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Server Room Too Hot? 3 Tips for Cooling Things Down

Server Room Too Hot? 3 Tips for Cooling Things Down

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, September 14 6:00

Heat can be a hard-drive killer, causing the sensitive components to wear out much more quickly than they would in cooler temperatures. For server rooms, this is especially important, since most businesses rely on servers to deliver the applications and files the use each day. One hard drive failure can lead to an interruption in service in addition to the expense of replacement.

But for server administrators, keeping a data center cool can be a challenge. The combined heat of so much equipment in a small space easily forces temperatures up on a regular basis. If left unchecked, these temperatures will damage multiple hard drives, leading to consistent server failures that can seriously impact a business s ability to function. Here are three tips for keeping temperatures low in a room filled with server equipment.

Maintain a Dedicated A/C System

It s important to find a temperature that keeps equipment safe without wasting electricity keeping it cooler than necessary. Industry experts caution that below 50 degrees is too cold, while above 82 degrees is too warm. This is a wide expanse, however, so for best results, check the manufacturer recommendations on the specific servers your server room has in place.

In most cases, this means installing a dedicated air-conditioning system for the room where server equipment is stored. Have this system cleaned and serviced regularly and make sure you have a backup generator to keep the room and it s a/c unit operational in the event of a power failure.

Upgrade the Room

If your server room was built a while ago, consider bringing in an expert to determine where upgrades can be made to keep things cooler. You may find that the room isn t properly insulated or the air conditioning is venting from the wrong area of the room. A small change may keep your room cooler without forcing your unit to work overtime.

Heat rises. If your server room was inserted into an existing space without customizing it for the equipment, you may find you re trapping heat unintentionally. If you have a drop ceiling, you can remove a few of the panels and better vent the hot air. Server rack blanking panels will prevent your racks from trapping heat internally, keeping equipment cooler.

Unblock Airflow

Once cause of overheating in equipment is obstruction. Check your racks to make sure nothing is blocking airflow behind each server. This may mean taking time to reorganize cables, which can easily become tangled over time. Use cable ties to keep cables in place after you ve finished with your organizational project.

If you plan to reorganize your racks, this may mean taking systems down briefly in order to reroute cables. For that reason, it may be something you want to do during less busy times, such as weekends when workers aren t in the office.

If you re dealing with a server room that tends to run on the warm side, there are a few things you can do to keep things cooler. For best results, keep fans and a portable air-conditioning unit on hand as a temporary backup measure in case your main air conditioner in the room fails unexpectedly.

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