Cyber Monday Deals for 2012November 23, 2012
Building an Effective Private CloudNovember 26, 2012
High density servers, or blade servers are great pieces of hardware. Especially when it comes to space, scalability and power consumption. There’s just one trick to them though; how do you keep them cool?
Blade servers are great for data centers that are tight on space. Their compact design makes housing them a breeze – typically within a single 1U rack space. There’s just one problem however, they are very susceptible to over-heating issues. Here are few tips on how to go about keeping your blade servers cool:
Keeping Your Blade Servers Cool
Determine Maximum Cooling Capacity
If you’re housing multiple servers within a data center, make sure you check that the cooling requirements aren’t exceeding network capacity. For example: for every 1 watt consumed, 1 is required to cool your IT equipment.
Check Condition of Cooling Equipment
Just like the AC in your car, cooling devices in server rooms wear out. Check the condition of chillers, condensers, water pumps and/or any auxiliary systems.
Inspect the Tiles
Raised floor colocation facilities allow for better airflow beneath sever racks. If tiles are damaged or warped, other parts of the rack may not receive a uniform velocity of cool air.
Inspect Airflow between Rackspace
Empty racks should be sealed off with blank panels. This allows airflow to travel up intake vents without escaping out of empty rack-space.
Tidy Up Excess Cabling
Excessive cable clutter around server racks may also adversely affect cooling efforts. Make sure you inspect the physical condition of cables as well. Aside from absorbing cool air, broken or frayed wiring is a fire hazard and can leed to network outages if inadvertently tampered with. A clutter-free data center is typically more efficient.
If you are running blade servers within a data center, or are housing them within a colocation facility just realize that there will be less space between each unit. To avoid overheating issues be sure to follow the guidelines above. Regular checkups and walkthroughs of facilities are common practice.
Consider them a form of preventative maintenance. Even though data centers employ qualified staff, they aren’t always on top of their game. If you are paying for services you might as well take a vested interest in how your hardware is looked after. Blade servers are sensitive pieces of equipment. If cooled and maintained properly they will provide years of maintenance-free service.