As businesses demand more from their IT infrastructure, that infrastructure demands more power to keep running. The energy being consumed by today’s more powerful servers also results in the generation of a lot more heat. Concentrated heat. When servers heat up, they shut down. If you’re concerned about your ability to provide an adequate environment to cool your servers, here are some simple things to make sure you are doing in order to maximize your existing cooling capacity.
- Create hot and cold aisles. One of the most effective things you can do to maximize the effect of your HVAC is to configure your IT infrastructure into hot and cold isles. With all your infrastructure pulling cold air from one side of your racks and a common hot isle for the exhaust you will avoid hot and cold air mixing.
- Spread the heat load. Where possible, try to spread the heat load amongst all your cabinets to avoid hot spots.
- Use blanking plates. With consistency in the direction of air flow through the equipment and racks, the next is to make sure all the gaps in the racks are plugged. The use of blanking plates that mount directly into cabinets make sure the cold air is drawn through the servers rather than around them.
- Cable Management. Make sure power and communications cabling is well managed and is kept clear of the exhausts from servers and switches. The easier you make it for the hot air to return to the HVAC units the better.
- Do we really need it on? Are there any pieces of legacy or infrequently used equipment that can be powered off or put into a hibernation or energy saving state? The less equipment powered on the less heat you’ll need to dealing with.
- Virtualization. Consider technologies such as virtualization to help achieve higher utilization from your physical severs, thereby reducing the number of servers you need powered on.