Data centres traditionally do not have much attention paid to them during the deployment of their server racks. The only consideration that is usually thought of is the immediate costs of purchasing the racks in the first place and the basic functions of the rack. When compared with everything else it falls down low on the list of priorities. The lack of priority that server racks have had over the last few years has created problems for us as the racks are hard to upgrade.
When you look back at the fact however, you may find it hard to believe that this sort of thinking has plagued the industry for so long. These racks are holding hardware and storing data that’s worth millions of pounds. Not paying due care and attention to the quality of these racks is the same as balancing your fine bone china on a rusty shelf. It’s the final physical defence of your servers and it should only be run with an efficient cooling method. Taking aside the rack quality, the cooling method alone has to seriously consider the server racks that are present. For example if your data cabinet is closed then the effect of an air conditioned room will not have a very big impact.
The equipment inlet, which is otherwise known as the front door, is where the temperature standard sits. The cooling of the equipment doesn’t begin here but if it isn’t dealt with here then serious problems will begin to mount as this is where it matters the most. Just some of the common rack cooling scenarios are listed below. They are what IT professionals and manufacturers will encounter on a frequent basis.
Is convective conventional cooling available with a specific rack? Does it have the features needed for this? A perforation pattern of at least 64% is recommended to provide the perfect level of airflow according to the manufacturers of servers. A lot of data centres have bought server racks or data cabinets without fully considering this and have subsequently set up a mini oven affect inside their cabinets.
Are features in place to aid the recirculation of hot hair? Openings along racks as narrow as 24 inches must be kept sealed in order to keep the cold and hot air paths separated from each other. Vacant rack spaces should have blanking panels installed on all of them. The contamination of cold air with the flow of warm air is another problem that is frequently faced by IT professionals on a regular basis.
Is there any rack cooling items that scale with an increased capacity. If a 9kW rack load is increased to a 12kW rack load, then does it have a cooling solution that can come in to suit this new capacity? Upgrades are always a miniature nightmare for IT managers and manufacturers. Not because they are not trained for it but more because there are always further problems that crop up down the road. A cabinet or rack that is unable to be scaled up or upgraded is one of them.