Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer is on its way - albeit not today

With summer on its way (its raining today, but I am assurred the English summer will be here soon) its that time of year again that I wonder if the old server sitting in the corner in the sun will survive just one more year.

To quote a blog post - "Note to future IT hopefuls:Computers make heat. Heat is BAD."

PCs, servers especially run hot, all the time, there are warning stickers on some of the servers I have seen that say 'Do not run this server with this side panel off'.
Every time you Server/PC shuts down due to heat (called a thermo-shutdown, its normally automatic once Processor gets to 60+ deg C) it looses 1 yr of its life and they are not designed to last forever (well some are - HP competiton )

So with a scorching summer on its way here are a few tips to keep it cool, (note they dont run under water);
- Air con is good, it may be hard on the electricity bill and maybe the environment but the cost of downtime and early server retirement may be worth it)
- Keep access to the servers limited, I have seen a server room door left open to cool the rest of the office as there was only one air con unit in the place and in the open plan space
- You could look at virtualising some of the server functions - consolidating the number of machines running your company will mean less heat created etc, leaving the released servers to be used as backups?
- Keep the severs in the same cooled or at least well vetilated room, this aids security as well.

I currently have 4 servers in the crypt of a no really it is, as the room is below ground level under the chapel it is naturally cooler down there. With a portable air con unit on standby incase it gets too hot, the room sits at around 35 de C, which is probably a little warm, but the aircon cant cool it any more than 30 deg C as the heat outlet pipe heats the room up as its cooling. However the system works well.

Make sure you have a backup system in place as the heat can kill:

If you need any advice on server virtualisation, cooling or security feel free to drop me an email

goodluck with the summer heat.

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