I have done we could potentially save between 10-20% of cooling costs per data center by do so. When you think about the cost of running a data center, the amount of electricity it takes, the rising cost of electricity, and the ever increasing challenge of keeping our data centers cool and running efficiently the cost savings of anywhere between 10-20% could be quite substantial. Google has become quite a pioneer in the IT industry when it comes to ingenuity and they are also one of the IT industries leaders in finding ways to reduce the environmental footprint of data centers for not only cost and performance reasons but also to reduce the environment impact of corporate data centers on their communities and this is one method they use to reduce those impacts. Another benefit, especially in data centers that are running out of floor space but cannot expand, is the possibility of allowing for more servers in a smaller space, thus increasing the efficiency in the use of valuable floor space. My hope is that someone reads this, thinks it might be a viable idea, looks into it, and if we could benefit from it actually turn this into something we could use to make us more efficient within the Federal space.
If you would like to learn more about the use of curtains to enhance the cooling efficiency in a data center environment please go to www.google.com and search for “use of curtains data center”.