CIO Symmetry

Aug 21 2009   3:24PM GMT

Beware of rising server room temperatures

Karen Guglielmo Karen Guglielmo Profile: Karen Guglielmo

When you’re cranking the A/C during these final hot days of summer, don’t forget about data center cooling as well. The consequences for not monitoring server room temperatures could burn you well beyond the summer months.

Experts suggest the optimal server room temperature should not go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above 82 degrees. But in general, it’s best to keep your servers in a room with temperatures between 68-71 degrees.

The consequences for failing to notice rising mercury in your server room are severe. For instance, at Duke University, the one time its server room overheated (reaching 86-95 degrees Celsius for a number of hours), the school faced both short- and long-term consequences. Of the university’s 15 nodes, three blew immediately and six more failed over the next few months.

And the price for not following proper cooling requirements could cost your companies thousands, and in some cases millions, of dollars. When the server room overheated at St. James Hospital in Leeds, England, the hospital lost all the equipment and servers for its new computer system that stored patient X-rays. The system cost more than $1.4 million.

So as Labor Day approaches and summer heat hangs on, remember to watch your server room temperature. You and your team aren’t the only ones that need to stay cool.

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