In-Row Cooling


In-row cooling is a data center cooling technique where cooling units are placed directly between the server racks. This method ensures efficient and targeted temperature control by capturing and neutralizing hot exhaust air from the equipment before it spreads into the room. In-row cooling minimizes energy consumption and maximizes cooling efficiency by reducing the distance cool air needs to travel.


The phonetic pronunciation of “In-Row Cooling” is:In: /ɪn/Row: /roʊ/Cooling: /ˈkuː.lɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. In-Row Cooling provides targeted cooling directly to the IT equipment, which increases efficiency and minimizes the chance of hot spots.
  2. It offers a scalable and flexible solution, allowing for easy expansion and adjustments to accommodate changes in the data center’s cooling needs.
  3. By closely matching the cooling output to the IT load, In-Row Cooling can significantly reduce energy consumption and operating costs compared to traditional data center cooling methods.


In-Row Cooling is an important technology term in the context of data center management and energy efficiency.

This advanced cooling method plays a critical role in addressing the challenges of high-density computing by placing cooling units directly between server racks, close to the heat sources.

As a result, In-Row Cooling systems allow for a targeted, efficient, and effective cooling solution that prevents hot air recirculation, reduces energy consumption, and contributes to the overall optimization of data center performance.

By providing superior heat removal capabilities and the ability to adapt to rapid changes in IT loads, In-Row Cooling is vital in ensuring the smooth operation and reliability of modern data centers while simultaneously minimizing costs and environmental impacts.


In-row cooling is a highly effective and efficient technology that has been implemented primarily in data centers to regulate the temperature inside server racks, ensuring optimal performance and mitigating the risks associated with overheating. Its purpose lies in directly addressing the heat generated by these equipment racks, which consist of servers, storage, and network devices, all producing substantial amounts of heat. Traditional cooling methods are often unable to maintain the appropriate temperature and airflow needed to sustain these high-density computing environments.

In-row cooling, however, alleviates this issue by placing cooling units within the server row itself, thus delivering targeted cooling where it is needed most. This not only reduces energy consumption but also maintains a more stable and controlled environment for the servers to operate efficiently. In-row cooling units typically consist of either air or liquid-based cooling systems placed adjacent to or integrated into the server racks.

By deploying this technology, data centers can harness many benefits, such as lower operating costs, increased energy efficiency, and more flexibility in terms of equipment layout. Moreover, in-row cooling enables IT managers to closely monitor, control, and adjust the temperature directly at the server level. Several innovative systems also incorporate advanced features such as variable-speed fans, built-in monitoring systems, and compatibility with various data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools, all aimed at ensuring maximum efficiency.

Overall, the implementation of in-row cooling technology tackles the challenges of heat dissipation in data centers, ensuring that these critical facilities continue to run seamlessly and deliver the essential services they are designed to provide.

Examples of In-Row Cooling

In-Row Cooling is an advanced cooling solution designed to manage the increasing heat loads in data centers, server rooms, and other high-density IT environments. This technology places cooling units directly between the rows of server racks, enabling more targeted and efficient temperature control. Here are three real-world examples of In-Row Cooling implementation:

Equinix Data Center (Ashburn, Virginia): Equinix, a global interconnection and data center company, has implemented In-Row Cooling technology in some of its facilities, including its data center in Ashburn, Virginia. The facility uses In-Row Cooling to handle the high-density computing requirements more efficiently, ensuring optimal performance and reduced energy consumption.

CERN (Geneva, Switzerland): The European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, uses In-Row Cooling solutions to manage the high-density and high-performance computing systems used in its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments. CERN’s computer center is a mission-critical facility, and the In-Row Cooling technology provides the necessary cooling capacity and reliability, helping to efficiently manage the thermal loads generated by the processing of the LHC data.

Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, Illinois): The Argonne National Laboratory, a leading multidisciplinary science and engineering research center in the United States, has implemented In-Row Cooling technology in its data centers to support high-performance computing. This advanced cooling technique allows Argonne to manage the high heat loads generated by its cutting-edge research activities more effectively, reducing energy consumption and providing a more sustainable computing environment.

In-Row Cooling FAQ

1. What is In-Row Cooling?

In-Row Cooling is an advanced, targeted cooling system designed for data centers. It efficiently manages heat by placing cooling units directly between the rows of server racks, distributing cold air where it is needed. This helps maintain optimal operating conditions for high-density server configurations and can significantly improve energy efficiency compared to traditional methods.

2. What are the advantages of In-Row Cooling?

In-Row Cooling offers several advantages, including better energy efficiency, increased cooling capacity, scalability, and easier control and monitoring. By cooling only the areas that require it, In-Row Cooling systems can greatly reduce energy consumption compared to traditional methods such as perimeter cooling. Also, these systems allow for precise temperature and airflow control for optimal server operating conditions.

3. Are In-Row Cooling systems suitable for all data centers?

In-Row Cooling systems can be an effective solution for many data centers, especially those with high-density server configurations. However, specific needs and requirements vary between data centers, so it’s essential to assess the suitability of In-Row Cooling for your unique facility before implementation. Some factors to consider include your data center’s location, size, and existing infrastructure.

4. How do I maintain and manage an In-Row Cooling system?

Maintaining and managing an In-Row Cooling system typically involves regular preventive maintenance, monitoring, and optimizing energy efficiency and cooling performance. Since this type of cooling system requires minimal ductwork or complex infrastructure compared to traditional cooling methods, it is generally easier to maintain. Most In-Row Cooling units come with advanced monitoring and control systems to help manage cooling performance and efficiency effectively.

5. What is the typical cost of implementing In-Row Cooling systems?

The cost of implementing In-Row Cooling systems can vary greatly based on factors such as the size of your data center, the type of cooling units used, and any necessary infrastructure upgrades to support the installation. However, while the initial investment may be higher than traditional cooling methods, In-Row Cooling systems can provide significant savings on energy costs and lead to a lower total cost of ownership in the long run.

Related Technology Terms

  • Airflow management
  • Data center cooling
  • Hot aisle containment
  • Cold aisle containment
  • Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC)

Sources for More Information


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