Winter is soon approaching and with it comes the concern of not just managing the drop in temperature, but also managing the low humidity that comes with it. Ensuring temperature and humidity control systems are set to the industry recommended ranges and are receiving routine maintenance in the coming winter months will help prevent any unexpected impairment from these environmental conditions. Below are some considerations to be made in order to prevent downtime or loss of of data in the winter months.
Temperature Control Systems and Maintenance
Problems arising from improper preparation for these yearly temperature lows can be minor or in some cases catastrophic. Being one step ahead of the incoming chill is an essential preparation to ensure data center up-time. Maintaining thermal management systems is critically important as low temperatures and the accompanying low humidity produces static electricity, which can potentially damaging sensitive electronics systems, creating a situation where indiscriminate data loss is a real possibility. However, maintaining environmental conditions within industry standard guidelines is not not as simple as running systems until the desired effects are achieved. With the large fluctuations in temperature and humidity that come during the winter months air conditioning units and humidity control systems will be under duress attempting to keep the desired stable conditions within the data center. If these systems don’t receive proper servicing they can cause leakage of coolant or water into the data center through failure of internal components, creating a multitude of issues as not only will flooding or leakage have to be dealt with, but also unregulated thermal conditions during their repair. Receiving routine maintenance of these systems to check for faulty hardware is essential as always, but a pre-winter diagnostic for thermal management systems during this time of year can help prevent a potential disaster and ensure operations continue unhindered.
Automated Thermal Management Systems
Keeping the temperature and humidity in a narrow range is not an easy accomplished task. Luckily there are automated control systems that can act as hive-mind for a network of thermal management systems, ensuring the ideal temperature and humidity zones are reached. These systems bring a big picture to temperature and humidity control by ensuring individual systems in the building don’t counteract each other’s purpose and they can give proper warning of inefficiency, such as in the case of one unit futility counteracting another by humidifying while another is dehumidifying. This expansive view into the cooling systems within a data center is a great diagnostics system and helps reduce the workload and potential for human error, in turn reducing costs through better overall efficiency of the system.