There's never a good time for the server room air conditioning to fail. EVER! But, as all facilities managers and data center managers know, the question is not IF mechanical equipment will fail, it's WHEN.
Don't wait until you're in the middle of a cooling emergency.
PLAN NOW. It won't be painful or too time consuming. I promise.
Here's a simple 6 step plan for conquering a server room cooling crisis.
Figure out the size of the room you need to cool. If you don't have a tape measure handy, just count the ceiling tiles -- typically 2' x 2' or 2' by 4' -- and do the easy math. OK, you can use a calculator if you need to!
Take a quick inventory of the equipment that is in the server room and needs to stay operating. You may be able to shift some of the load or turn off some of the less mission-critical equipment. Be sure to account for all servers, switches, monitors, even UPSes.
See if you can find out the size of the air conditioner that failed. If there isn't a dedicated server room air conditioner, find out how much cooling is supplied to the room from the central system.
What power is available in the server room? This will figure into not only which portable air conditioners you can use but also the quantity.
Where can you exhaust the condenser air? Does the building have plenum return above the ceiling or ducted return? You may have to put the units outside the server room and duct the cold air into the space.
What about the condensate? That's the moisture that is removed from the air -- or the "water" that is generated by the air conditioner. All portable air conditioners have condensate tank(s) and you can.
Server Room Cooling Crisis Takeaway
Take stock of your current environment so you'll know how much emergency server cooling is needed in the event of an air conditioning failure. Depending on your situation, you may want to invest in purchasing portable spot coolers. Regardless, it's beneficial to keep in contact with a service company that can support your emergency rental cooling needs as they arise.