IT workers worry about a lot. They worry about employees who bring their own devices into the corporate network, and introduce viruses from an unsecured connection. They worry about privileges for all levels of employees, and they manage all traffic that goes in and out of servers. IT maintenance is a big job, and to top it off they also need to do some of the work of an HVAC specialist. Data center cooling is an important part of IT maintenance, and it’s a major factor in keeping Internet infrastructure up and running.
Computers naturally generate heat as energy is transferred from one place to another. The circuit boards generate ambient heat, which usually triggers fans to respond in order to try and cool things off. If there are many computers clustered together, like a server room, that heat can be difficult to dissipate. If too much heat accumulates, computers will shut down before they melt their internals. This is especially problematic for server rooms, which house computers that are perpetually up and running.
There are several strategies to cooling a server room. A portable room air conditioner, for instance, is perfect for smaller companies that house less than ten server clusters. More robust cooling systems must be installed in larger server rooms, possibly incorporating fans for spot cooling purposes. Removing ceiling tiles is another method, but it’s more like a temporary fix than a solution you want to rely on.
Software installed on these servers can report rising temperatures to administrators, who can then make adjustments on the fly. It may not be a situation of residual heat, so much as it is related to complications with the machines themselves. When a machine becomes overloaded, it generates more heat as it attempts to clear out the processes it works with. Software would help to catch these problems within the operating system, and slow down the consumption of power.
Portable air conditioners are the most common form of server cooling you’re likely to find in the field. They are large enough to cool a small server room, and they can be moved to the areas that need it most. Used in conjunction with fans and other methods, and you can effectively cool a server room without spending too much on the prospect. Larger companies, however, will need to evaluate their needs and either host off-site or consider improvements to meet challenge of cooling several clusters of computers.