Thursday, February 24

Server Room Air Conditioning - Building Reliable Computer Environment

If you have been assigned a task of building a server room for your online company or even if you are considering dedicating a room just for the computers in your home, then in this article we will talk about the reasons why you need to build in a computer room air conditioner unit, and why it could be advantageous to include a raised floor feature as well.

By following the question and answer session, and testing yourself with the answers, you should have a better idea right away about the necessary equipment for your new server room.

For more info on computer room air conditioner design and on specific room air conditioners brands and models, see computer room air conditioning.

Here are the questions and the answers:

Question: What are the big reasons why computer and server rooms need additional air conditioning?

Answer: That’s a great question to ask. You see, servers have been constantly improving in their computing power and network connectivity. However, with the growth of power, their energy consumption has gone up, too. These days computers and servers are big energy consumers, and whenever you plan to put three or more servers in a room, that can start having an impact on the temperature of the room. On the other hand, computers do not like elevated temperatures, as they can damage the hard drives and the CPU, central processing units. Therefore, you needserver room air conditioners to keep elevated temperature in check.

Question: When you say computers are big energy consumers, what do you have in mind?

Answer: Well to keep it simple, depending on how much peripherals you have attached, and what exactly is the load on the computer, a single server unit could consume 200 Watts of electric power, which does not include a monitor. Imagine three, four, five, or more of those in the same server rack, and you will see that energy consumption can grow quite rapidly. In many homes, computers are now the biggest consumers of electricity.

Question: What is the maximal safe temperature that still allows for normal functioning of a computer, or a hard drive?

Answer: Normal operating temperature of a hard drive is in the 30's to 40's in degrees Celsius. Most hard drives are rated up to 60 degrees Celsius. The CPU under load can reach maximal temperatures of 65 to 90 degrees Celsius.

Question: How can you measure these CPU and hard disk temperatures?

Answer: These days, processors and hard disks are smart devices and can report their own temperatures to the operating system. There are multiple programs which will either display these temperatures on screen, or report them.

Question: What happens if allowed server temperatures are exceeded?

Answer: For both hard drives and CPUs, the first thing you might notice upon overheating is mysterious errors in programs, as well as occassional freezing of the system, or automatic shutoff with some models. If for some reason the CPU temperature exceeds 90-95 degrees Celsius, this can start physically damaging the motherboard. The costs of servers is appreciable, and damage to servers is what you want to avoid by bringing in at least additional portable air conditioners, or in room air conditioner units. And while without the extra computer room cooling the servers will probably avoid damage by shutting themselves down, there is always a problem of lost revenues when your company's website is down.

Question: What is the use of raised floors in server rooms?

Answer: Raised floors play a role because they can efectively house the complex networking cables and equipment, as well as the air ducts for additional portable air conditioners.

Question: What are other advantages of raised floors in server rooms?

Answer: Besides housing the network cables, power cables, and air vents, the raised floor is very flexible and can accomodate movements of computers and portable air conditioners. It makes moving about in the room easy as it gets the cables out of the way.

For more info on best air conditioner types suitable for server rooms, see the site