Servers generate a lot of heat and are sensitive to high temperatures and fluctuations in humidity. A stable environment...
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can improve uptime and extend the life of your hardware. An ideal environmental control system should be modular, expandable and flexible.
|DON'T use shelves in your|
|racks. Shelves trap heat|
|and restrict air flow.|
|DON'T use glass doors, which|
|can trap heat and reduce|
|air flow through the rack.|
|Use fully vented doors,|
|or remove the doors entirely.|
|DO use blanking panels to|
|close off open spaces in|
|racks. These open spaces|
|create traps for hot air within|
|the rack and reduce air flow.|
|DO perform your own tests|
|on fan trays and roof fans to|
|decide if they are worth the|
|expense. They are common,|
|but some critics say they|
|provide little benefit for the|
|electricity they use.|
|DO make sure your racks|
|are deep enough to allow air|
|flow around cables, which can|
|obstruct ventilation and cause|
|DO place racks in rows and|
|reverse the direction of how|
|alternate rows face. This|
|helps separate the hot|
|exhaust air from the intake|
|air. The front of a rack|
|should never be facing the|
|back of another rack.|
|DO space out high-capacity|
|racks, which can generate|
|tremendous amounts of heat|
|and increase power|
Air temperature is an important consideration. Your air conditioning capacity will depend on the size of your room, lighting, number of people working in the room, quantity of electrical equipment and the heat generated by that equipment. In short, you'll need to determine the total load power in watts generated by all of these devices in order to determine their thermal output.
Environmental engineering can determine cooling requirements based on these factors, as exact calculation methods are beyond the scope of this paper. If possible, build redundancy and overcapacity into the environmental systems to allow for failures, maintenance downtime and temporary capacity spikes.
Air flow in and around server racks is crucial, and you'll need to work with your environmental engineering department to work out the best solution in terms of air conditioning types, duct placement and ceiling vs. floor-mounted ventilation.
Be on the lookout for hotspots and stagnant air flow. Temperature and humidity sensors can be placed throughout a data center to monitor conditions, but there are several simple steps you can take to improve airflow.
Another important element to consider is the level of humidity. Low humidity levels increase the risk of static electricity, and high amounts of relative humidity can contribute to corrosion as well as lowering the heat removal capacity of your equipment. The relative humidity in a data center should generally be kept between 40-55 percent.
ASHRAE publishes specific guidelines for data centers and server rooms (http://www.ashrae.org).
HOW TO DESIGN A SERVER ROOM
Step 1: Determine size requirements
Step 2: Reserve a location
Step 3: Power Requirements
Step 4: Environmental concerns
Step 5: Rack solutions and cable management
Step 6: Flooring: choice of materials matter
Step 7: Security
Step 8: Finalize the layout