6 Helpful Tips to Keep Server Rooms and Network Closets Cool
It’s summer and things are heating up—but hot server rooms or IT equipment can spell disaster.
Most tech experts specify the optimal recommended temperature range for a server room is between 64.4ºF and 80.6ºF and relative humidity should be between 45-50%.
Check your server room, if you notice the temperature is above the mid-80ºs you may be at risk to potential equipment failure. Regular elevated temps, over time, can cause serious damage to your hardware.
1. Ensure your server room (or closet) receives adequate airflow from AC and centralized air systems.
To do this you will want to check a few things. Firstly, make sure that the room has its own dedicated intake and return vents. This way when the doors are closed to the room, air from the AC is able to enter and leave efficiently.
2. Keep Cold and Hot aisles in mind when designing your layout for server rooms.
In larger server rooms, place fronts of the racks to face each other and draw cold air from the cold aisle in and place the rear sides of the rows of racks face one another, expelling the hot air into the hot aisle.
In smaller setups the same concept can be applied. Consider the ventilation of the room, and plan the direction of your inlet and exhaust airflow based on air vents and hot air returns.
The size of your room and quantity of equipment will require different needs, but keep in mind one simple rule of thumb: Don’t push hot air from one server, into the cold air inlet of another.
3. Install IT room specific cooling equipment in addition to existing HVAC systems.
Portable Air Conditioners – Depending on the size of your server room, there are several options available. In small to mid-sized rooms, portable spot coolers working alongside your facilities. HVAC system can provide the needed boost to cool air directly coming from your racks.
Most residential AC units are not intended to run 24/7/365 which is what is needed for optimal IT functionality. Residential units will not remove moisture and humidity from the air, another concern. Improper humidity levels can lead to increased static electricity or condensation on equipment.
4. Seal your server room off from the rest of your facility.
Winters can be especially bad for overheating small server rooms. That’s why summer months can be a good time to assess your space and prepare for the upcoming winter woes. As the weather cools down, your AC will inevitably be switched to heat. This can mean hot air being pushed into your server room.
It is best to seal the space where equipment is stored. That means keeping the door closed at all times, no missing ceiling tiles, and filling in any gaps where air can escape. A dedicated AC unit or precision cooling appliance will ensure proper temps and humidity year round.
5. Keep your server room for server and network equipment only.
Critical server and networking equipment should be the only thing in your server room. Do not use it for storage or overflow for other office materials. The room should be kept closed as much as possible to maintain the proper environmental conditions.
6. 24/7 Environmental monitoring systems to alert you when temperatures rise and risk your equipment.
All the best practices to cool your server room can still fail if the power goes out, or an AC unit stops working unexpectedly. These issues often present themselves at the worst possible times, like weekends, holidays or after-hours when staff is not around to respond.
The end results are typically the same; temperatures rise to dangerous levels, and it’s not until someone hears the fans spinning loudly or the servers have stopped working entirely that steps are taken. By this time, equipment has already become compromised.
Prevent avoidable disasters and make the small investment to monitor your server environment BEFORE these issues occur.
As always, we are here to help streamline all of your IT needs. Please don’t hesitate to call or pass along our information. Give us a call today, to find out how we can help you monitor your server room to keep your equipment running optimally.