The real cost of temperature monitoring in data centers
Wednesday, Nov 20th 2013

While a temperature monitoring system can be seen as a financial investment with cost-benefits that increase over time, some organizations still put off implementing such an arrangement because they see it as unnecessary or excessive. However, when one considers the costs incurred by data center operators when cooling systems fail, the investment far outweighs the monetary consequences of not having this technology in place.

Maintaining optimal temperature
Because servers and other IT equipment housed in data centers can produce a significant amount of heat, it is important to keep the areas where these items are located within the proper range. TechRepublic advised that data center server rooms should be kept between 61 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, however, some studies have shown that equipment can run at higher temperatures with no adverse effects.

A temperature monitoring system is a reliable way to sustain the optimal temperature and keep systems functioning properly. Such technology includes temperature sensors, which can be strategically located in different areas of the data center facility. Additionally, such a system can feature Web temperature monitors so that it can be accessed remotely. Through use of this application, data center personnel can be sure that the temperature is at the correct level even when they are not at the facility.

In addition, a temperature monitoring system can also have a high temperature alarm, a vital feature for any size data center. Even a small number of servers can overheat when temperatures are too high. This technology can alert key employees when the environment of the server room becomes too warm.

Cost of overheating
When sensitive equipment such as servers  overheat, the device's performance can be adversely affected. Worse, the server can be ruined if the temperature is too high. If this occurs, one or more servers will need to be replaced, resulting in costs associated with the purchase of new equipment, as well as any security- or compliance-related expenditures due to data that may have been lost.

Furthermore, the reputation of the business can also be affected, causing customers to seek services elsewhere. Take the example of Microsoft - the company's data center overheated earlier this year, causing a 16 hour outage for the popular platform Outlook. According to The Verge, the data center overheated after employees upgraded firmware at the facility. A significant amount of customers reported problems accessing their mailboxes. When a data center overheats and causes this kind of issue, customers become dissatisfied and may choose to take their business elsewhere.

When all angles are taken into account, including downtime, damaged or destroyed hardware, lost data and hits to the company's reputation, the price of a temperature monitoring system pales in comparison to the cost of not having one in place.