Arik S. Dvinsky, CEO and CTO, Daat Research Corp. (, says:

For data center managers wrestling with demands to increase performance, server hot spots remain the bugaboo. Would it be better to shift racks around, replace equipment or just throw more CRACS at the problem?

For some companies, CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis delivers the answer. Its 3-D models of temperatures and flow can replace guesswork with answers accurate within 10% or better. What better way to design new facilities or enhance existing ones.

Other companies haven’t been so lucky. They’ve been cheated out of the benefits of CFD because they thought it is too expensive. Despite paybacks—from reduced down time, lower operating costs, increased efficiency and improved performance, CFD has been, indeed, costly.

It is not unusual for a data center CFD consulting project to run $40,000-$80,000. And that is just the first time around. Often within months, some underlying assumptions in the analysis will change: power dissipation proves to be higher than estimates, new equipment is added or replaced with more powerful version and so on. The choice then becomes whether to re-hire the consultant or take your chances on equipment failure.

Instead of hiring consultants, you can license a CFD package and have in-house engineers run the simulations. Until recently, purchasing high-end CFD data center software cost as much as $60,000 per year. Less costly options, ranging from $20,000 to $30,000 per year, were available, but lacked the full range of capabilities and implemented simplified assumptions that produced less accurate results. Recently new full-function high-end data center software, CoolitDC, was introduced by Daat. CoolitDC runs on a laptop and sells for a small fraction of competitive products–advances built on the company’s 20 + years in CFD development for electronics. Now you can purchase high-end CFD software for well under $10,000 including training and support.