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Server Room Is Too Hot?

Jan 21, 2013

Is Your Server Room Too hot?

If you suspect so, then you've come to the right place. For those unfamiliar with the potential hazards that a "hot server room" can cause, pay close attention! A neglected server room, that is, one with inadequate monitoring and poor supervision, is a serious hazard for your business. Remember, much of your company infrastructure, from web applications or database servers, lives and breathes on your server racks.


According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), when the server room cooling system fails, you have about eight minutes before temperatures reach dangerous levels for equipment. Even if equipment isn't knocked offline from a temperature spike, exposure to extreme temperatures can seriously decrease 
the life of the equipment if your server room is too hot.

Be wary of the potential hazards of an unsupervised server room. Try explaining this picture to your C-Suite.


Ouch! Next time you realize that "my server room is too hot", remember that pre-emptive methods and monitoring devices are your best resources. These best practices will outline an ideal monitoring strategy for your server room. 

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Monitor Temperature:

Keep a logic-based system to prevent overheating. For example, if temperatures rise above 24°C, then an automated cooling unit should activate to counteract the rising temperature. 

 

Monitor Humidity:

Ensure that the humidity within your server room is not too high or too low. Low humidity levels can increase the liklihood of Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). Significant voltage can build up between dry surfaces and cause catastrophic failure if the humidity is too low. By contrast, high humidity levels can translate to increased rust of equipment. Keep in mind: the following suggestions serve as a general rule of thumbBe sure to check equipment manuals for pre-specified instructions on humidity levels if you suspect that your server room is too hot.


Potential Risks for 40% Humidity and Below

-ESD (Electrostatic Discharge)

-Malfunctioning Equipment (Due to short circuits) 

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Potential Risks for 60% Humidity and Above

-Monolayers of water on surfaces

-Rusting

-Disk Drive Wear (corrosion/friction of disk head)

 

 

(General Recommendation for Temperature: 10°C -28°C)
(Ideal Ambient Temperature: 20-21°C)

(Humidity: Between 40-60%)

 

Monitor Your Monitor!

You can't sit in the server room all day. And what about after hours? Do you know when your server farm is beginning to overheat? Can you always rely on the designated employee to monitor the room and alert you?

How do you know if humidity levels are rising on Saturday night while you're at home? Will you then "hope" that your racks aren't rusted by Monday morning? Find yourself hoping that your server room isn't too hot?

Don't hope, be prepared! The best deterrant to these obstacles is a robust monitoring system. Temperature@lert's combination humidity and temperature sensor pack an excellent punch for holistic monitoring of your server room, and will prolong the shelf-life of your server equipment.

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