Why Poor Cooling Can Cost You Big Bucks

Christopher Lentz | October 03, 2013 05:09 PM

Have you ever walked into a room full of computers or servers and experienced the temperature in the room? If you haven't, it is usually a very warming sensation...and not the kind you get when you hug your loved ones. No, instead this type of warming sensation is a very bad thing.

General Cooling

All technology equipment gives off heat from one or more of their components. This heat is the very reason that most large data centers have large and intricately designed cooling systems. You see, heat is very bad for the parts of desktop computers, laptops, servers, and even networking equipment. To remedy this most of these devices come with some sort of basic cooling,  typically a fan or liquid cooling system. The problem is that cooling system usually only addresses one source of heat, the CPU or central processing unit of the device. Without cooling this piece can actually spontaneously combust (Check out this video) and ruin your machine.

Thinking Bigger

A fried CPU is just the beginning when it comes to insufficient cooling of computer hardware. The longer servers and other devices experience high temps the more likely they are to fail, costing you major money to replace them and restore the key data and software. I have been to many businesses where the server room was well above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimal temperature range for a server room is somewhere between 65 - 72 with the relative humidity around the 40 - 50% range. This is not a set in stone number but simply a guideline as many companies have different situations. In fact, Google does not even use a cooling system. They claim that the cost of replacing the hardware is less than the cost of cooling and therefore skip all the cooling. However, since none of us own Google, we should stick to a cooling solution and keep our costs down.

Opening the Door

In a few of my experiences, I have seen server racks cramped into a tiny closet with its solid wood door closed. When I looked inside the closet I found not a single point of ventilation. I've actually experienced one of these closets at over 90 degrees! If you are going to keep your servers in a closet be sure to purchase a door vent that will let the hot air escape. Optimally though, you want to force fresh air into the space to replace the hot air with cool, fresh air.

If you have any questions or would like to know more in regards to proper server room cooling, please give us a call at 408-844-4808 today!


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