Monitoring Temperature in Server Racks

Posted by Gaw Technology on 1/23/2013 to Data Center Topics

Monitoring the temperature and humidity inside your server racks, server rooms, and data centers is crucial in protecting your equipment and guarantying optimal performance and high network uptime.


Many IT technicians and data center operators make the mistake of monitoring conditions at room level only, while ignoring the conditions at the rack level.  This could be a major mistake since the rack level temperature is the temperature that the equipment is actually exposed to..

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends no less than six temperature sensors per rack: top, middle and bottom of both front and back of your server racks.

At the very minimum, you should be monitoring the temperature per server rack at three points:

1.    The bottom front of the rack, to verify the temperature of the cold air arriving to the rack
Note: This should be combined with airflow monitoring.

2.    The top front of the rack, to make sure cold air is reaching the top of the rack

3.    The top back of the rack, which is typically the hottest part of the rack

§  Intake temperature should be between 64° - 80°F (18° - 27°C).

§  Outtake temperature should typically not exceed 35°F (20°C) above the intake temperature, which means it should typically be less than 105°F (40°C).

Why is temperature monitoring so important? You should be okay if you have auto shutdown in place, right? Well, not really. High-end systems do have auto shutdown functionality to protect against overheating, but this shutdown often happens too late -- after systems experience computation errors, which can significantly affect business performance. 

So, don’t neglect the ultimate protection for your equipment -- protection at rack level.  Talk to a specialist

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