When Does It Get Too Hot in the Data Center?

Posted by Gaw Technology on 8/19/2015 to Data Center Topics

Unfortunately, your data center hardware cannot operate in every temperature. For example, if the data center gets too hot, which can easily happen on a warm summer day, your equipment is old, you have an inefficient layout, or if the server is being overused, this could result in the equipment getting overheated. This result could be detrimental to your operations and bottom line. For example, most servers shut down when they hit their 99% threshold. This is done to protect the equipment, but it can result in the loss of pertinent data. It could also cost a fortune.

According to statistics reported in a blog post from SHI™, server downtime could result in a loss of on average $7,900 a minute, and larger companies may experience losses far greater than that. Mega companies, like Amazon, could lose as much as $66,000 a minute. Although Amazon can afford it, that is still a lot of money. For a smaller company, losses like these could greatly impact business and may even result in an eventual closure.

Did we scare you yet? Luckily, there are some quick solutions that you can apply to help keep your computer room cool. For the most part, these solutions will deal with the layout and equipment used to house your hardware as these can greatly impact airflow. Computer cabinets, racks, containment curtains, and air plenums are just some of the ways data center managers are improving airflow management.   For more information about computer cabinets and other data center equipment solutions, please visit our website at http://www.gawtechnology.com. Here are several ways you can improve cooling in your data center to prevent overheating:

How Are Your Aisles Arranged?

If you have all of your aisles arranged in the same way so everything is facing the same way, this is terrible for airflow management. Hot and cold aisle layouts have been shown to greatly improve energy efficiency in keeping the data center cool. When hot and cold air mix, which can happen in older legacy arrangements, this makes your cooling system work a lot harder. It's for this reason why studies have shown that data centers can waste as much as 60% of all energy used. In addition to that, mixing may make finding hot spots that much more difficult.  Exhausting heat efficiently is also very important to eliminating these hot spots. Plenums and air handlers are very good solutions to help exhaust heat. 

Have You Used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling?

We often think of CFD modeling when we're talking about the initial design of a data center, but CFD modeling should actually be used throughout any major change that takes place in the data center. CFD simulations use fluid dynamics to help designers determine where hot spots most likely will be. However, if changes take place, these simulations may change too. If you upgrade your equipment, add hardware, or implement a new cooling system, CFD modeling can help you optimize the design of the room to ensure adequate cooling.

Is Your Cooling System the Problem?

If you're a residential homeowner, you know that you should probably get your HVAC unit changed every ten years or so. Additionally, every year should get it inspected to make sure there aren't any unforeseen problems that may affect its performance. We all know what a poorly maintained system looks like. If it does work, it isn't nearly efficient as it needs to be. The same holds true for a data center cooling system. Taking preventative actions, like allowing an HVAC professional to inspect your cooling system for any potential inefficiencies or problems, can help mitigate major risks that could result in downtime. 

How Old Is Your Data Center Equipment?

Sometimes your cooling issues have nothing to do with the cooling system or the design of the computer room. It could be as simple as getting rid of older servers and other hardware that are not using energy efficiently. Take inventory of your hardware to see if any should be replaced with newer, more efficient models.  To that same end, it might be a good idea to see if any of your hardware is redundant. Less hardware means less heat. If you can get rid of the clutter, this may be an easy way to reduce the temperature of the room.

An overheated data center room is not good for business. At the very worst, it can cause your server to shut down. In less extreme examples, it may result in a higher energy bill. The aforementioned solutions outlined here are just some of the possibilities that are out there, which will depend on your design, age of the data center, etc. If you're in need of computer cabinets and racks that support an optimal data center layout, contact us today at 1-877-429-7225. We have worked with a number of companies to help them keep the heat out.  


Date 9/4/2015
John Amaratta
Very good information. Thanks Gaw Technology!!

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