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Anyone in information technology knows that there is a growing need for speed. Information that used to take weeks can now take seconds to transfer because of new software advancements. However, with this progress comes a much higher demand for fast servers and all that comes with them. To keep your servers functioning at optimal efficiency, you’ll need to think about several different factors:
- Efficient software
- Appropriate hardware
- Reliable network connection
- Monitored room temperatures
We’ve addressed the first three bullets in a previous blog post. We’ll now focus on simple and affordable ways to achieve appropriate server room temperatures. But before that, it’s important to learn why server temperature is important in the first place.
Why Is it Important to Keep Servers Cool?
If servers become overheated, you’ll quickly experience reduced productivity and struggling hardware. Maintaining your servers’ temperature presents more difficulty than you might think. When servers are constantly exposed to too-high temperatures, they struggle to function and may even need replacement over time.
Even if you don’t have to replace hardware, you lose on your investment when your server works at a slower pace. In an industry about productivity and speed, there’s high demand for simple ways to cool data center equipment. Because servers will always release heat, you must address the size and ventilation of your server room.
Server rooms often become overheated because they are over-packed with equipment. But saving on space in a server room will hurt you in the long run. Your servers cannot work at their optimal speed if they are crowded and too hot. And no one wants to invest in high-end hardware only to find it needs to be replaced from overheating. For this reason, more and more IT managers are searching for affordable cooling strategies. And, if you look for them, simple solutions are out there.
5 Effortless Ways to Cool Your Server Room
Complex cooling and other HVAC solutions can be effective, but are usually costly. But, there are several affordable ways to promote a lower temperature in your server room.
1. Use low-heat lighting.
If a server room needs anything, it needs proper lighting. Server rooms with poor or reduced lighting create more opportunity for human error. But with well-lit data centers, employees can complete each task with accuracy. It’s always a good idea to invest in LED or low-heat lighting for your server room to promote the ideal temperature.
2. Let hot air escape the room.
Server rooms are often too small for the equipment they hold. This lack of usable space contributes to an overall lack of ventilation. Make sure to pick a room that will provide the space you need for access, cooling, and ventilation.
If you currently have a smaller than ideal server room, provide ways to maintain proper air flow. This includes making use of a functioning ventilation system. For low security server rooms, you may even remove a ceiling tile to let the heat rise out entirely. Another option would be to prop the door open from time to time.
3. Inspect and adjust your HVAC system.
By checking your HVAC system and its filters, you’ll boost productivity across the board—for servers and for your employees. Do semi-annual checks to maintain proper HVAC function and to avoid any potential problems.
Many companies house their systems in a building with third-party management. If this is the case, communicate regularly with your facility manager to ensure proper heating and cooling.
4. Use fans to cool equipment.
Fans may seem too small-scale to make an impact, but unlike portable or dedicated air conditioners, fans offer an affordable solution. Most server rooms produce heat in the same places: behind the equipment. Although a good HVAC system will help keep the room cool, direct cooling works even better. Placing small but powerful fans in the high-heat areas will maintain target temperature for expensive hardware.
5. Organize server racks.
Server racks save a lot of headache when it comes to server access. However, you can take this organization principle one step further by planning the layout of each row. Once you arrange your servers with neatness and precision, you’ll achieve better access and lower heat levels.
Keeping cables neat and organized prevents many common overheating problems. Help keep your hardware cool with properly organized server racks.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Over-Zealous Cooling
Although it’s essential to keep your server room cool, be wary of taking cooling too far. If cooling solutions hinder server access or connections, they become counterproductive. Don’t sacrifice data center reliability or accessibility in exchange for cooler temperatures.
Find out what your servers can handle and what solutions you can afford. Then go from there. While a dedicated or portable air conditioner may solve your heat problem, it could exhaust your budget in the process. Use these tips to achieve a cooler server room without spending on utility bills. You can also check our blog for more information on How to Speed up Your Server.