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I reorganized everything in a room to make it into a "official" server room so to speak.

It was full of boxes, old junk, etc. and right now there is only a cabinet with office material. The reason I cleaned it out is because I think that random stuff (boxes) generate more heat and more dust (is this correct?) Im not too much of a fan of letting random employees enter in and out of the server room (we are a small company of only 20 but still) but that cabinet is pretty large and cant be moved...

Anyways, there is a rack with 4 exhaust fans inside of the roof of the rack and inside with 1 server and one NAS. One is a R730 and the NAS is a QNAP. Besides the rack, there is another server which is a PowerEdge 2900. It is outside the rack because in rack there are several battery packs for a UPS we have.

I have my doubts about the cooling inside the room. I have the "luck" that there is a AC unit in the room but the problem is that there are also AC units in the next rooms and if those ACs are on heat, the AC inside the server room does not allow cooling. It is either all heating or all cooling. Meaning I cannot have that AC unit spitting 24/7/365 all year except in summer.

Further, the room I would say is 4 meters by 4 meters (small) and has no windows. You enter it from the common office.

My question is what would be a good cooling plan? Right now, our idea is to make a chimney from the top of the rack to the roof where the fans would blow air out. The problem is that there is 0 airflow to bring cool air in. A solution is that even though you enter the room thru the office, the right wall gives directly to a large factory which is basically cold. From there, we had a idea of putting a fan that draws cold air from the factory into the server room. I think its a idea but I imagine some kind of filter would also have to be put in place to avoid dust.

Is this a good plan? What would the ideal temperature be for something like this?

marked as duplicate by Zoredache, mdpc, HopelessN00b Mar 9 '15 at 22:47

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  • 3
    I'm no expert but I doubt boxes generate heat. They do however disturb the air flow which may make your servers get less cold air from the fans or A/C. – user186340 Mar 9 '15 at 21:34
  • We've used portable air conditioners in scenarios like this. You do though need somewhere to exhaust the heat, so piping it through the roof/ceiling sounds like the right idea. – joeqwerty Mar 9 '15 at 21:35
  • I think, without a UPS, PDU, and some Halon, you are creating a server room without the requisite power controls NOR fire suppression. This is fine if you don't care if/when the whole room goes up in smoke and you lose all your data, software, AND hardware. – Andrew S Mar 9 '15 at 22:27
  • @AndrewS I do have a UPS inside the room. – riahc3 Mar 9 '15 at 23:39
  • Hi, Riah - sorry I missed the UPS. As others mentioned, a stand alone AC, with a hose that can exhaust outside of the room, is your best bet. Piping it through the ceiling tiles might be sufficient, but that will also heat that area very high, so you have to make sure there isn't anything up there that can break of catch fire from the excessive heat. – Andrew S Mar 10 '15 at 14:16

I've seen a cheap 1.5kw split-system air conditioner used in similar rooms.

The real question is: Do you need any specific cooling? I've seen rooms of that size with a single bathroom-style exhaust fan and a grill at the bottom of the door with a filter that allows cool(ish) air to be drawn in from the adjacent room.

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(remember to make cleaning the filter part of the regular programmed maintenance schedule)

You don't exactly have much equipment in there, and all of it should be fine up to about 30-40c ambient (check the actual specs of your devices first though).

  • I would think that 2 servers with about 12 fans in a room of that size would need some cooling. I dont think having passive cooling is really going to be good for the life of the hardware. The Poweredge 2900 was once in that room and it did fine....but it was by itself with nothing else (not even a switch). I remember it was OK to be in there (not warm, not room temp, not cold, etc) but when we moved it again and it had the NAS and itself, it was pretty warm in there... – riahc3 Mar 9 '15 at 23:41
  • I have two 2U servers, three switches and a UPS that is literally in a broom cupboard in a hot country with a large exhaust fan in the ceiling. The ambient temperature in the cupboard is around 30c which is well within the tolerances for all the hardware. It's been that way for over 5 years with no failures. I realise this is just anecdotal, but heat extraction is often enough. – Mark Henderson Mar 10 '15 at 21:06

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