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How to Keep Your Server Rooms Cool

This article originally appeared on M&I in 4/18

Summer is just around the corner and as temperatures begin to rise, your server room could be at risk if the proper precautions haven't been taken. Designing a successful layout for your server room is not a task to be taken lightly. Taking the right steps will extend the life of your servers, and help avoid potential downtime. Wondering if the hot summer days will mean a possible meltdown for your hardware? Read on to discover a few of the important things to consider to ensure your server room stays cool, even in the summer!

  • HVAC systems in the facility aren't enough by themselves. Consider installing precision cooling and containment equipment. 

  • For larger server rooms, use hot/cold aisle layout. This will help conserve energy, manage airflow, and lower cooling costs.

  • If your server room is on the smaller side, pay attention to the direction of your inlet and exhaust airflows when designing your layout. Try to ensure you're not pushing warm air from one server into the cold air inlet of another.

  • Buildup of dust can cause overheating, so be sure to allow for ventilated, open spaces.

  • Install equipment to monitor the humidity and heat. In the event something goes awry, it will alert your team so you can get ahead of any problems.

  • Ventilation and cooling is key! Consider installing raised floors, in-row cooling, and self-cooling cabinetry. 

  • Don't use your thermostat to gauge your server room temperature. Use an independent device instead.

  • Dust is the enemy! Seal the room as much as possible. 

  • Seeing a sudden spike in your server room's temperature? Siphon the heat quickly by removing a few ceiling tiles. (Keep in mind, your building's fire code might not allow this. If that's the case, you might consider adding a vent above the doorway instead).

  • One approach that definitely takes more time to implement (but might be a much better fit for your organization in the long run), is moving your servers to the cloud! Utilizing this strategy comes with a lot of benefits, not least of which is the ability to bring in a third-party service provider. They'll focus on keeping their data center up and running, so you can turn your attention to other matters. 

Arielle Mullen