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Server Room Cooling, what should I keep in mind?

Server Room Cooling, what should I keep in mind?

Where data is processed, servers are needed. Those servers, in their turn, need efficient and functional cooling. But what should you keep in mind, and more importantly, what kind of cooling systems should you choose? Today, the possibilities of server rooms and the associated cooling systems are endless. In this article, we will discuss a number of aspects related to server room cooling. We will focus on the small to medium-sized server rooms and discuss a number of aspects that you need to consider when choosing your cooling solution.


Why Server Room Cooling?

When talking about server rooms, we mean any room or section in a building where IT related equipment is set up. For example, office buildings or government buildings in which a large amount of data is processed and where the servers are installed inside the same building in any particular room. In addition, more "critical" environments such as hospitals and printing companies are also applications where a server room and cooling may be desired. Despite the fact that more and more data processing is being done in the cloud, we still see a continuous demand of traditional server rooms.

Every server room needs a cooling solution. Without a cooling solution, the servers quickly overheat, resulting in downtime and possible data loss. A cooling solution for server rooms ensures that the servers remain at the desired temperature and offer full operational reliability. Depending on the available space and the required conditions, this can pose a number of issues. There are various systems and solutions that can deal with these issues in an efficient and precise manner.

What should you keep in mind?

Experience tells us that there are many different solutions when it comes to effectively cooling server rooms and the associated IT related equipment. We already compared two cooling solutions with each other in a previous article. There are a number of aspects that you should consider. Firstly, the desired cooling capacity, this must be equal to the installed electrical capacity of the servers and peripherals (heat load). Secondly, the operational reliability, is there a back-up unit required that will take over the cooling of the room in the event of a failure (N + 1 redundancy)? Thirdly, the desired room conditions, the room temperature and air humidity must be within the permitted operating range of the servers. Fourthly, the air circulation, is the layout of the server room so that the cold air can reach everywhere, whether or not via a raised floor (prevention of “hot spots”)? Finally the cost efficiency, is the system designed in such a way that maximum efficiency and ROI is obtained from the cooling systems?

  • Cooling Capacity

  • Operational Reliability

  • Room Conditions

  • Air Circulation

  • Cost Efficiency

An example which covers the above aspects almost completely is Direct Free Cooling. With Direct Free Cooling, filtered outside air is used to keep the server room at the right temperature. This results in huge savings of up to 90%. However, for the integration of the Direct Free Cooling system, it is decisive what the permitted R.H. is from the outside air that is brought into the server room. Due to the equipment present, this is regularly the so-called “bottleneck”. In addition, with Direct Free Cooling the air volume often has to be increased in order to have sufficient cooling capacity compared to the mechanical cooling operation. Finally, with downflow units, the floor area and height under any raised floor that may be present plays a role and with upflow units, the total volume of the server room is again a point of attention.

Whether you opt for a split unit solution or a completely custom-made solution, each system and solution have its own advantages and disadvantages and is in line with the aforementioned points of attention in various ways. That is why it is important to properly map out the wishes and requirements and to consult with an expert in order to arrive at the right solution for your server room.


Be prepared for the future

The choice of a server room cooling solution is one that must be taken with precision. A good choice translates itself roughly into two elements: operational reliability and cost efficiency. After all, your data and servers deserve the best quality. Interested in server room cooling? STULZ offers the most extensive range. Contact us to see what we can do for you.