With advancements in technology, data centers have become the lifeline of numerous industries, from finance to healthcare. Data centers generate a considerable amount of heat while processing huge amounts of information. This makes cooling a necessary investment.
Data center cooling refers to the technologies and strategies used to maintain appropriate environmental conditions for IT equipment. This involves removing excess heat produced by servers, storage, network gear, and more. Common methods include air conditioning, liquid cooling, evaporative cooling, and free cooling. Companies typically rely on HVAC/R businesses to oversee temperature controls for data centers.
Extreme or fluctuating temperatures can degrade hardware components, cause hard drive failures, and lead to outages. Most data center gear is designed to operate within tight temperature ranges. Regional temperatures can impact the amount of maintenance and care a data center will need. Particularly humid and hot environments may need more attention from a business owner.
Cooling issues are one of the leading causes of server room and data center downtime. Lacking redundancy or proper heat removal will cause temperatures to climb, forcing emergency shutdowns. This downtime can greatly affect business operations and productivity if not controlled. Plus, vulnerability to cyberattacks increases when servers and programs are down.
In addition to damaging infrastructure, cooling failures directly impact data integrity and availability. Overheated hard drives increase the likelihood of corruption and make accessing information difficult or impossible.
Physically separating hot exhaust air from cool intake air improves cooling efficiency. Strategic airflow management prevents mixing, eliminates hotspots, and reduces energy demands. Many companies will alternate the layout of hot and cold equipment to better regulate temperatures.
Economizer modes allow data centers to use external ambient conditions for “free cooling” whenever possible. This reduces mechanical cooling needs dramatically, saving energy. However, warmer climates may still need additional help regulating temperatures.
Old, inefficient gear consumes more power and outputs more heat. Regular assessments and tech refreshes improve workload consolidation, allowing facilities to add capacity without expanding footprints. Replacements may take time to set up, leaving your data center vulnerable to heat once again. Stay ahead of the heat by keeping your equipment updated before it overheats.
Debris and clogged vents restrict critical airflow. Preventative maintenance extends equipment lifespans while ensuring optimal cooling capabilities. This also allows you to keep up with what equipment needs updating before a failure.
As data centers continue to grow in size and computing density, cooling systems must evolve to meet emerging thermal challenges. Several innovative technologies are being adopted to reduce costs and improve resiliency.
AI can monitor the heating, cooling, and energy consumption of a data center. This monitoring can help you decide when to retire old equipment or when to use other methods. With a constant set of eyes on your data center temperatures, you gain peace of mind.
Liquid cooling is a cost-effective and flexible solution for data center cooling. There are two types of liquid cooling methods on the rise, helping larger facilities maintain ideal temperatures.
This approach places the entire device in dielectric fluid in a closed system. The vapor created by the hot device is condensed and falls back to help with cooling again in a constant cycle.
This kind of liquid cooling sends the fluid through a tube to the hottest part of the unit. This is typically the CPU or motherboard chip. The fluid circulates to a plate or reservoir and keeps it cool. The heated liquid travels through a chilled loop and is expelled in another location.
Several different systems can be employed in a data center to regulate temperature. Common systems include:
- Computer Room AC (CRAC): Circulation methods are used to create constant streams of cold air for the units. The air conditioning units will then take the expelled hot air and recirculate it once cooled down. This is a process monitored by a heating and cooling company.
- Geothermal Cooling: Geothermal cooling uses the cool temperatures underneath the earth to create a cooling loop with pipes. These pipes circulate coolant or water that uses less electricity because the earth is cooling it and absorbing the heat.
- Evaporative Cooling: This type of cooling is cost-effective because it uses just a fan and water. A pad will soak up water from a receptacle, and hot air from the machines will be dispersed by the water. Then, the cold air is distributed in the room. This method is best suited for dry climates because of the moisture put back into the air.
Finding the right solution for your data center can be stressful. Let ISS Mechanical take the burden off your shoulders. Whether it’s routine maintenance, upgrades, or an emergency in the middle of the night, you can count on us to keep your equipment cool in the Florida heat.
As West Florida’s premiere HVAC/R provider, we have the expertise to meet your data center cooling needs. With technicians available 24/7, your data center won’t miss a beat. Optimize your data cooling strategy by contacting ISS Mechanical today.