In today’s business world, keeping your server room cool has become a necessity because of the evolution of technology. Server equipment is now compact and complex and can easily be damaged by high temperatures. The increase in power consumption, density, and heat can spell trouble for your expensive equipment if your server room’s cooling system isn’t doing its job.
While preventative measures can go a long way to ensure that your server room’s cooling system is working at maximum efficiency, there are times when you may have to consider a complete upgrade. The last thing you want is to shut down your business because your equipment overheated.
Is it time to upgrade your server room cooling system? Let’s look at why having a cooling system is important and how to recognize the signs of failure.
Why Is It Important to Maintain Your Server Room Cooling System?
In most modern offices, the server room is a crucial component that contains the backup and core information when it comes to the data handled in the office. The equipment that stores this data is not cheap and far more sophisticated than typical office computers. This is why it’s important that server room cooling systems are properly maintained.
Here are some other reasons why having a functioning server room cooling system is vital in the IT world:
Hard Disk Failure
Server rooms are often located in the basement of the topmost floor of an office building and contain multiple racks full of networking equipment. High heat in this room can cause significant damage to hard disks and RAM. Even though RAM is typically equipped with a passive coolant, this is not sufficient in areas where temperatures are high and overheating is common.
Modern processors will automatically stop working if their sensors detect overheating and the various motherboards found in a server room create a lot of heat. These pieces of equipment have delicate parts that can be affected by changes in temperature.
When humidity in a server room gets too high, the equipment can end up corroded in as little as a few months. Upgraded cooling systems are able to lower the server room’s air temperature within a matter of minutes, which can help with humidity.
4 Signs That It’s Time to Upgrade Your Server Room Cooling System
Even if you have a cooling system installed in your server room, it’s important to know when the system may be beginning to fail. Noticing any of the following signs means it’s time for an upgrade:
1. Overheating Service Racks
If you walk into your server room and notice temperature spikes behind a bank of servers, you have an internal microclimate. This can hurt your server equipment and those hot spots need to be cooled down. Consider having additional vents installed that direct air to these hot spots.
2. You Don’t Have Backup for Power and Cooling Components
Whether your server room is impacted by a hurricane or a server fan breakdown, you need to have redundancy equipment installed. This equipment provides backup to power and cooling components – usually in the form of a backup battery and generator.
3. Maximum Capacity
Your server room has to have enough space to accommodate your server equipment. If you try to pack a server room too tight, you’re not only going to have space issues but cooling issues as well. If this is the case, it’s time to upgrade your server room and cooling system.
4. Musty Smells
If you notice a musty smell in the server room or grey/green growth on the wall, there is a mildew or mold issue. This is caused by high humidity levels which means your current cooling system is not maintaining a proper temperature in the room.
5. Improperly Working Equipment
When it comes to air conditioning systems, one common sign of failure is a weak airflow coming from the vents. You may also notice that the air isn’t cold enough or that the temperature in your computer doesn’t match the thermostat.
Don’t Ignore the Signs
If you’ve noticed any of the above four signs, there’s no point in hoping the problem will go away. It’s important to have your server room cooling system updated immediately in order to avoid damage to your company’s precious equipment.
Cooling Requirements for Server Rooms
Server rooms should be equipped with automated cooling systems that control temperature fluctuations. Sealing the room will also prevent the equipment from being negatively impacted by hot weather.
Heat generation is a normal side-effect of running any type of electrical equipment but can cause significant damage. Likewise, humidity can also wreak havoc on your server room – too little and you risk electrostatic discharge, too much and you risk corrosion.
When it comes to upgrading your server room cooling system, there are a few things you should take into consideration:
- The number of server racks and cabinets you need
- Whether or not the room is insulated or closed to sources of heat
- The number of people will be working in the server room
- The type of lighting (this can contribute to heat)
Upgraded server room cooling systems can work all day and every day to provide maximum cooling. However, these systems should be installed by an expert to ensure they work in coordination with the air humidity levels and the heating system.
You Can’t Afford to Have Your Data Center Go Down!
If you notice any signs that your cooling system is not functioning at maximum capacity, it’s time to call in the experts.
From large data centers to small computer rooms, Advantage Refrigeration will take care of your air conditioning systems, humidifiers, and HVAC ventilation. We will work with your unique needs to implement the best cooling options for your business. We can keep your cooling system in good shape with our affordable maintenance agreements and 24/7 emergency service in the Edmonton area.
Curious to learn more? Contact us today!