What to Do When Your Server Room Experiences a Cooling Issue
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, November 07 6:00
No matter what your office temperature is, your server room likely stays in the same cool range year round. Experts recommend a server room maintain a steady temperature of between 69 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit. While there is a little flexibility on either side of that range, if your room drops below 50 degrees or above 82 degrees, you could have a problem.
Most businesses build dedicated cooling systems into their data centers and server rooms to keep their equipment cool. The more servers and peripherals a business has running, the warmer a room can naturally get, forcing air conditioning units to work around the clock to keep up. With all of that hard work, it s fairly easy to see how a system can eventually break, especially if regular maintenance isn t performed on it. Here are a few immediate actions you should take once you realize your server space isn t maintaining the correct temperature.
Call for Maintenance
If you don t have an arrangement that allows for emergency, around-the-clock service on your server room s cooling system, set that up immediately. Every hour your room runs at a dangerous temperature increases the risk of permanent damage to the sensitive components inside your servers. While systems can be replaced, having your applications, databases, and files out of commission while you set up a new server can be bad for business. If you have outdated systems that would be difficult to replace quickly, it s especially important that you keep your server room at a safe temperature at all times.
Turn Off Non-Critical Equipment
While you wait for help to arrive, consider any equipment you can power off, starting with displays. Determine which equipment is non-essential at the moment and shut those servers down, as well. There may be servers that solely house applications that aren t currently in use. Even by reducing a slight amount of energy output, you may be able to lower the temperature in the room by several degrees.
Use Portable Cooling
During your wait, you should also attempt to keep the room as cool as possible. Open all doors to room to benefit from the airflow from the surrounding building. If the room has a window and temperatures are cool outside, open that window and carefully monitor the temperature. Place fans at each doorway to draw the cooler air in. If you find yourself dealing with a prolonged wait for maintenance, purchase portable air conditioners to keep the room at a cool temperature temporarily. With the doors open, you ll also need to make sure someone monitors foot traffic in the area, since the room will be unsecured until you can once again lock it down.
Server rooms need constant cooling to keep equipment safe, but air conditioning systems can fail. To minimize the risk, perform routine maintenance and have a vendor who can arrive quickly if you ever need repair work. Also keep extra box fans in storage so that you ll be ready to take swift action if you notice the temperature in your server room has exceeded 82 degrees.