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server room cooling

Posted on 2010-08-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Could you use a home central air machine to cool your server room? You know, the typical unit you see outside of a house? Do they run in winter?

those prices sure beat the heck out of a split server room setup
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Question by:shankshank
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marektech earned 336 total points
ID: 33430680
You could but usually when you buy AC for a server room you are buying something which is robust. You need something which won't fail and as a result could damage your hardware. I've even experienced leaks before with lower range server room air con systems, for example if the pump dies - water and server rooms do not mix. The cost of replacing the data and hardware is usually much greater than an air con system. Getting it done properly with twin systems for redundancy along with good server room design will pay off in the future if anything does go wrong.  
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33430693
I agree.

You can plenty of things on the cheap... and they may work for a time.  When they fail, they could quickly make the decision look less than wise.
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by:Joshaven
Joshaven earned 336 total points
ID: 33430703
You could, however a window air conditionar may not be able to keep up with your servers... Also, if you require cooling and your AC quits then you may be in trouble.

We use:
Fujitsu ASU24CL http://www.google.com/products?q=fujitsu+ASU24CL&aq=f

and a temperature monitoring device that will page us is the room temp goes above a given temp.
http://www.itwatchdogs.com/product-categories-climate_monitors-climate_monitors-1.html

We have a server room with about 20 machines running in it.  If our AC dies then the room will heat up very quickly and servers will go down.  We also have a backup AC unit that can be used.
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Author Comment

by:shankshank
ID: 33430737
yeah I did a room before with 2 spot coolers and  25k window unit. worked fine.

but now i am faced with the situation of cost savings best bang

so i was going to do 2 25k units in the room, but putting it through the wall of another room and not a window.

what i want isa split unit like htat fujitsu but with installation the quote i have is 15k
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by:madunix
madunix earned 332 total points
ID: 33430990
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by:robocat
robocat earned 332 total points
ID: 33434201

Two things to consider:

1. if you have any business critical stuff, you need at least 2 units that each have enough capacity to cool the server room during the hottest days of the year (which is probably when one will break down)

2. the electricity cost to run cheap airco units is much higher than the professional units because the professional units are much more efficient. These things need to run 24/7 and the cost to run on of these can easily outweigh the higher purchasing cost after even one or two years. So the home units are cheap to purchase but actually more expensive in the long run.

 
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by:justadad
justadad earned 332 total points
ID: 33435790
It does depend on the number of the servers you have also.  If it is just 4-6 servers in a single rack then yes you may be able to get away with a home size one.  But many times the sheer amount of heat will be a problem.  If you know how much electricity that your servers will be using, just assume that all of that becomes heat.  You will see that a few servers quickly takes a good size home unit to keep cool and as was said before the cost of electricity long term becomes a huge factor.
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Assisted Solution

by:D_Vante
D_Vante earned 332 total points
ID: 33437130
You have to make sure the units can dehumidify the room properly if using a home unit.
I had one client that had 4 window units in 2 long windows along with a dehumidifier.
They would run two units at a time then every month switch to the other two units.
They also had an exhaust system behind the server racks to pull the air through the units.
The exhaust unit failed and the room temp jumped from 70 to 84+ in under 20 minutes.  They turned on the other two ac units and it helped very little and eventually tripped a braker.  Box fans saved the day and a second exhaust was put in place.
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