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Server room temperature recommendations

Posted on 2003-03-05
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We will be moving into a new building (new construction) in a few months and I will have 2 Compaq servers in a small 7' x 7' room. Originally the design was for a seperate A/C unit for that room. Now there has been discussion of just venting that room and not putting in any seperate A/C. The building as a whole will not be air conditioned during non-business hours. I know that heat can be a computers worst enemy, so I am concerned.

My question is, what is the temperature a small server room should be kept, so that heat is not an issue in the performance of the servers.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Question by:dvetter
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rrhunt28 earned 200 total points
ID: 8074374
I would stay between 60 and 70.  Burning up a server or a router would be very expensive.  Cisco actully has a whole list of things you are supposed to do in a server room.  Like no false celing.  No water for fires, just halon.  Door locks from outside but not inside.  Plenty of room to work on computers and equipment.  Things like that.  You also not only have to worry about temp, but humidity too. If you are in a place that gets humid, water will condense on computer parts, which isnt good at all.
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by:andyalder
ID: 8074427
Yup, whats comfortable for people is comfortable for computers.
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by:ksearch
ID: 8076617
Andyalder is correct. General rule of thumb--if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for them, if it's too cold for you it's too cold for them.  Not only is too much humidity bad, too little humidity is worse. If the air is too dry, static increases, causes a variety of "unexplained" problems.  

As long as you are looking at that room, look at everything! Floor covering?! Avoid carpet if you can, too much static.  Door locks are mandatory, but think about combination locks--easier and less expensive than calling a locksmith every time there's turnover in the IT dept or management and you need to change the keys.

Even in a closed room, make sure there's a window so people don't use the room as a place to hide out and so the room doesn't become a storage room. (you'd be surprised)

What about power?  Make sure you have plenty of it in that room, and on a dedicated circuit.  

Make sure sprinkler heads have been removed and halon is in place.  You don't want toast burned in the kitchen to set off the sprinklers and do thousands of dollars in damage.  (But follow code for your municipality in terms of fire supression).  

Cutting corners on air conditioning now will cause no end of headaches in the future.  
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by:lrmoore
ID: 8077206
Temperature recommendations are right on, but just remember that every server, router and switch is a little heater that generates a good bit of heat. Put them all together, turn off the AC, and you have a potential for problems. I've seen it too many times in buildings that turn off heat on the weekends. Come in Monday morning and half the stuff is down, shutdown itself due to heat. Venting is NOT ENOUGH!

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by:dvetter
ID: 8104484
Thanks to all for your input.
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