Why do server rooms need cooling?

- Mar 12, 2020-

With the popularization of the network and the rapid increase of servers, the ambient temperature of data center cabinets and servers has also continued to rise. The cooling systems configured in data centers are often overwhelmed, and data center operators are also facing huge pressures to quickly and effectively reduce the temperature of the equipment room pressure. So Xiao Cong is here to share some tips for you today. If you can not increase the cooling facilities, how to prevent IT equipment such as servers from overheating!


First, if the temperature rises, don't panic even if the temperature of the airflow channel reaches 80 ° F. Although this is a bit higher than the standard temperature of a 70 ° F to 72 ° F data center, it may not be as bad for a server as one might think; it's just that the operating staff doesn't like this high temperature occasion. If the maximum temperature reading at the front of the rack is 80 ° F or lower, it is still within the ASHRAE TC 9.9 latest recommended guidelines. Even with a slightly higher intake air temperature (up to 90 ° F), it still meets the A2 "allowable" guidelines, which is within the 50 ° F to 95 ° F operating range of most servers.


Second, temperature measurement is performed on the front of the server. This is where the server draws in cold air. In fact, it is the only effective and most important measurement place. Assuming that the data center has a hot aisle-cold aisle layout, readings are taken at the top, middle, and bottom of the rack. The top temperature of the rack is usually the highest. If the bottom of the rack is cold and has open rack space, you can try rearranging the server near the bottom (or the coldest area) of the rack.


Third, make sure to use blind plates to block all unused open spaces in the front of the rack. This prevents hot air from recirculating from the rear of the rack to the front of the rack.

Fourth, don't worry about the rear temperature. Even if the temperature is 100 ° F or higher, do not use a fan to cool the rear of the rack. This will only make more hot air mixed into the cold air channel.


Fifth, if the data center has an elevated floor, it is necessary to ensure that the grille or perforation of the floor is correctly located at the location of the hottest rack. If necessary, different floor grills can be rearranged or replaced to match the airflow to the heat load. Be careful not to place the floor grille too close to the room air conditioner. This will cause the cold air flow to immediately return to the room air conditioner and cause the rest of the room / row to lose cold air.

Sixth, check whether the floor has an opening in the cabinet. Cable openings on the floor will allow hot air to escape from the raised floor static pressure box and direct available cold air into the floor vents in the cold aisle. Using an air-tight kit minimizes this problem.


Seventh, try to redistribute the heat load and evenly distribute it to each rack to avoid or minimize "hot spots". Keep in mind that before moving the server, you need to check the temperature at the top, middle, and bottom of the rack, just relocate the hotter server (also based on the front of the rack) to a colder area. Then use a blanking plate to block the gap. Check all rack temperatures again to ensure that no new hotspots have been created.


Eighth, check if there is any cable blocking the airflow at the rear of the rack. This will cause excessive back pressure on the fans of the IT equipment and may cause the equipment to overheat, even if there is sufficient cold air in front. This is especially true for 1U server racks with many long power and network cables. Consider using a shorter power cord, about 1 to 2 feet, and replace the longer power cord that comes with most servers. Also use the shortest possible network cable. Use cable management to clean the rear of the rack to avoid obstructing airflow.

Ninth, if there is an overhead pipe cooling system in the machine room, it is necessary to ensure that the cold air outlet is located directly at the front of the rack, and the return pipe is located above the hot aisle. Experts say that the ceiling vents and return air vents in some data center computer rooms are not well positioned, causing the rooms to overheat, just because all the cold air does not flow directly to the front of the rack or the hot air is not properly drawn. The most important issue is to ensure that hot air from the back of the cabinet can return directly to the room air conditioner without mixing with cold air. If you have a pressurized ceiling, you need to consider using it to capture hot air and install a coupling from the top return air duct of the room air conditioner. Some plumbing projects may have a direct impact on the temperature of the equipment room. In fact, the hotter the return air, the higher the efficiency and actual cooling capacity of the room air conditioner.


Tenth, consider adding temporary "roll-in" cooling devices only if you can dissipate heat to the outside area. Installing the exhaust pipe to the ceiling of the air conditioner in the computer room does not play a large role, and the roll-in heat exhaust pipe must be discharged into the area outside the controlled space.


Eleventh, the data center needs to turn off the lights when no one is working. This can save 1% to 3% of power and heat load, which can reduce the temperature by 1 ° C to 2 ° C in the case of marginal cooling.


Twelfth, check if there are any idle devices still running. This is a fairly common situation and it is easy to fix, just turn it off.

The 12 tips and tricks above may not solve the long-term effective cooling problem of the data center, but they can also play a role. Many times, when the actual thermal load of the equipment does not significantly exceed the actual capacity of the cooling system, optimizing the airflow can improve the situation until a new cooling system is installed in the data center.

When the heat load of the data center completely exceeds the capacity of the cooling system, although there is no real effective solution, sometimes just improving the air circulation may increase the overall cooling efficiency by 5% -20%. This could get servers in the data center through the hottest days. But in any case this can reduce the energy cost of the data center to a certain extent, which is always a good thing.


But the other thing is that data center operators need to plan ahead. If all else fails, a backup plan should be put in place to shut down the least important loads so that more important servers can remain running, such as email, finance, etc .; ensure that the most critical loads are deployed in the lowest temperature locations Better than the most critical load accidentally shutting down due to overheating.