Anyone walking outside today in Toronto will notice that it is hot and muggy out. This heat made me think about businesses and how some server rooms are awfully too warm. Since a server houses all important data and controls most technology functions for operations it is important to keep the room chilly for computer components generate a large amount of heat. When your equipment overheats it can increase the chance of a crash or other issues. The worst effect I have seen with heat and technology is a server that would not start because it was so hot, the microchips inside melted. Long term heat issues can even cause damage to your hardware.
Here are some best practices for keeping your expensive technology cool.
Give Room to Breathe
Keeping room for air flow around desktops and servers is important. You will want to give your hardware several inches of space around the air vents on the sides, front, and back. Keeping vents clear is crucial when it comes to the stability and longevity of a server or desktop. Air typically gets sucked in through the front and expelled out the back in order to cool the extremely hot components inside; when positioning several machines in a small area you will want to make sure they are facing the same way for the best airflow.
Use a Server Rack
Server racks let you mount your servers vertically, saving space and promoting good airflow. Some racks even have built-in cooling systems. One important piece of advice for server racks: if there are empty areas on the rack (where additional servers would go) cover them up with blanking panels. This will make airflow more efficient.
Keep Dust at a Minimum
Dust, hair, carpet fibers, and other gunk can clog up fans, insulate electronics, and cause all sorts of issue for your hardware. Keeping the area around your mission-critical equipment is very important, and having a technician dust out servers every few months will improve the lifespan of your hardware.
Keeping the plethora of wires and cables behind your servers organized is a pretty big task, but it will help keep things clean and improve airflow. This clears up a major eyesore as well, and can also generally shorten any physical maintenance that needs to be done because everything is neat and tidy.
You may notice your server room (or closet) is pretty stuffy. If so, you may want to ensure that the room itself has proper airflow and if your building uses air conditioning, the cool air vents into your server room. For larger operations with multiple servers, you may want to consider specialized A/C units designed for server rooms. While this is no small investment, neither was the technology you are trying to take care of.
If you don’t have a lot of space but need to expand your IT infrastructure and get more servers, consider virtualization. Virtualization (also known as cloud computing) allows you to run multiple server environments on a single machine, saving resources, electricity, and generating less heat.
So how cool is your server room? If it is stuffy and hot, then you may want to consider a consultation from Interface Technologies. We can provide you a better solution for managing your mission critical services and data. Feel free to give us a call at any time at 416-363-9880.