Keeping your servers and other computer equipment at a safe operating temperature is essential for minimizing the risk of failures and ensuring they run with optimal performance. Setting up server racks in a data center to house this type of equipment is a great first step, but you still need to make sure the temperature within the rack is kept at the right levels. RackSolutions offers several practical tips to help you with server rack cooling.
Keep the Data Center at a Cool Temperature
You can’t keep a server rack cool if the room temperature in the data center itself is too warm. This means you need to start with keeping your facility at the right temperatures by carefully planning out the airflow. This often involves using pressurized airflow, vents under floor panels, and other strategies. Data center cooling is a huge subject on its own and it must be handled correctly before worrying about any other server cooling strategies.
Use Hot-Cold Layout with Multiple Rows of Server Racks
For larger companies with multiple rows of server racks, it is important to use a ‘hot-cold’ configuration. This means setting up the racks so there is one row where the servers in the racks are all pulling air from, and another where the hot exhaust air discharges. This will allow the equipment (and therefore the server racks themselves) to pull in the coolest air available. It will also allow you to create a more effective strategy for removing hot air from the data center.
Choosing the Right Server Racks
There are a lot of different types of server racks on the market today, and choosing the right one based on your specific needs is important for your cooling strategy. Some specific things to be aware of include:
- Open Frame Racks – An open frame rack will allow air to flow around the equipment unblocked. These styles, however, are less secure and don’t allow you to precisely direct the airflow as well.
- Two Post Racks – Two post racks are even more exposed, allowing the air in the surrounding area to move around freely. Two post racks typically aren’t used for high-heat producing equipment, however, so they may not be appropriate in all situations.
- Mesh or Solid Doors on Racks – Server racks can come with either mesh doors or solid (glass or metal) doors. Choosing the right one based on your airflow plan is critical.
- Server Rack Size – The size of the rack will have a significant impact on how you can manage the temperature. Choosing a rack that is appropriate for your needs will help make temperature control easier.
Don’t let this part be too much of a worry. RackSolutions is guaranteed to have the custom server rack you’re looking for.
Fill All Slots in the Server Rack
In many cases, a server rack’s purpose is to house only a few different devices. Leaving open spaces in a server rack will allow a company room for growth, and can also make it easier to access the equipment. Open slots in a server, however, will disrupt the way the air is supposed to flow through, which will impact the temperature significantly. To help address this issue, you can purchase rack filler panels that block off open spots to ensure proper movement of air.
Manage Airflow Properly
If temperature regulation is a concern in your server rack, you will want to make an extra effort to ensure the airflow is properly planned out. This starts by making sure that you install all servers so that their exhaust fans are pointed in the same direction. This not only helps to ensure the air is flowing in the proper direction, but also that the warm air is together so it can be removed efficiently. Many server racks will also allow you to install exhaust fans at the top or back of the rack so that the heat can be removed more quickly. There are many options when it comes to managing airflow in a server rack, and taking the time to plan it out will help you to get the best results possible.
Be Intentional About Server Rack Cooling
The bottom line is that there is no one correct way to keep a server rack cool. The steps that you need to take will depend largely on the specific type of rack you have, the equipment in use, and the overall environment of your facility. Taking the time to plan out your server rack cooling strategy ahead of time, however, will help to ensure your IT equipment is able to operate at a safe temperature at all times.