How to get the most out of temperature monitoring
Far be it for us to wish this lovely hot spell to end but it’s at times like these that server room air conditioning units are really put to the test.
With the majority of server rooms being operated in a ‘lights out’ mode, can you really be confident that everything within is fine and the temperature is ok?
We can help. We can ship you a pre-configured temperature monitoring pack (Ethernet gateway with a series of wireless sensors) to quickly install into your server room or IT racks to enable you to be in control and monitor your business critical equipment 24/7.
Alternatively, you may already have temperature monitors or networked air-conditioning units installed. We can also help with this by consolidating all your equipment under a single easy to use dashboard.
Once installed we will swiftly implement your real-time secure web-based OmniWatch dashboard with 24/7 temperature monitoring via email, text and our UK call centre.
Over this weekend we were alerted to temperature fluctuations in our DR data centre and because of Spook we were able to deal with air conditioning issues long before they became a real problem. We genuinely appreciate the excellent level service and support we get from the Spook team in protecting our IT. Perfect. It’s nice to deal with a provider that actually cares about their own business. It is nice to have it all in one place, with a system and a supplier we can trust.
Henry Schein - A fortune “World’s Most Admired Company” and is ranked #1 in its industry for social responsibility.
Why is temperature monitoring important?
It may be obvious but temperature management is essential in ensuring that business critical equipment remains operational with the peaks and troughs throughout the year.
By monitoring the temperature 24/7 you can keep an eye on things before they become a problem.
With the average cost of providing power to data centres on the rise, downtime has never been more costly.
Given the right weather conditions, data centre room temperatures can rise very quickly. Alarmingly it may not be the heat itself that causes outages. For example in 2015 a Glasgow data centre failure brought Scottish emails to a standstill.
The email network went down after an air-conditioning unit catastrophically malfunctioned releasing gas, which then set off the fire suppression system, which sprayed a non-watery substance over the IT systems.
The cost of a server failure due to high temperatures is not just limited to the cost of replacing the server itself but also includes the loss of business due to downtime, potential loss of data (and recovery process) and the time it takes to get everything back up and running again. It is also embarrassing when trying to explain to customers why their orders can’t be accepted. Will they perhaps look to a competitor to fulfill these orders? Will they ever come back?
Many companies have their air condition and cooling systems handled by a separate facilities department which could often mean that the IT team are not the first the be informed of a temperature issue. Sometimes this could even mean they are the last to know and with little time to react.
We are extremely pleased with the Spook solution and the quality of customer service provided to us. We have a small, but critical server room. Spook alerted us to an air-con failure over the hot weekend, which meant we could deal with the issue long before it effected the safe operation of our servers. We are glad we chose this monitoring solution.
STM Fidecs - One of the most prominent fiduciary businesses in Gibraltar.
Not too hot, not too cold
Keeping the server room at an optimal temperature is a balancing act; running too hot risks damage to IT equipment whereas cooling things down wastes electricity and is therefore costly.
When a computer or piece of IT equipment’s temperature gets too hot it activates counter measures in order to reduce the chance of damage to itself. This is called dynamic frequency scaling (commonly known as thermal throttling) and involves the clock speed of central processing units (CPUs) and graphic processing units (GPUs) being reduced to lower the chance of damage.
Though this reduces the chance of potential early and quick death of your IT equipment the high temperatures also cause IT equipment to underperform; they get less done and take more time to do it.
What is the ideal temperature?
ASHRAE issued its first thermal guidelines for data centres in 2004 and recommended temperatures be maintained between 20 and 25°C. They have since stated the ideal range is between 5 to 45°C due to a shift in importance from reliability and uptime to a more energy saving and green approach in equipment.
It is entirely dependent on the rating of equipment as to which of the ASHRE guidelines are adhered. Older and lower rated equipment should always be considered the baseline for any targets as aiming for the higher temperature allowance for new equipment risks damage to the older devices.
The importance of temperature monitoring
Even if a server room is equipped with air conditioning and everything is running correctly now does not mean that a problem will not occur. Temperature spikes can be caused by a large number of issues that are not limited to mechanical failure.
When work is carried out within a server room, temperature peaks and troughs are often observed due to doors opening and closing, and/or equipment being installed, de-installed or re-located. It has been known for employees or contractors to adjust or even disable the air conditioning whilst in the room, sometimes forgetting to reset it when the work is completed.
Temperature variations often occur when replacing old hardware for new. In the case of a virtualisation project many smaller servers are typically replaced with one large server. Rarely is any prior notice taken of the potential heat mapping shift when this is done.
Newer servers also tend to run faster and hotter than older ones, which in turn causes a further strain on the cooling systems.
We have subscribed to Spook for many years. They provide a very professional service, with high standards of support, which they have always maintained. It is critical that our Server Closet in Gibraltar is monitored 24/7. Since using Spook we have been informed of temperature related problems on more than one occasion giving us chance to take remedial action before bigger problems occurred.
IBEX Insurance - An international insurance broker, whose head office is in Gibraltar.
Contact us to find out more.
Spook Limited, Award Winning Multi Vendor IT monitoring Specialists
+44 (0) 1737 906111 or email@example.com
Get in touch with Spook
Please contact us if you wish for further information on how Spook can help with your environmental and power monitoring needs.