One of the most important tasks, when you are planning to run a website or a data center, is server design and its maintenance. A web server needs to be up 24x7 and so does a data center. To be able to maintain optimum efficiency, the equipment needs to be housed in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.
Like all mechanical components, the nemesis of electronic components are heat and humidity. Every one of the computer hardware parts, which includes the computer processor, motherboard, and all of its accessories have a range of temperatures, in which they work with optimum efficiency.
Drastic variation from this optimum temperature range can cause a breakdown, affecting its functioning. When you have a website running on the server or a data center dependent on it, you can't really afford to have it being blanked out, due to heat problems. Let us take a look at the factors which determine the ideal temperature for server rooms.
Factors That Determine Ideal Temperature and Humidity
Every electronic component, which is a part of the server computer and its connected equipment, generates a certain amount of heat, through its functioning. Ideally, to determine the right room temperature, one must study the optimum performance temperature range for each component and set the temperature and humidity levels of the server room, accordingly.
So, one of the prime factors is the heat output of every one of its computer hardware components and their optimal performance range. Of course, the number of computer systems, switches, and other such networking components also affects the choice of temperature range.
The set temperature of the air conditioning system and humidity levels, need to be precisely calibrated so that the heat generated by the components is effectively driven away, through air circulation. The temperature and humidity levels cannot be too low or high. The heat carrying capacity of air is related to its moisture holding capacity and temperature.
The ideal temperature and humidity levels are specified by all server equipment manufacturers. Their values need to be maintained within a specific range. The ideal temperature recommendation from experts is 20° to 21° Celsius (that is 68° to 69.8° Fahrenheit).
However, some experts broaden the range to 18° to 27° Celsius. Although, the temperature may vary in individual cases, depending on the heat output of the equipment, it's not recommended that it be set below 10° Celsius (50° Fahrenheit) or above 28° Celsius (82° Fahrenheit).
The humidity of the room should be maintained around 40% to 60% or to be more precise, 45% to 55%. When humidity levels are specified, it is in terms of relative humidity. Temperature sensors are attached to the network itself and they can provide email or sms alerts, when the ambient temperature goes above or below recommended levels.
The ideal temperature range is 20° to 21° Celsius but it may vary according to the number, structure, and heat output of the entire computer network. It is best to consult the manufacturers of server equipment, for the right ambient temperatures.
Installing monitors is highly recommended as it can alert you, in case, the air conditioning equipment breaks down. When you have a server room to take care of, it's best not to take chances.