Hot/Cold Aisle Configuration and Containment Guidelines

vXchnge cabinets are arranged in a hot and cold aisle design and may include cold aisle containment using end of aisle sliding doors, overhead paneling, rack-mounted panels, and blocking material to control the direction of airflow. This method allows for the separation of cold and hot air in the data center. It is imperative that equipment be installed properly for maximum cooling effectiveness.


  • 100% cold and hot air separation
  • No hot air circulation
  • CRAC units drive the cold air from underneath the floor directly to the enclosed cold aisles.
  • The cold air is drawn in by the equipment fans through the cabinets to the hot aisles.
                       vXchnge_Philly_Pod_Zone                            HotColdAisle


With this configuration, cold air is supplied directly to the equipment racks. Therefore, it is vital that the equipment be correctly installed within each rack:

  • Cold Aisle Containment Doors and/or Curtains may not be propped open for convenience. Failure to maintain containment boundaries can have an adverse effect on temperatures within the cold aisles.
  • Servers and Routers must be installed with the air intake facing the cold aisle and the air discharge facing the hot aisle to ensure proper airflow from the cold-side (inside the pod) to the hot side of the pods.
  • Desktop computers should be placed on their sides, so they cover maximum shelf space and block airflow.
  • Blanking plates (provided by vXchnge, unless customer wishes to provide) must be used (facing the Cold Aisle) in empty shelf units and units with equipment in these categories:
    • All monitors, keyboards, telephones, etc, must be facing the Hot Aisles and must be blanked off from the cold aisle side of the cabinet.
    • Smaller equipment, which does not cover an entire shelve must also be facing the Hot Aisle and be connected from the hot aisle side, including laptops, disk drives, etc. and must be blanked off from the cold aisle side of the cabinet.
  • No flammable material (including cardboard boxes) is allowed inside or around the cabinets or anywhere else in the Data Center.
  • Any manuals or other paper products must be securely enclosed inside a non-flammable box when stored inside your cabinet.
  • Tools and cables must be stored in a non-flammable box.