A failure or an issue with air conditioning is the biggest nightmare for a data center. Most elements of a data center have redundancies including cooling. However, there are some failures, such as issues with ducting etc. that cannot be protected against. This is where spot cooling comes in.
Spot cooling is the ability to cool a very specific area without any infrastructure in place. For example, when a data center has an issue with air condition running to a specific rack cluster, due to a ducting failure, spot cooling is the fastest and most efficient holdover until the system is repaired. This is done by using one or more portable air conditioning units in the affected area.
Many data centers have several of the units on hand to deal with such emergencies. Alternatively, once the problem has been identified, a rental portable air conditioner can be used. Renting units has an advantage is that specific capacities can be requested.
There are more such uses for spot cooling in the data center. They include cooling areas where work is being carried out that does not have any air conditioning or cooling areas before the ducting is complete for central air conditioning. Regardless, portable air conditioning is an essential part of the data center contingency plan.