From Poster of the question:
Manufacturers of IT equipment have acknowledged the need for energy efficiency even in IT facilities by incorporating algorithms to vary the fan speed in their units. If ambient temperature increases, the fan maintains component temperature by simply moving more air across itself. As noted in ASHRAE’s 2008 guide, page 3 discussing the high side limit: “The concern that increasing the IT inlet air temperature might have a significant effect on reliability is not well founded. An increase in inlet temperature does not necessarily mean an increase in component temperature”.
Google ASHRAE Extended Environmental Envelope August 1 2008, or google ASHRAE AND IT Room Temperatures
The existing buildings in the project vary in age, shell construction, insulation attributes, and HVAC equipment capacities. Some of the buildings are a corrugated metal exterior with varying ceiling heights to accommodate varied trade and craft activities. Built for specific purposes, many were provided with only a modicum of heating or cooling capacity yielding modest levels of comfort versus winter or summer conditions outside, but not intended to achieve or maintain office operating temperatures, let alone server room temperatures. Some buildings have a conditioned office space built-out inside the shell and some of these do have cooling and heating separate from the modicum provided for trades and crafts people, but even some of these situate the communication equipment room in such a way the desired temperature constant was not achievable in the past and remains so now. Indeed at one building with a porous exterior shell and minimal cooling equipment, loggers indicate when it was 98 degrees outside in the unoccupied weekend, the swamp coolers only maintained 92 degrees inside by the data equipment! Been that way for a few years now.
Given these existing-condition realities at the facilities, the client already has practical experience with the subject of operating communication room equipment with temperature fluctuations. If there have been no failures it is likely for the reasons of manufacturer’s built-in durability to tolerate high temperatures or, as stated by ASHRAE, on-board algorithms increase fan speed in the equipment to maintain component temperature.