Determining the best server room temperature
Wednesday, Nov 27th 2013

Data centers across the globe are relied on for the storage and support of  countless amounts of sensitive data and mission-critical applications. In order to fulfill client demands, servers must be constantly kept online. This equipment creates a significant amount of heat, however, which can have an adverse effect on its functionality if left unchecked. Therefore, data center operators must maintain the optimum server room temperature to ensure these systems are in top working order while keeping an eye on energy consumption.

When a server room becomes too hot, equipment can easily overheat, causing the data being stored or supported by the system to be lost. This could spell disaster for an organization that counts on this information to perform business functions and capabilities. Therefore, data centers employ cooling systems to cool the server room and prevent equipment from overheating.

However, these cooling arrangements require a substantial amount of power, drawing on the resources of the facility's local energy grid. In fact, many experts agree that while many believe servers and computing equipment are the leading electricity consumers of a data center, it is usually the cooling system that utilizes the most energy.

Therefore, data center operators must balance a need for energy efficiency with the requirement to keep technology cool. Many employ temperature monitoring systems as a means to fulfill these demands.

Industry recommendations
According to OpenXtra, server room temperatures should not dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and should not exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimal temperature range is between 68 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, Google has stated that it keeps its data center temperatures as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit as a means to reduce energy consumption.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers told Data Center Knowledge that each data center is different in its unique cooling needs. Therefore, the organization recommends an upper limit of 77 to 81 degrees, depending on the facility.

Several factors should be taken into account when determining the best server room temperature, including the size of the room and the number of servers. This information can help operators decide on the best temperature for their needs. Overall, data center expert Don Beaty told Data Center Knowledge that most server room temperatures are kept between 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the best temperature has been identified, data center operators should employ temperature monitoring systems, including high temperature alarms, to maintain optimal cooling and energy consumption.