Heat seems to be on our minds all summer long. Especially when you’re located in Texas, like us. Our legs get third degree burns when we sit down on our leather car seats that have been baking in the sun all day, and just going outside feels like we’re hiking through the Sahara. Staying cool is an essential principle of survival. However, what we may forget about is that our rack equipment needs to stay cool as well, and not just in the summer. Data center cooling is important all year long. We may all understand the basic principles of data center cooling, but even seasoned professionals can make these five classic mistakes.
1. Perforated Tiles
Unfortunately, perforated tiles do nothing in hot aisles and white space areas. They are designed to allow cool air to rise in cold aisles and for equipment to pull the cool air through.
2. Sealing on Racks
Improper sealing on racks is detrimental to proper airflow and cooling. Start sealing your racks with blanking panels! They are inexpensive, easily installed, and most effective at funneling air through the equipment, rather than anywhere else.
3. Arctic Air
No, Olaf, we do not want to build a snowman. Sending an arctic blast of cold air through your data center to cool your equipment is not effective. It is best to work by the ASHRAE 80 degree standard. In some situations you may need a bit more cooling, but please don’t turn your data center into a winter wonderland.
4. Incorrect Calibration
Temperature sensors and monitoring equipment are sent with the intent of calibrating and optimizing. However, if equipment isn’t properly configured then readings can be misinterpreted. Check your calibration every 6 months to make sure everything looks A-OK with your original setup.
5. Ignoring Improvement Opportunities
The old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” doesn’t necessarily apply here. Every year a portion of the hardware budget should be allocated toward airflow and cooling efficiency. Old equipment works harder and produces more heat, so you may want to consider replacing it to improve airflow and meet Energy Star ratings. The cost of maintaining proper airflow and cooling is minimal compared to the cost of equipment breaking or facing downtime.
Now that you know the five most common data center cooling mistakes, make sure that you’re doing what is right for your equipment. For more information about airflow management and data center cooling feel free to contact us! We would love to talk to you. Check out our website too for more air flow products. And if you don’t think you’ll remember any of this information, then just remember this: Keep it Cool.