Q&A: Ways to Profit from Your Server Room

Paul Stennett is a product specialist at CableOrganizer.com, and he shares some key ways to care for your company's server room. From proper cooling techniques to virtualization, Stennett discusses caring for your assets and using them as efficiently as possible.

Mnet 131708 Cable Organizer Lead

Paul Stennett is a product specialist at CableOrganizer.com — an online retailer of telecom/datacom/networking, electrical and cable and wire management products. He may be reached online at www.CableOrganizer.com.

Manufacturing.net: Forgetting profitability for a moment, what are the one or two most important things for manufacturers to keep in mind when it comes to their server rooms?

Stennett: With servers responsible for storing and distributing data among employees and customers, alike, they are the backbone of just about every modern business.

First, cooling is extremely important to the overall energy costs of your server room. With all the power a server generates, it’s going to take more than the integrated fan to keep it cool! There are many ways your cooling situation may become compromised, both inside and outside the cabinet. When installing your servers, make sure cooling needs are accurately calculated. When adding any equipment to your server room setup, it is imperative that you recalculate your cooling needs according to the additional energy consumption (heat production).

Believe it or not, poor cable management is one of the most pervasive causes of overheating, downtime, decreased component service life, and increased labor times and costs. Getting those cables properly installed from the get-go keeps the air flowing freely, increases visibility, provides strain relief and makes swapping equipment a breeze. This often ignored facet of network installation can make or break your setup without very little outside help.

Also, many installers make the huge mistake of packing a certain number of cabinets with high power draining, high heat generating servers while filling other cabinets with passive patch panels. This is not a good idea! Failing to balance out the heat in your cabinets can lead to hot spots in your server room, which makes one portion of your cooling system work a lot harder. This, of course, causes much more energy use to keep that area cool (not to mention shorter service life on all components involved!).

For some reason, server cabinets are the world’s biggest dust magnets. Accumulated dust can clog your fans, block air to your equipment, and cause overheating as a result. Having your server room cleaning top to bottom on a regular basis is sure to save you lots of money and trouble in the end. Also, be sure to keep the doors to your server room sealed to help keep dust out and improve overall cooling efficiency.

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