The Ops4Less model of IT Operations cost control:
P A I D ™
Lower data center cooling costs
The data center cooling model has changed. We now aim to cool individual pieces of equipment and are not as concerned with overall ambient temperatures.
Model the facility's airflow and use the results to architect tile layout and equipment placement.
In order to maintain a constant operating temperature, a server needs an amount of cool air equivalent to the power it consumes. Bypass air, blockages, recirculation hot air and airflow restrictions impact this, but the front of a piece of equipment, where the equipment draws in cool air, needs a very specific amount of air measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The typical plan is also designed so that air exiting the equipment rises 20 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) from the air entering the equipment.
The two-foot-by-two-foot tile directly in front of a server rack should be the sole source of that rack's cooling needs. All the airflow coming out of the tile should be drawn into the rack and the installed equipment.
Much more detail from Lucian Lipinsky de Orlov, SearchDataCenter.com