As the dog days of summer are upon us, many small and midsize firms see their data center's cooling systems reaching their limits and beyond. This is especially true for rooms that are not using large, dedicated, chilled water systems with extra capacity. Many IT departments are sweating out the summer, hoping that they will not have servers suddenly crashing from over-temperature shutdowns.
Many times, when the actual capacity of the cooling system is not overwhelmingly exceeded by the actual heat load of the equipment, optimizing the airflow may improve the situation until a new or additional cooling system is installed. There are a number of other things that can also help. Here are 11 tips, tricks and techniques that may not solve the long-term problem, but may help enough to get you through the summer.
Tip #1: Take temperature measurements at the front of the servers. This is where the servers draw in the cool air, and is really the only valid and most important measurement. Take readings at the top, middle and bottom of the front of the racks (assuming that you have a Hot Aisle - Cold Aisle layout). If the bottom areas of the racks are cooler, and you have the space, try to rearrange the servers to the coolest areas.
Tip #2: Make sure that you block off any open, unused space in the front of the racks by using blanking panels. This will prevent hot air from the rear recirculating into the front of the racks.