Many IT and facility managers worry about having enough cooling to meet increasing heat densities in their data centers. Reductions in the size of IT equipment and advances in processor power have created problems for managers responsible for delivering and maintaining proper mission-critical environments.
While the overall total cooling capacity for a data center or technology room may be adequate, localized environments within a data center may be strained. With even more compact equipment now being housed within a single cabinet and many data center managers beginning to contemplate or deal with large-scale deployments with multiple racks of ultra-compact blade servers, heat dissipation is a growing concern.
The first and most obvious check for adequate cooling is to investigate the total sensible (heat removal) cooling capacity of the installed cooling system and verify this matches the current and planned heat load. In the days of rack densities under 1 kilowatt per rack, this check was usually adequate. However, the power dense rack enclosures that are being deployed today create many more rack and area level checks that should be instituted to confirm adequate cooling.
Beyond the room level capacity checks, aisle temperatures should be recorded, which will create a temperature profile for ensuring that supply air to the area is adequate. Inlet air temperature should be check at the rack level to ensure that it is available for the sensitive electronic equipment within the rack enclosure. Monitoring points should be positioned in accordance with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) TC9.9 thermal guidelines for data processing environments. Temperatures that tall outside the acceptable ranges indicate a cooling issue. Pinpointing the location of the problem through …