Introducing the SwitchFix – A Passive Cooling Solution for Network Switching Equipment from Upsite Technologies

The SwitchFix is a new line of passive ducting solutions to cool network switches and complements Airflow Management best practices.


Upsite Technologies®, Inc., is pleased to announce the release of our passive switch cooling solution, SwitchFix. Network switches are a vital component in modern data center racks. However, the cooling flow path and mounting location of many switches result in high intake air temperatures the switches are using to try and cool themselves. Additionally, exhaust air from switches causes hot spots for adjacent equipment. Simply stated, many switches are not designed to support Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle configurations. Adding a SwitchFix changes this easily without the need for additional energy usage, allowing your switch to benefit from cooler airflow and comply with Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle separation.

Network switching equipment typically sits at the top and back portion of the server rack. This placement makes it difficult for cold air from the cold aisle to get from the front of the rack to the Network Switch intakes. In these cases, SwitchFix provides proper cooling by creating a flow path through a passive duct from the front of the rack to the network switch intake.

Unlike other types of server equipment, which has cooling air intakes in the front and heat exhaust in the rear, many network switches are designed with the following airflow paths:

  • Cooling air intakes facing the Hot Aisle - Hot air exhaust to the side or rear, toward the cold aisle.
  • Cooling air intakes on sides of the switch - Hot air exhaust towards the rear, but facing the cold aisle.
  • Cooling air intakes on the front or cold aisle, but sits too far back in the rack - Hot air exhaust from the rear to the hot aisle.

The SwitchFix solves these non-conforming Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle configuration airflow problems by passively channeling the cooling air to the device intakes and channeling the hot exhaust air into the Hot Aisle. When asked about the importance of airflow management related to server switches, Lars Strong, Sr. Engineer at Upsite Technologies, said, “Much like adding grommets to the raised floor or sealing the vertical plane at the face of racks with blanking panels, SwitchFix is another passive device that improves airflow management and is a prerequisite for optimizing cooling efficiency of any computer room configuration."
The SwitchFix comes in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of many switches in use in today’s data centers. Each unit adjusts in depth to accommodate various rack depths and mounting rail locations. The SwitchFix easily accommodates switches with front, rear, and side air intakes.

The SwitchFix comes in 11 models and will accommodate nearly 350 of the 1U and 2U switches on the market today. It is suitable for new builds and is also designed to easily retrofit switches operating in existing racks without downtime. A guide determining which SwitchFix unit is appropriate for your network switch is available via download on the Upsite website.
Upsite Technologies’ new SwitchFix passive switch cooling solution, is the latest addition to their HotLok® line of products and is now available through Upsite's distribution partners.