We are in the high heat of the summer and thermal control in server rooms is important. An inadequately maintained climate in a server room can be costly and result in loss of business due to downtime, lost productivity and loss of data if equipment is damaged.
Here are some simple ways to keep server rooms and network closets cool.
Ensure your server room or closet receives adequate airflow from centralized air systems and AC.
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 can enter and leave efficiently. Independently measure the ambient temperature in the room and compare that to what the temperature control is set at. If the temperature control is set to something different than your independent test, it could mean that it is not receiving enough airflow, or the return airflow is not taking enough air out to control the climate effectively.
Design the server room layout with cold and hot aisles in mind.
Do not push hot air from one server into the cold air inlet of another. Arranging hot and cold aisles is a method of placing server racks to ensure that they are all pushing hot air in a different direction then the cold air intake. For example, lining up server racks in alternating rows with cold air intakes facing one way and hot air exhausts facing the other. The rows composed of rack fronts are called cold aisles. The rows the heated exhausts pour into are called hot aisles.
Cables can release heat energy due to the electrical current that runs through them. When cables are bunched up in an unorganized way they do not allow for proper airflow. Remove any cables that are not being used and keep cables organized to improve airflow and reduce energy waste. NavePoint offers a wide selection of cable management options including cable ties, rack-mount horizontal or vertical raceways, hook and loop ties and hook and loop rolls.
Use blanking panels.
Use blanking panels in empty slots of server racks to prevent cold air from passing too quickly and hot air from getting trapped in vacant spaces. If you do not use filler panels, hot air is able to get in between the empty spaces and significantly reduce the effectiveness of the cool air that comes into the server room. Minimizing bypass airflow and eliminating exhaust air re-circulation helps reduce operating costs, improve performance and extend the lifespan of your equipment. NavePoint offers a wide range of blanking panel options ranging from 1U to 8U capacities and offered in non-vented, perforated and slotted venting styles.
Keep cool air contained.
Seal the space where equipment is stored. This can be done by keeping the door closed, replacing any missing ceiling tiles, repairing cracks and filling any gaps where cool air can escape and raise energy costs.
Remove unused server products.
Only critical networking and server products should be in the server room. It is not recommended that you use your server room as storage for other materials or as a spare office space. When there are additional items in the room then more airflow will be needed to cool and push air around. Try to avoid storing anything and avoid going into the room as much as possible. The server room should only be entered to complete routine maintenance and troubleshooting tasks to help maintain the proper environmental conditions.
Remove or relocate hot lighting and equipment.
If you are using a repurposed room or closet for your server room, then chances are fluorescent tubes may not have been installed for the initial purpose. Fluorescent bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient at creating light, with only 10% going to visible light, and 90% going towards creating heat between 150° to 250°F. Additionally, if there are other additional computers, screens or equipment that are not needed in the server room, these should be removed as they will produce additional heat and need to be relocated.
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