Silicon Valley actors conversing in cold aisle containment area of large data center

If you’re prone to “Netflix and Chill” or like to head to the theater for new movie releases, you may have noticed that hold and cold aisle containment, or hot and cool solutions for the most efficient data centers, are having a moment.

From award-winning TV series like HBO’s Silicon Valley to popcorn flicks starring Johnny Depp, aisle containment systems are being featured prominently in popular culture, introducing new audiences to their qualities, benefits, and what makes them necessary.


Of course, there are three different types of hot and cold aisle containment, including:

  • Single row
  • Entire server room
  • Self-supported systems


And they have many benefits, like:

  • Proper airflow keeps the servers working and the data safe
  • Redistributing the air can be more energy-efficient than straight-up “cooling”
  • Helps your servers perform at more optimal levels


Here are some of the most recent movies and TV series to feature aisle containment solutions and data centers.

Hot and Cold Aisle Containment in TV and Movies


Silicon Valley on HBO

Silicon Valley devs walking through aisle containment in data center

From co-creator Mike Judge (Office Space), Silicon Valley is about the trials and errors of tech start-up Pied Piper, a compression service and cloud storage platform.

In the Season 3 episode titled “Maleant Data System Solutions,” Richard (Thomas Middleditch), Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), and Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) take a tour of where their Pied Piper box would fit in in the data center. The center is so large that the three get lost when their tour guide ditches them.


The Circle (2017)

Actors walking through data center with aisle containment system

Directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), this 2017 film starring Emma Watson, John Boyega, and Tom Hanks is based on the novel by Dave Egger about a woman (Watson) who lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle. However, she soon uncovers an agenda that affects the lives of all of humanity.

In this scene, Ty (Boyega) shows Mae (Watson) secrets about the company she works for, which includes keeping information on people. Learn more about The Circle.


Transcendance (2014)

Famour actors in cold aisle containment room in movie transcendence

Johnny Depp becomes “everywhere” in this sci-fi thriller, Transcendence also starring Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, and Cillian Murphy, among other A-listers. In the film, Depp stars as Dr. Will Caster, the leading researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, who uploads his consciousness into a program and becomes digitally sentient.

Of course, he has to be stored somewhere, as he soon finds himself permeating all technology.


Mr. Robot on USA Network

Mr. Robot actor connects wires to open aisle containment room

On the sci-fi thriller series about a young cyber-security engineer/vigilante hacker, Steel Mountain serves as a data security facility near Albany, NY, based on Iron Mountain, a real-world company which offers records management, information destruction, data backup, and recovery services.

Naturally, Elliot (Rami Malek) and Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) want to hack the facility because it’s E-Corp’s data storage center. And in the climactic Season 1, Episode 5, “eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv,” he does so, manipulating the facility’s temperature settings. Clearly, Elliot knows the best (and in this case—worst) practices when it comes to keeping data centers cool.


Black Mirror, “San Junipero” episode from Season 3 on Netflix

View of data center enclosed by aisle containment system

On the surface, “San Junipero” is about a couple (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis) who meets at a beachside town and fall in love. But in reality, and because of course this is Netflix’s Black Mirror,  it’s something else entirely.

Spoiler alert: San Junipero is a simulated reality where the deceased can live on as their younger selves. At the end of the episode, it shows the data center where these “selves” are stored for all of eternity. From S1, Ep5

What data centers in TV shows and movies have you recognized recently?

Aisle Containment System Needs

If you’re looking for versatile, turnkey hot and cold aisle containment systems, Cool Shield provides customers a wide range of offerings for new and existing critical spaces. From a single server row to a server room and data facilities, Cool Shield supports systems for both hold and cold aisle containment.