We're a little more than halfway through the summer, and many parts of the country have experienced very hot temperatures. In New Jersey where Gaw Technology is headquartered, July was very hot with many days reaching 90 or above. Although we're now officially in August, that doesn't mean that the heat has ended. In fact, August and the early parts of September can produce some of the year's hottest temperatures. For data center professionals, this can be problematic as higher external temperatures can put their cooling systems at capacity and increase the risk of a potential shutdown. In addition to that, cooling costs can go up as well.
What Can Data Center Managers Do?
First and foremost, data center managers should consider looking at overall energy efficiency rather than a quick summer fix. Hot aisle and cold aisle containment is a crucial way to keep energy costs down and improve overall energy efficiency. In this solution, hot air is only exhaust into the designated hot aisles, and cold air is contained in cold aisles only. These aisles are separated by rigid enclosures, PVC curtains, hard panel boards, end of row doors, aisle ducts, and other methodologies. Our team can help you find the right airflow management solution, from server rack cabinets to aisle containment walls, to help you improve energy efficiency all year round.
Besides hot aisle/cold aisle containment, data center cooling experts recommend that data center staff check and maintain their cooling systems often. This means keeping all cooling equipment as clean as possible, including the area around the equipment. In addition to cleaning, test and check equipment when the temperature rises for further reassurance that your cooling system will not shut down if more is required of it. And remember that heat is not just generated by the data center equipment. People create heat as well, so you may want to restrict who can go in and out of the data center if it's hotter outside.
Finally, you can look into obtaining a temporary, portable solution if you fear that your cooling system may not be able to withstand the greater load. This can help if your budget is tight and you cannot afford to completely replace the cooling unit. Although cold air containment and regular maintenance will certainly help, an extremely hot day may require a little extra help from a portable unit.
Even though we're closing in on another summer, there are a few hot days ahead of us – and, of course, there's always next summer. As you look for ways to cool your data center without sacrificing your budget, remember these tips to help you keep your data center running efficiently – no matter the temperature outside.