Cold aisle containment

Previously when I've been in datacenters they've either been cold throughout due to over-engineered chilling systems or they've had a hot aisle containment system where it's pretty sweaty around the back of the servers.

Today I went into a data hall and the aisle the server fronts faced was contained by a roof and doors at either end but the servers' exhausts were straight out into the bulk of the room. There didn't seem to be any difference between the temperature in the contained area to the rest of the room.

Is this normal or have they installed the containment system back to front?
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Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:

In fact when you are talking about "Cold Air Containment" it is essential that  there's a "cold aisle" as you have described, facing to the front of the system racks. The exhaust is to the room itself. But this system must be supported by an array of Air conditioners to further dissipate the heat from the room. If you have observed that there was no heat in the room then it must be supported b such a system.

The normal application is to place the aisle to the front. Because Server cases are designed to suck air at the front and flow it through the circuitry then exhaust the hot air it at the back. if you place the system back through the aisle, server would get the air from the room and exhaust it to the cold aisle. IT would be no use then.  

andyalderAuthor Commented:
They have got it wrong way around, but they don't have the right ducting to use it as a hot aisle containment system. Therefore it's a bit of a white elephant, there's as much cold air released into the main portion of the data hall as there is released into the "cold" aisle so the containment system isn't doing anything useful.
Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
Then they'd rather "Plug and pray" :))
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