Implementing server room monitoring to ensure strong IT infrastructure
Friday, Jun 21st 2013

Data center design is currently undergoing a transformation as builders work toward reducing power inefficiencies by exploring new technologies, different cooling systems and methods and alterations of the physical infrastructure, to name a few. While the data center environment continues to evolve, one thing that does not change is the need to engage in active server room monitoring as a means of both ensuring business continues as usual and measuring the effectiveness of new systems and installations. In fact, The Tennessean contributor James Fields recently explored this topic further, arguing that maintaining strong IT infrastructure is integral to sustaining business.

One part of maintaining strong infrastructure is the task of ensuring existing systems continue to function as they should, with the goal being to extend the lifecycle of equipment already in place in the server room until a plan can be developed for new infrastructure investments. One of the main challenges of maintaining the data center or server room environment revolves around heat density.

Temperature and humidity in the server room
As servers operate, they produce substantial amounts of heat, and when you have hundreds of servers in one room, temperatures can escalate rather quickly. If temperatures get too high in these rooms, there is an increased chance that equipment will become damaged as extreme temperatures can cause servers to degrade. If there are mission-critical systems located on the damaged equipment, businesses risk complete disruption.

An IT temperature monitor is one ideal solution to prevent such a potential disaster scenario from occurring. By effectively monitoring server temperature of existing systems, IT administrators can ensure that the right cooling strategies are adopted and conditions are kept at an optimal state. According to data from Energy Star, the recommended temperature range for server rooms is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity in the server room should also be considered, as the source revealed that high humidity can create condensation inside servers, which can then lead to electrical shorts and damaged equipment. Employing environment control systems that monitor temperature and humidity, however, can help avoid these problems and assist an organization maintain existing infrastructure. While these are important steps for all data center managers to take, it is also worth noting that these steps do not negate the need to plan for the future and make new infrastructure investments. Fields also emphasized this point, stressing that while maintenance is essential, there are numerous considerations that should be made at the same time to ensure that the business keeps advancing alongside technology.

"All too often an organization is concerned with meeting its current IT demands when its leaders should really be focused on leveraging IT to move the business forward," Fields wrote. "You should ask yourself whether all your current systems, processes and workflows are going to work when the business is double in size. What technologies are on the horizon that can give your business an advantage over the competition? When setting up new systems, make sure you have the future in mind.