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The cooled server cabinet was discussed here before but I found my question is a little bit different.

We have a client with some servers running into incredible bad conditions. The servers are in the middle of the office and cooled by a regular fan. Finally the company agreed to host the servers in a proper environment. The problem is that they don't have a room for the servers, but one can be built. There are just three or four servers; there may be more in the future, but in the near future one cabinet will be more than enough.

What are the pros and cons of a cabinet versus a server room? A cooled cabinet would be much easier but I don't know if there are problems with it. In the case of building a server room, is a regular A/C sufficient for this?

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On a budget, stick them in a small comm closet (maybe 6x8 if possible) and get one of these:… – TheCleaner May 9 '12 at 3:00
up vote 5 down vote accepted

We've got a few offices that we look after, and even in our own office, if there's less than half a full rack of servers, we don't worry about specific cooling. We just make sure that there's plenty of ventilation in the room and we keep an eye on the temperature inside the rack itself. It hovers about 25oc and the office air con keeps it fairly regular in there.

On the other hand, we had one client who had a similar set up, and when they doubled their infrastructure and their rack became fully populated, the normal office started to suffer, because the AC in the office was fairly simple and was struggling hard to keep the server room cool, and was freezing the rest of the office to achieve it. Thankfully that room was on an external wall, so they did a back-to-back split-system aircon specifically for that room and moved the office AC vent outside of the office.

But seriously, if you only have 4-5 servers, just make sure that your rack has mesh doors (to permit airflow) and make sure they're in a room that has ventilation (say, an exhaust fan in the roof and a grill at the bottom of the door) and you'll be fine.

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I totally understand your point and totally agree with you. But I think is more a aesthetic matter... I think the client got some spare money for this budget and they want to use it on this so I suppose we will end building a poorly used server room or a fancy and unnecessary auto-cooled rack... let's see what happens but definitely I think yours is the best realistic solution :) – zordor May 9 '12 at 5:37

For small numbers of servers a cooled case should really be good enough as long as there is sufficient space around the servers to allow air to move and it stays in the area of 19 degrees Celsius. Any cooling that is installed into the cabinet should really have a backup in case the primary fails as well. You might want to check out Tripp Lite for ideas (

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19 C is likely overkill for modern equipment. Anything up to 26 C should really be fine. Not that there's anything wrong with keeping things colder than necessary - it's just much more expensive. Other than that, good answer. – EEAA May 8 '12 at 2:47
I'd add that 19 degrees makes things somewhat uncomfortable for most people. In practice normal office temperatures appear to be the best compromise. – John Gardeniers May 8 '12 at 5:20
Good solution thank you I will definitely take into consideration. But I also think 19 is just too much :) We set the server rooms for 22 degrees and use to be more than enough if they are not very crowded. – zordor May 9 '12 at 5:39

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