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We have small server room with 15 rack servers ATM, and we are planning to add 7U 10 blade enclosure.

One can hear the servers from the outside now (the doors are not too thick) but it is not bad, actually it is OK. But I have read that noise levels from blade are up to 90db and this is - I guess - few times more than what we have now. As we cannot afford to move to bigger place ATM and do not wan to move the servers to data centre I wonder if we can sort it out with decent amount of Noise Cancelling Foam and DIY afternoon.

Did anyone tried it before? Is 90db manageable anywhere outside the data centre at all? Do not want to buy computers just to learn that we have to move out.

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judicious use of foam does do wonders, but DIY solutions vary a lot. I've used foam mattresses for field expedient acoustic noise cancelling before . You might also want to consider acoustic panels if you want a neater solution –  Journeyman Geek Feb 13 '12 at 9:39
    
"Long periods of repeated exposure to workplace noise levels between 75 dB(A) and 80 dB(A) present a small risk of developing a hearing disability". 90dB is twice as loud, and therefore simply unacceptable. Manageable doesn't even enter into the picture. –  MSalters Feb 13 '12 at 13:15
    
Yes, it is very loud, that is exactly why I asked the question above. –  Tomek Feb 13 '12 at 13:21
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm very happy with the XRackPro2 noise reduction rack enclosures. It makes my server setups in office environments much more acceptable. The largest solution they have is a 25U rack, but it's an option for your sound situation.

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When I read this:

the doors are not too thick

I get the idea that you should go to a shop and get a better noise isolating door. Simple.

But remember the cooling. You are more than doubling the heat output.

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Unfortunately I am in Korea and we have sliding doors here but I will try to do some research about if I can replace them. But noise isolating sliding doors - that even sound strange. :) We have 2KW cooling there (2 units), can be upgraded if needed so I think we are fine on that front. –  Tomek Feb 13 '12 at 10:58
    
Sadly you are dead then - sliding doors DO exist but are a major upgrade sound proofed and the noise level IS high for bladed. Blades are high density "do not care about noise" stuff. AndI know blades dealing with up to 6kw hour per center under high load.... so be carefull with cooling. –  TomTom Feb 13 '12 at 11:49
    
So the plan is - foam on the doors, panels behind them and - if we will need it - curtain in front. That should do - I hope. :) –  Tomek Feb 13 '12 at 13:31
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Hope dies last. You will ahve to try - sorry, no better answer. I only know those blades are LOUD. –  TomTom Feb 13 '12 at 13:38
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This is certainly achievable but I'm really not sure sysadmins are the best people to advise you on this. I suggest getting a building contractor to have a look at the problem and see if they can suggest a solution, which will need to be tailored to your specific environment.

One thing you must consider even more than the noise is cooling and this may well be aggravated by noise reduction methods, so ensure you factor that in as well.

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Be careful, especially with foam. All materials in the Data Room should be fire retardant. Also, you said you have 2 x 2kW cooling units? That´s not enough at all for 7 blades, and other important factor is if you have enough power to support them. As it has been said, blades are high density, so much more power is needed too. For the noise, maybe you can add a outer layer of plaster board on top of the current walls, leaving a 7 to 10cm separation with the current walls. Also you can put some fiberglass isolation in that separation. Hope it helps!

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