Data Center Cooling: Cooling a Server Room

A server room is a critical component of any organization's IT infrastructure. To the untrained eye, a server room looks like a mass of humming machines that take up space. But to a company that relies on the data stored in servers, this room powers multiple operations, keeping the business on a forward-moving path. It houses the servers, switches, routers, and other networking equipment that keep the company running smoothly. If your business has a large server room, protecting it from damage must be a top priority. Jumps in temperature are a threat to the security and efficiency of your server room.

However, all this equipment generates a lot of heat, which can cause damage to the hardware and lead to system failures. In fact, inadequate server room cooling can lead to a halt in operations. For example, this was the case for an enterprise software client when a portion of the company’s servers suffered a heat spike that rendered two of its websites out of service for 16 hours and impacted cloud storage software. Therefore, keeping the server room cool is essential to maintain optimal performance and prevent downtime.

Understanding your options for server room cooling systems and the backup plans available arms your company with a protective shield in the face of unexpected situations. There are several ways to cool a server room, including air conditioning and cooling systems. Cooling systems, such as liquid cooling or chilled water systems, can provide more efficient cooling and reduce energy costs in the long run.

Read on to learn about the types of data center cooling systems and how to protect your server room.


When A/C Won’t Cut It for Server Room Cooling


Think that cranking up the air conditioner is a server room cooling strategy you can rely on? Although air conditioning is the most common method of cooling a server room, it often isn’t enough to do the job. An air conditioner is a permanent system that cools a server room and involves installing a unit that can regulate the temperature and humidity levels in the room. The air conditioning unit should be powerful enough to handle the heat generated by the equipment and maintain a constant temperature. But as server usage increases or the size of the server room grows, this initial system may be insufficient.

The reality is that large server rooms require more than air conditioning to regulate machine temperature. Here’s why:

Air conditioners don’t always meet data center cooling requirements. Data centers need around-the-clock cooling. Most air conditioners are not meant to run 24/7. Running your A/C at all times puts a strain on the machine and runs up the electric bill. So when it comes to server room cooling, air conditioning is not always an ideal solution.

Another way air conditioning falls short of data center cooling requirements is the limited capability to regulate factors outside of temperature. In other words, air conditioners can’t always protect your equipment from potentially damaging humidity. When humidity levels rise, condensation can form on machines, and problems ensue. Air conditioners are not designed to decrease the amount of moisture in the air and address humidity in the way that true server room cooling systems can.

Lastly, changing seasons impact air conditioning settings. Data center cooling requirements indicate that servers need an environment between 68 and 72 degrees to continue operating. In the winter months, the heater is switched on in place of the air conditioner. Even when an air conditioner is running in your server room, the rise in temperature elsewhere in the building may have an impact.

As you can see, an air conditioner won’t always suffice for cooling a large server room. Fortunately, there are server room cooling systems that meet the needs of the equipment. Let’s explore them below!


Data Center Cooling Solutions


We’ve covered the ways that air conditioners alone fall short of data center cooling requirements. Now it’s time to discuss a solution that can fulfill your server room cooling needs—spot coolers.

An A/C is a permanent system that needs support in cooling a server room. A supplemental machine that aids in temperature control is the ideal support system. Spot coolers are portable cooling machines designed to supplement a cooling source and address multiple temperature control issues. They operate by taking in ambient air through the return, which passes over a closed-loop coil containing refrigerant, reducing the room temperature. Then, the cold air is pumped back into the room through the supply.

Unlike air conditioners, spot coolers have capabilities that tackle humidity. As mentioned above, high humidity levels lead to condensation on machines. Water droplets on machines is a server room nightmare. Spot coolers suck excess moisture out of the air to keep humidity levels in check.

In addition to their dehumidification abilities, spot coolers are also energy efficient. They utilize less power than air conditioners while delivering powerful cooling results. Since energy-efficient technologies are better for the planet and your bottom line, spot coolers are a win-win in this department.

With spot coolers, you don’t have to deal with complex machinery and high-maintenance types of data cooling systems. The user-friendly aspect of spot coolers is what draws many businesses to them. Installation is typically done within a couple of hours, and selecting the desired temperature is a simple process.


Benefits of Having a Backup Cooler System for a Server Room


A backup cooler system for a server room is essential for ensuring the smooth operation of the servers and other equipment. The primary benefit of having a backup cooler system is that it provides contingency in case the primary cooling system fails.

This ensures that the servers and other equipment remain cool, preventing overheating and potential damage to the equipment. However, in the case of an unforeseen disaster, like if a hurricane causes mass electrical power outages, air conditioners fail and leave ill-prepared companies with server rooms with no other means of regulating temperature.

In addition, a backup cooler system can help maintain the optimal temperature and humidity levels in the server room, which is critical for the proper functioning of the equipment. This can help prevent downtime and ensure that the servers and other equipment operate at peak performance.

Another benefit of having a backup cooler system is that it can help reduce the risk of data loss. If the primary cooling system fails, the servers and other equipment can quickly overheat, leading to data loss or corruption. A backup cooler system can help prevent this by providing additional protection against overheating. This can help ensure that critical data is not lost, which can be costly and damaging to a business.

Another benefit of a backup cooling system is its ability to power up at a moment’s notice. A portable cooling system can be brought in to keep the temperature regulated if a cooling system fails. Because temperature spikes can damage servers quickly, having a backup can prevent a company from shelling out hefty sums due to damage.

From natural disasters to machine malfunctions, there are certain situations that even the most organized companies never see coming. In these cases, you can rent a portable data center cooling system while the problem is addressed. Overall, having a backup cooler system for a server room is essential for ensuring the smooth operation of the equipment and reducing the risk of downtime and data loss. Knowing that your servers are well protected brings peace of mind.


Keep Your Technology Intact with Portable Cooling


Your servers are an asset worth safeguarding. A supplemental cooling system is critical to ensure that your server room is well-equipped for emergencies.

With an array of cooling systems including chillers and spot coolers, Sunbelt Rentals has the solution for your server room.

At Sunbelt Rentals, we know that keeping your data center cool is mission critical.

Request a quote today.


Server Room Cooling FAQs


Q: What’s the ideal temperature and humidity for a server room?

A: The ideal temperature for a server room is between 64 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 40-60%. This range prevents overheating and helps to ensure that the equipment stays cool but not so cold that condensation forms and causes other types of damage.