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Data center supplier Minkels introduces its Free Standing Cold Corridor® – for ultra-modular aisle containment

Data center supplier Minkels introduces its Free Standing Cold Corridor® – for ultra-modular aisle containment
October 10
12:24 2014

Veghel, Netherlands – Minkels, worldwide supplier of modular data center solutions and part of Legrand (quoted on NYSE Euronext Paris: LR), has launched the Free Standing Cold Corridor®. The ultra-modular aisle containment design has been developed for both corporate and commercial data centers. The self-supporting construction offers a pay-as-you-grow model for energy-efficient separation of hot and cold air flows, eliminating the need for an initial investment in racks.

The Minkels Free Standing Cold Corridor® is a fully self-supporting aisle containment design. Unlike the norm for the data center market, it allows isolated corridors to be created without data center racks. The new solution, an innovation by Minkels’ Product Development department, is an ultra-modular and therefore flexible concept for keeping hot and cold airflows separate. The method is energetically extremely efficient. From the moment it is implemented, the Free Standing Cold Corridor offers the same level of energy efficiency as a standard Cold Corridor design with data center racks.

Product development
The aisle containment design is a modular one consisting only of wall panels, roof panels and doors, offering corporate and commercial data centers a cost-efficient pay-as-you-grow model that provides energy efficiency at low startup costs (CAPEX). The far-reaching modularity in the structural details allows the Free Standing Cold Corridor to offer complete flexibility in terms of the racks and the equipment actually placed inside, including storage and network equipment.

Increasingly often, IT functionality such as storage is being delivered as complete rack systems in various sizes. The design of the Free Standing Cold Corridor gives customers the flexibility to fit other types and sizes of racks in at a later date, so that users have the freedom to adapt the Cold Corridor construction as they go along to their evolving and dynamic data center requirements.

The Free Standing Cold Corridor has been developed using clients’ best practices, working together with Minkels’ leading customers. The clients ranged from supermarkets to banks in the Netherlands, France, the UK, Switzerland and Belgium.

“The development process involved a major supermarket chain and a large European bank, among others,” says Vincent Liebe, Senior Product Manager at Minkels. “These customers needed a highly scalable aisle containment solution as a cost-effective way of providing energy-efficient housing for their rapidly growing IT infrastructures. In addition, the design had to be hugely flexible in terms of what it could contain, because they didn’t know what type of equipment or racks would be placed in the aisle containment system in the longer term.”

Add-on modules and retrofitting
Minkels’ Free Standing Cold Corridor® is compatible with the Minkels Next Generation Cold Corridor®, an aisle containment solution that does use racks to support the structure. The benefit of this is that all the optional add-on modules of the Next Generation Cold Corridor can be integrated seamlessly with the Free Standing Cold Corridor.

The optional add-on modules that are available include:

· Air flow optimisation – for increased energy efficiency.
· Data center monitoring – with plug & play integration of sensors for monitoring.
· Access security – with various (automatic) door systems.
· Fire safety – for compatibility with a wide variety of fire extinguishing systems.

The Free Standing Cold Corridor is also suitable for application in what are known as ‘retrofit’ situations, in which an existing data center has to bet given an energy-efficient aisle containment housing, without risking compromising the operational continuity of the data center.

“It’s easy to make those kinds of alterations using the Free Standing Cold Corridor,” says Mr Liebe, “Much simpler than with a customisation project. It’s more cost-efficient too. You have to see it as a customised solution based on standard products. This means that the Free Standing Cold Corridor also offers a standard route for upgrading conventional data centers and making them more efficient.”

About Minkels
Minkels ( is a knowledge-driven producer and worldwide supplier of high-quality complete solutions for data center infrastructure. The Minkels brand is part of the product portfolio of Legrand, a publicly traded company (NYSE Euronext Paris: LR) with worldwide sales in the low voltage installation, data network and data center markets. Legrand operates in more than 180 countries and achieved worldwide revenues of 4.5 billion euros in 2013.

Modularity and energy efficiency are key principles within the extensive Minkels product range. The very nature of the modularly structured data center products creates a highly scalable customer solution that responds to dynamic requirements within the data center environment. Because of their energy efficiency know-how, Minkels have been asked to provide input to European guidelines for energy efficient datacenter layouts, the so-called Code of Conduct for Data centers.

The Minkels product range includes modular solutions for data center racks (Varicon®); data center cooling, including DX cooling for small server rooms and Cold Corridor® aisle containment solutions (VariCondition®); data center power distribution (VariconPower™); data center monitoring (VariControl®); as well as a wide range of data center accessories.

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