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Business Data Security: A Guide To Server Room Cooling With Portable Air Conditioners

Aug 17, 2007
Most buildings aren't designed specifically for the unique needs of a server room, so it's no wonder that many server rooms aren't properly designed in terms of cooling. The solution for most has been to bring in portable air conditioners or spot coolers to take the unique needs of the server room.

Computers and server room equipment need to be kept cool-even in the winter months when heat is being pumped into the building to keep the staff warm. Because there normally isn't a way for the hot air to be diverted from the server room and even less likely that a building's HVAC system allows for controlled temperatures on a room-to-room basis, the problem is a serious one.

Choosing a portable air conditioner:
There are several different features to look for when comparing portable air conditioners for use in a server room. The first is the number of BTU's that the spot cooler produces. BTU's, or British Thermal Units are the metric that determines how much heat a particular portable air conditioner can displace.

In order to arrive at the number of BTU's necessary for a portable air conditioner to cool your server room, you'll need to take measurements of the room and any windows in the room, add up the total wattage for the equipment in the room, count the number of lights in the room, and document the number of regular occupants. A portable air conditioning expert can then use this data to recommend a spot cooler with the right number of BTU's to do the job. It's a good idea to get more BTU's than you need currently to handle future growth.

Monitoring the temperature:
The ideal temperature for a server room is between 68 and 71 degrees. An acceptable range is between 50 and 82 degrees. Any hotter and you're risking damage to your server chips. When getting a temperature read on the room, keep in mind the number of occupants that spend most of their day in the data center or server room. A person working in the room can add a good deal of body heat, enough to displace about 400 BTU's of cooling power. Also, the current temperature outside will affect the room, as will the air conditioning or heat filling the remainder of the building.

What you'll need is a way to consistently monitor the temperature of the room to ensure that your portable air conditioner is maintaining the temperature properly. There are motoring devices that generate an alert when data center temperatures get out of range and can even point out any hotspots in the data center. Even if your portable air conditioner is doing its job on the overall temperature of the room, it's important to identify hot spots where small fans may be necessary.

The potential cost of not addressing the issue is disastrous. Imagine what your company would do tomorrow if suddenly all of your critical data was gone or inaccessible for several days. The process of brining in adequate cooling for your data center isn't a difficult one. Portable air conditioners can be rolled in and used immediately with about 20 minutes of set up time by a portable air conditioning specialist. Once your server room cooling system is set up, you can rest easy knowing that you've taken precautions to preserve your company's data.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on server
room cooling units
, visit http://www.coldair.net.
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