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IoT for Data Center Monitoring

, 23 March 2019 -- Heat is the enemy of any data center and server room. By their nature, they contain equipment which produces a large amount of heat as a side effect.

Heat is the enemy of any data center and server room. By their nature, they contain equipment which produces a large amount of heat as a side effect. Bigger your data center gets, closer attention you will have to pay to the temperature in the room. Even though recent technological innovations have made equipment more heat resistant, the constant monitoring of temperature has become more important than ever. Even if the proper cooling system has been implemented, certain parts of the data room may still experience a higher temperature due to the bad airflow, or a bad layout of the room. Having a full-fledged monitoring system will save you from a total shutdown and crisis on your hands.

Data centers come in different varieties and there is no one universal temperature that is ideal for all. It also highly depends on the type of equipment that is available. If you are up to date, you can allow yourself to keep a higher temperature, without endangering yourself with data loss. However, older technologies require significantly stronger cooling systems.

It is usually agreed upon, that the temperature in the data center should not go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the upper level that causes questions. The general rule of thumb is that it should not exceed 80 degrees, with a sweet spot being around 55 to 72 degrees.

Keeping temperature at low levels, however, causes a big pressure on the energy grid. In fact, most energy that is used up by data centers goes on cooling systems. This obviously affects your carbon footprint. This is why most of the companies, with large data centers, have their equipment up to date, thus enabling them to keep temperature constantly around 80 degrees (Google is one of such companies). While decreasing your carbon footprint, this does, however, leave a shorten time to react to heat spikes. This is why data center temperature monitoring should always be a top priority.

Data center monitoring tools are a big help. Many people often have a misconception that monitoring the room temperature alone is enough. With data center you may have heat accumulating at a certain part of the room, due to bad airflow, or equipment malfunctioning. You will not notice this, because air conditioners will try to stabilize the temperature in the whole room, but the problematic rack will continue to operate at sub-optimal temperature, inevitably causing it to shut down, resulting in data loss. This is why temperature must be controlled on the rack level with temperature sensors. There is a different school of thoughts about how many sensors per rack must be used. The number varies from 3 to 6. In case you go with three, make sure that you have bottom front, top front and top back covered with sensors.

Not only can high temperature cause a shutdown and loss of data, but in less severe cases it may cause CPU errors, as well as the non-optimal performance of your equipment. You may think that you don’t have a problem right now, but it might slowly be eating your system performance. The only way to avoid which is constant and meticulous data center monitoring.

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Submitted by thenewsgiraffe on Saturday, 23 March 2019 at 9:44 PM
Category: Business
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