How to Keep Your Server Cabinet Cool in Warm Weather
Server racks need to be kept cool not only to ensure that they do not fail due to overheating but also to avoid the risk of a sever room fire. There are a number of methods you can employ to keep your server racks cool.
LONDON, ENGLAND, May 26, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Individual racks can be cooled simply by the use of fans in the cabinet. Some cabinets have in-built fan systems; otherwise fan trays can be installed. Fans generate airflow but to ensure the most effective cooling, it may be necessary to install blanking panels to control airflow and to use good cable management practices to prevent blockages.
To facilitate airflow, some racks incorporate ventilation panels in their doors and sides or else have mesh doors. In some, the side panels can also be removed where security is not an issue.
One of the most effective cooling techniques that has been tried and tested for a number of years is the hot aisle, cold aisle system. Servers are arranged in rows facing the same direction. Cool air is taken in at the front and the hot air is expelled from the rear and directed towards the input of the cooling unit. It is important to use a cooling unit specifically designed for use with IT equipment. This should have both temperature and humidity controls - temperature controls for cooling and humidity controls to prevent moisture damage. These cooling units will actually cost less to run than if you try to use something like a domestic air conditioner and should be installed in pairs in case one unit fails.
Temperature seriously affects server performance and humidity can be particularly harmful so it is best to seal your server room so that no air can escape or enter the room. This facilitates better control over both temperature and humidity; greater control equates to less risk of damage.
If you have a number of server racks you need to make sure that the cold air gets to where it is needed. Often, cold air does not reach the top of the rack. This is where blanking panels on the front of the rack come into play to cover places where servers are missing to guide the cold air upwards rather than allowing it to flow straight through to join the hot air at the back of the rack.
The most precise cooling method is in-rack cooling. This system, of which there are several variations, applies liquid cooling to the rack itself and uses a refrigerant or chilled water as the cooling medium. In one such system the rack is sealed to contain the air. Hot air must pass over a heat exchanger, usually located at the bottom and the heat is removed via a liquid-cooling system connected to the heat exchanger. The result is a cooling system that is thermally and airflow neutral to the room.
Alternatively the rack has a liquid-cooled door usually fitted at the rear. Heated air leaves the rack at the back and is cooled by the door returning to the room at around ambient room temperature. Effectively, this system is also virtually thermally neutral to the room.
Rack cooling is a vital part of server rack and server room design. To be sure that your cooling system is going to be up to the task, it would be wise to consult an expert before installing a cooling system. The consequences of making a mistake could be catastrophic for your business.
Toughrack build their server cabinets in the UK out of Zintec - British Steel's toughest electro-zinc coated steel sheet and coil. This means they're covered by a lifetime warranty, and the servers your business relies on are protected - no catches, quibbles or nasty surprises.
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