Data centre cooling & air conditioning is a given. Every Data centre is rammed with racks of servers that continually generate masses of heat. If servers overheat they should & will automatically shut down to prevent damage, for sure, this will be creating a ‘domino-effect’ of problems for any organization- One down equals all down. On the other hand, if servers get overly warm, but not warm enough to trigger auto shut down, then over time this can reduce the life of the servers; Double whammy. Best to call in Power Continuity to check.
If not properly managed by Power Continuity, this build-up of heat can impact on server functionally or, in a worst-case scenario, lead to fire. Reliable air conditioning (A/C) is therefore essential for energy efficiency and to maintain the correct temperature and humidity for the equipment, thus aiding the smooth running of the data centre. Although complacency could mean that resilience of the Data Centre has been forgotten. Power Continuity always design a minimum of N+1 or even N+2, N+3 A/C systems to ensure the Data Centre never overheats through lack of cooling.
A further benefit of A/C is air filtration, which removes a large percentage of dirt and dust particles that will otherwise build up inside the servers, leading to additional functionality issues.
However, this needs to be balanced with the well-known data centre phenomenon of ‘zinc whiskers’. These are tiny strands of zinc, thinner than a human hair, that can come from various sources e.g. raised floor panels, zinc-plated IT cabinets etc. Despite its size, a zinc whisker has the potential to cause short-circuits when it becomes detached, gets circulated by the A/C and then sucked into a server to land on micro-circuitry.
Although A/C will remove some of these whiskers from the air, it can, as described above, contribute to the problem.
Policies and procedures therefore need to be in place to manage and reduce the possibility of this potential issue. Regular service & maintenance of every component of the A/C must be enacted. Hands on governance of the Data Centre will stop problems occurring.
Power Continuity insist that it is essential to plan carefully before choosing a data centre A/C system, as the 24/7/365 running costs of the A/C have been known to exceed the costs associated with powering the actual IT equipment. Conversely, with good Power Continuity design, planning, quality components, expert installation and regular monitoring, the running costs will be much less than the IT running costs. PowerContinuity Systems would be happy to assist you with this process.
Call Power Continuity on 0845 055 8455 – We’re here to help 24/7
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