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Server Racks running hot

Posted on 2013-05-13
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
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I have a two server racks in my apartment
XrackPro Noise Reduction Enclosure 4U
Enclosed 42U Rack

The room is 20 x 15 8 foot ceiling.

My room temperature is between 70 and 72 degrees


I placed a sensor in both racks

The enclosed 42U Rack is running 83 84 degrees
in that rack I have several devices
4 Dell Desktop servers
2 cisco routers one rack mount other on vented shelf
1 cisco rack mount switch 18 port gb
2 NAS storge devices
4 USB external drives one for each of the servers
Buffalo WiFi Router

The door panels are vented top to bottom
I do have a solid shelf on the bottom of the rack
No fans inside the rack.


In the XRackPro runs about the same temp 83 84 degrees
that only has one Dell Poweredge 1950
If I close all the doors the temp goes above 90 and eventually the dell poweredge 1950 gets a warning temperature ambient
The XRackPro does have a fan installed which is running and I feel hot air when I  place my hand near it so it seems to be sucking out the hot air but maybe not fast enough or powerful enough?
I need to leave the front door open so the temp remains low but that defeats the purpose of the XRackpro the Dell 1950 is very noisy and the Xrackpro silences the server when the door is closed.

Any thoughts on how I can bring the temperature down in both racks?

Thanks
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Question by:Thomas Grassi
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Expert Comment

by:BurundiLapp
ID: 39161762
You have two options as far as I can see, you can introduce chilled air to the racks, as is the norm for cooling racks of equipment.

-or-

You can increase the ambient temp airflow through the racks, this may mean ducting air from outside and/or venting air to the outside and increasing the number or size of fans to increase the airflow.

It largely depends on your budget, A/C is the best way to go but also the most expensive and it will add additional noise.

Increasing the airflow may not cool as efficiently but it may reduce the temps enough to allow you to run the server without issue and the increase in noise may be comparable to adding A/C, it would also be much cheaper in the short and long term.

Other non-cooling options include renting server in a data centre somwhere.

If the servers are absolutly mission critical I would look at a small A/C unit and some way of enclosing the racks to reduce the area the A/C has to cool to a minimum.

There are various in-rack methods of improving the airflow that is there to get it through the server: http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/product-series.cfm?txtSeriesID=957
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Author Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39161878
Thanks for your input

Do you think if I get a rack mount fan for the 42U rack that it would help reduce the heat because it can push the air thru faster?

If I get an a/c unit for the room which I have to do anyway with the summer upcoming
What temp do you think I need to keep it at to reduce the temp in the racks?
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Expert Comment

by:BurundiLapp
ID: 39161900
So long as the air flow is correct on the 42u rack ( i.e it comes in at the bottom (coolest air at the bottom) and comes out at the top ( hot air rises) ) then increasing the fans will help somewhat.

As for the temps we keep our various server rooms at around 21°C (70°F) but your servers would probably operate anywhere between 20 and 27 happily enough, the cooler you can keep them the happier and longer lived (and quieter) they generally are.
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Expert Comment

by:BurundiLapp
ID: 39161916
I would seriously consider venting the hot air to the outside if you can, it will help keep the temps low, especially in summer.

In winter redirect the outflow to your living area :0
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LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39161931
I do not have anyway to vent the air flow this is an apartment building and I can not make any changes to the building structure or put holes in the walls.
If I vented it thru the wall then my neighbor would get the heat.

I think I need a contained solution here.
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BurundiLapp earned 500 total points
ID: 39161996
If you can't take the hot air out I would seriously recommend putting cold air in, A/C may be the way to go :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39162107
Thanks for the info
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Expert Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 39169949
BTU/hr = cfm * 1.08 * Tdelta

If you don't know your BTU, then figure 1 w/hr = 3.412 BTU.

Example: 1,000w total draw, ambient air is 74deg, exhaust is 90deg

cfm = BTU / (1.08*Tdelta)
cfm = 1,000*3.412 / (1.08*(90-74))
cfm = 3412 / (1.08 * 16)
cfm = 197

Maybe somebody can check my math.
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