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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Server Room temperature

    Not sure whether this is a question that is suited to this message board, but i'll post it anyway.

    Our server room has recently risen to approx. 30 degrees C. We have started getting disk/network error messages during the day, which means exiting all databases etc. Which is a nightmare when halfway through writing a document or running a mailmerge.

    Does anyone know if this problem is solely due to the hubs/switches overheating, or could there be a fault with one of the hubs/switches.

    This isn't usually my dept. but our tech guy has recently left & management has decided not to replace him, and as nobody else is going to do anything, and i'm currently spending most of the day doing my work twice, I thought i'd ask around. Any tips would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    My opinion? You might inform management that you've got a crisis on your hands.

    Servers require a degree of daily maintenance, period. Monitoring the temprature, (as critical as that is) is the least of your problems.

    Chances are your tech that left also did the daily backups of your server in case of a crash, fixed any intermittent problems which may have arisen, and handled the network 'choking' on itself from time to time.

    Doing your work twice is one thing, not being able to do it at all is quite another.. you've got fires, big ones. Ideally for you and your Company, management would find a replacement for that tech ASAP.

    On the temperature issue, you'd need a spot-specific thermometer to try and determine where the most heat is coming from, it may end up being a combination of things you'll likely have no control over, but then it's quite possible it's a matter of hubs/switches or servers themselves overheating, it may be something as simple as the filter on your cooling system needs to be changed.

    Hope that helps!
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  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Hi
    My tip is to look round for another job. If your management is so shortsighted that they will not employ the proper technical personnel, then it is a foregone conclusion that the first breakdown of your LAN will quickly become a disaster of epic proportions and will bankrupt the company - or at least put their computers out of action for so long you'd be back to pen and paper. I'd get out whilst the going's good. Then, when it does happen, you can feel sympathy from a distance, without the pain of being right in it. In any case, you will get neither job satisfaction nor security working for such ignorant people.
    Rgds

  4. #4
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Hi Phil,

    Firstly 30C is very high for continuous operating temp in any server room!

    My server room, with 5 servers, 3 switches and 2 hubs is currently slightly *warm* at 24C, I aim to keep the temperature at 22C and have alarms set at 26C. At 24C my servers are sitting around 25.5C. Internal temp I haven't checked, nor the hubs. Will get to you on that.

    My setup, for your info, is dual airconditioners and cabinets to house all equipment has fan forced air feed.

    My advise is to CYA (Cover Your Assets, or something) and put something in writing to your management. Then can can at least say the were warned.

    If you want to let me know what hardware you're running I'll see if I can advise on monitoring it. (No guaranty, though)

    Good luck!
    Granville

  5. #5
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Phil,

    My findings, no science to the methodology just used a thermometer with two pickups. Placed to one 2 to 3 inches in front of the grill where the air is sucked in and the other I blue-taced to the grill of the fan.

    So the results -

    Hub cabinet - 28.2C

    Servers:
    1. in - 24.1, out - 28.9
    2. in - 24.2, out - 27.3
    3. in - 24.8, out - 29.9
    4. in - 24.6, out - 30.8
    5. in - 25.2, out - 30.1.

    Hope this is of some help as a guide.
    Granville

  6. #6
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Thanks everyone for the response.

    Granville,

    Some info. about our server room, if you don't get time to reply it doesn't matter too much as I suspect they probably wouldn't listen to what I had to tell them anyway!

    The room is approx. 8' x 5' and has a suspended ceiling (if that helps).
    It contains 6 PCs, 2 Big Phone Terminals (one kicks out more heat than a PC), 15 Hubs/Switches (24 port), 3 Portable air conditioning units (two are set to maintain temp. of 17 deg c, the other 19 deg c, but the output tube exits the building about 3' higher than it should.) and 1 40" fan pointing at a hole in the suspended ceiling.

    Our IT budget was overspent, so when it came to getting a proper air conditioning unit, they argued that we may be moving building in 2 years & it wasn't worth getting a fitted air con. I think the only way they'll learn is when it all goes horribly wrong.

  7. #7
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Oof! Phil, I agree with the other posters: if this company is that short sited, it may be best to look elsewhere.Certainly not preaching to you, it sounds like you're already in the choir, but the question your company has to ask itself is: is it worth extra-budgetary consideration? And I think the math they have to do is proper facilities and staff vs. lost revenue, opportunity costs, and damage to reputation due to x-amount of downtime.

    For what it's worth, though, we keep our server room (servers, all the telcom equipment) at between 20 and 23 Celsius (68-73 F for everyone still not on the metric scale), and between 55 and 60 for relative humidity. Not that you're not already aware of it, but your situation sounds like too much equipment in too small of a space without adequate facilities. Best of luck!!
    <font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=blue>~Shane</font color=blue></font face=comic>

  8. #8
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    (Edited 'cos 1st post sounded like I was bagging Compaq <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15>, sorry.)

    Hi Phil,

    I'd still be pushing your company's panic button, so this is mainly for your own information.

    I called around a number of associates, and the only case I found of servers shutting down due to temp was at a Compaq site. In fact nearly all the sites I spoke to run Compaq so that's to be expected! They lost their main and backup aircon units to a server room with *racks of server, hubs, switches, etc*. The temp took off and when the ambivalent hit 39C, the servers shutdown. <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>

    The danger here is, if the system is not set up to warn user that a shut down is imminent, which needs to be well before the actual point at which shut down occurs. If this doesn't happen you're looking corrupted database, et al.

    Best of luck and keep your chin up (gives them something to aim at!).

    BTW I'm on leave for 3 weeks <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>, but will check here from time to time (see told you I love this place) so if you do post a follow up I will get back eventually.
    Granville

  9. #9
    ITMan
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    What does your company do? Remind me never to use them!

    It sounds to me like you have a problem with your hubs/switches overheating. Are you sure you have 15 hubs or are you looking at patchpanels as well? You need to lower the exit pipes to about 30 Cm Max above the level of exit from the unit. Best of luck, but like previuos posts have suggested I would leave now!

    Best of Luck

  10. #10
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Thanks for your reply ITMan,

    It is possible that some of the hubs/switches may be patchpanels, as I'm not sure how to tell the difference as nothing is written on them to show either way. I think out of all of them, only two are switches.

    The funny thing is that security was upgraded for the server room - and the server room will end up being wrecked from the inside!
    Just for the record, we deal with direct mail (put simply - sending out other companies adverts for products) and in that respect we are good at what we do - just a shame about the IT side of things.

  11. #11
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Hi Phil,
    You mentioned 6 PCs (I think?) in the room - do they all have monitors and, if so, are they switched off most of the time? Our server room has 2 servers (with monitors) and a phone terminal (also with monitor) and I found that just switching the monitors off whenever possible made quite a difference to the temperature in there. Might help to postpone what sounds like impending doom!
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  12. #12
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Hi Rory,

    There are two monitors on switch boxes which are on, but go on standby after a couple of minutes with no activity. I shall start turning them off completely, as even if it makes 1 degree difference, it's worth doing.

  13. #13
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    Phil, I made this little guy for ya..

    <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25>

    <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> Good Luck!
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  14. #14
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Server Room temperature

    how about flames in a doorway behind him? <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15>
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Server Room temperature

    <img src=/S/fire.gif border=0 alt=fire width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/fire.gif border=0 alt=fire width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25>

    <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>
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