Green IT: Too hot, too cold, or just right?

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Raising server room temperatures is at the heart of Green IT. So how do you “go green” without risking equipment failure due to overheating? Take the guesswork out of the equation with comprehensive temperature monitoring using Climate Guard.

Too cold: over cooling might seem safe, but it’s expensive.
Traditionally, IT staffs have kept server rooms nice and chilly just to be safe. It’s hard to imagine anything overheating in a room that barely hits 70° F. The downside is twofold: high energy costs and impact on the environment. As energy prices have increased, the cost of cooling a server room has followed suit. Pair that with a slow economy, and you can bet management is painting a target on IT’s back. And with the number and size of data centers growing, the impact on our environment is becoming an increasingly serious issue.

Too hot: bumping the temperature up to “go green” can result in equipment failure.
The obvious solution is to just notch the temperature up, right? The question is… how much? Cooling a server room is critical, and heat can cause problems ranging from intermittent outages to serious downtime and data loss. Worse yet, “hot spots” caused by differences in heat production and ventilation mean that your adjustments to cooling may seem safe at first, but will ultimately lead to problems in only certain racks.

Just right: measure temperatures in each rack to fine tune ventilation and cooling.
Measuring temperature throughout the server room, ideally at the top and bottom of each rack, allows you to accurately fine tune both your cooling and ventilation. Start by looking for hot spots and adjusting your ventilation to balance the temperature. Then you can safely increase the temperature in the server room as much as the equipment will allow.

Using Climate Guard, you can easily measure temperature at the top and bottom of each rack. Climate Guard will keep a log of your temperature readings so that you can watch for variations over time and look at long term averages and maximums, rather than a simple snapshot in time. And with its ability to send email, SMS and SNMP alerts, you’ll be the first to know if there is any kind of a cooling problem.

See Climate Guard in action with our live, web-based demo system. (Username: demo, Password: demo)