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Monitor Data Center Cooling to Determine How Much Cooling is Needed

Posted by Tina Behnke

Data-Center-Cooling-DecisionsTrying to figure out how much data center cooling you need?  Got a hot spot in your server room?  Here's a radical idea.... monitor the room FIRST to figure out what you need BEFORE you take the plunge and jump in!

TMCnet contributing editor, Susan Campbell discusses how environmental monitoring makes sense for the data center.  Makes perfect sense to me!

Speaking from the perspective of someone who is on the downhill end of the computer room cooling crisis (and we all know what rolls downhill!) I have found there are two basic mind sets when it comes to cooling problems.

Analysis Paralysis

This seems to happen when the data centers are huge and there are many levels of control that weigh in and evaluate the environmental and cost issues.  Facilities folks need to collaborate with the IT folks and, well, that isn't always a smooth process.  And there's also a number cruncher who holds the purse strings and has the ultimate say over what is purchased.  Understandably, no one wants to be the fall guy so they research and study all the options available.  And then the requirements change or there is a new person to report to....and the process begins again.

Why not start with a report from a data center monitoring tool?  This will allow you to compare the actual environment to the ideal environment.  Plus you'll have data to back up your decision.... when you finally arrive at one! :-)

Knee-jerk Reaction

Most common with the small to mid-size data center cooling applications or growing LAN environments.  There's cooling, just not enough. Not sure exactly what is needed, the IT manager uses trial and error going with the most readily available cooling solution in hopes it will stand up to the constant cooling demands of the data center or LAN room.  While a portable air conditioner will work in most of these applications, not all spot coolers are created (or perform!) equally.

A perfect time to take a deep breath and monitor the equipment environment first. 

Takeaway

Regardless of your decision making personality type, there's help out there!  The folks at ITWatchdog have a host of products to monitor your data center cooling and electrical use.  The process and information gained through data center monitoring will certainly make for a more informed and effective data center cooling solution.

I have to admit, my decision making personality type depends on the decision I'm faced with.  I tend to be more of a "let's go get the stuff and make it work" person and my husband is a "measure twice, cut once" person.  Guess that's why it's best when opposites attract. 

Photo:  Dream Designs

Topics: Server Room Cooling, Data Center Cooling