Monday, January 04, 2010

Maintaining Server Room Temperatures

A server room is the brain of any effective well-networked company. However, this area is also most susceptible to failure.

Your servers aren’t the only thing you’re paying heavily for in your office environment. For every $1 you spend on computing equipment and services, chances are that you probably spend another $1 for the power and cooling to keep that equipment running. Even with all the cost funneled through just to this one sector of your business, it remains that over heating (in even an otherwise well-cooled establishment) is the number one cause of malfunction and data loss.

The Emerson Network Power, in coordination with the U.S. EPA and the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, released survey data entitled “Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency”. The report received participation from more than 150 Digital Communications User Group members and companies, as well as non-member Fortune 500 companies. Central issues within this report included issues of power management, precision cooling, energy efficiency, technology implementation and consolidating.

Why Traditional Systems Don’t Work

Computer equipment ages quicker when hot, and for individual machines such as home or office desktops, the internal fans and cooling mechanisms are often sufficient at keeping temperatures within safe operating limits. However, in data centers and server rooms, this may not be the case. Modern server equipment generates enormous amounts of heat, and today's machines run faster and hotter. Moreover, server rooms may even be prone to "hot spots" which can build up behind equipment racks or near larger machines, and if not addressed, this can cause premature failures.

Increased humidity levels can also affect your server room because high humidity levels can damage equipment by causing corrosion and rust. Thus, preventing humidity changes and variations is imperative in order to avoid environmental conditions where there may be excess condensation, so the optimal humidity levels for a server room or data center should range from 40 to 55 percent. Lastly, another problem that can plague server rooms is insufficient airflow often due to the server room's design. As such, all of these environmental temperature problems and fluctuations usually call for the installation of separate cooling systems.

What You Can do to Safeguard Your Server

As seen through the convergence of top companies and associations, cooling and energy efficiency is a major concern in any IT related industry. In a nutshell, the failure to meet requirements that are energy efficient and capable stems from miscommunication between IT professionals and facilities management. As such, even the best and most well-conditioned environments face considerable temperature gaps when it comes to the server room. The best way to gauge the temperature of your server room is with a Honeywell programmable thermostat.

Monitoring Server Room Temperatures is brought to you by Honeywell-Thermostat.

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