August 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #668
Determining what temperature a server room should be kept at depends on a number of factors. So what temperature should a server room be kept at…
Ideally your server room should be organised into hot isles and cold isles. The servers lined up in isles with the backs facing each other (because servers always such air from the front), making a hot isle where hot air can be isolated and removed from the environment. The fronts of the servers will therefore be facing each other and being fed cold air, making a cold isle. This ensures that the servers don’t suck in hot air, making the temperature inside the server more consistent.
An alternative to this would be to employ server racks that manage the air flow individually. If you don’t manage the air flow into your servers, it’s impossible to deliver the correct temperature to the inside of the server, which should be 20-22 degrees Celsius for the servers to be running optimally (although this temperature will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer).
Not managing the airflow means that you have to take a guess about the temperature going into the servers because servers in different racks in the server room will have different air temperatures flowing into them. In this scenario you will have to take a guess based on the ambient temperature of the server room. Similarly, if you aren’t piping the hot air out of the server room, you will have to take a guess as well because you can’t confirm that the temperature that you measure will be the temperature in another part of the same server room.
Why do recommended server room temperatures differ from manufacturer to manufacturer? As you can imagine, electronics in servers are very precise. Changing the temperature changes the size of the metal in electronic components, which changes their electronic properties such as resistance. Therefore components are rated to work at particular resistances, ohms, amps, etc. at specific temperatures. Different components may have been created and tested in different environments, with different temperatures.
So back to the original question: What temperature should a server room be kept at? Well, first you should sort out the air flow of your server room, then you should ensure that the incoming air is between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. Server room temperatures should not be below 10 degrees C or above 28 degrees C. Though, personally I would be inclined to lean towards colder temperatures rather than hotter ones, because if an air conditioning system breaks, it will only get hotter!
If you can’t organise your server room into hot and cold isles, then you will probably be better off making the ambient server room temperature a bit lower than you want it to be, based on the assumption that servers may not be able to expel the hot air and that some servers may have some mix of hot and cold air going into the air intake at the front.
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