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Hot Aisle versus Cold Aisle Containment -- What should a Bitcoin miner do?

When building datacenter infrastructure to run your mining equipment, thermal management is going to be one of your most important concerns to manage when planning and operating your mine.  Heat is not your friend in Bitcoin mining.  Have a good plan of how to deal with the heat output of miners is critical to the success of your Bitcoin mining operation.  If you are already colocating in a traditional datacenter, this choice has already been made for you.  Overwhelmingly, hot aisle containment is the standard design element in most modern datacenters. 
Hot Aisle Containment - This involves containing and removing the hot exhaust air from the miners and using it as return air for your HVAC or evacuating it from the building as quick as possible.
Cold Aisle Containment - This involves containing the area where the cold air needs to travel through the miner's intake.  You usually build a pod with doors around your racks and let the cold air in through your raised floor or overhead ducts.  The Hot air is allowed to escape into the data floor then is either used by the HVAC or is exhausted from the building.
If you are operating your own datacenter or mining operation, you will need to make this choice if you want to effectively handle many miners.  When we were looking at this, space available is really key to deciding what way to go.   Hot Aisle containment usually requires more space, higher ceilings and a clear exhaust path to run effectively. If you are building a new facility or operating in a hanger or storage warehouse, then you should have the room needed to deploy this solution.  Also not that Hot Aisle containment usually costs a little more because you need to get the exhaust stack well above the racks so it takes more material overall to build this solution. 
For most large operators, Cold Aisle containment will be the way to go, especially if you are in an existing building that isn't an empty shell.  Containing your valuable cold air in front of the Bitcoin miners so they can use it before it mixes with the exhaust will keep your miners happy and require less expense and retrofitting to install compared to a Hot Aisle containment solution.   Polargy is a company we looked at that provides both solutions and is priced in a range that Bitcoin miners and datacenter startup can appreciate.   There are other companies as well so do your research.
Lauren Miehe

Co-founder of   Washington State.


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