Data Centers Are Shrinking – Call in the Air Conditioned Server Cabinets

Data centers come in all shapes and sizes, and if your server room is small you’ll want to keep reading to find out the best way to keep your IT network cool.  Data centers have been shrinking down in size over the last few years.  A lot of data centers are now down to one or two cabinets.  Only a very small percentage of data centers have rows and rows of server cabinets filled with IT equipment.  This percentage is hard to quantify because everyone has a different definition of a data center.  The general term “data center” can be used to describe any room used for the purpose of processing or storing data.  In March 2012 the United States government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defined the data center as the following:
“… a data center is … a closet, room, floor or building for the storage, management, and dissemination of data and information and (used to house) computer systems and associated components, such as database, application, and storage systems and data stores [excluding facilities exclusively devoted to communications and network equipment (e.g. telephone exchanges and telecommunications rooms)].  A data center generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls … and special security devices housed in leased, … owned, collocated, or stand-alone facilities.”
This blog post will be focuse on cooling down the small data center located in a closet or small room, where floor space is the critical deciding factor.  Small server rooms far outnumber the large data centers with rows and rows of IT equipment.  The small server rooms and closets can be found in both small and large companies alike.  Large enterprise companies may have a large data center at their headquarters, but they usually have a lot of smaller server rooms throughout their locations and branches around the globe.  Over the years companies have shrunk their data center footprint for several different reasons:
     1.  Companies are moving most of their network applications to the cloud

          A.  Allows companies to reduce the number of overall servers located at their physical location to a handful of versatile servers performing critical applications

     2.  Companies are moving a lot of servers and other IT hardware to collocations

          A.  Allows companies to reduce the number of overall servers located at their physical location to a handful of versatile servers performing critical applications

     3.  Servers have become more versatile

          A.  Outdated servers that could only perform one function have been replaced with versatile servers that can perform several different applications

          B.  The number of servers in an IT network has been greatly reduce, allowing companies to consolidate the number of server racks to one or two
Data Center Cooling
Cooling down a small data center or server room has unique challenges for these types of rooms.  Data center cooling can be straight-forward at times, put an air conditioner inside the room and you’re done.  However a lot of times server room cooling isn’t that simple, especially with small server rooms.  Floor space within a server closet suddenly becomes prime real estate, with just enough room for the server racks themselves.  Uptime Racks air conditioned server racks are a great cooling solution for these types of data centers and server rooms.  The air conditioners take up no additional floor space, since they sit below the IT equipment in the server rack.  The Modular Rack Cooling System 13 (MRCS13) provides 13,000 Btu/hr of cooling at only 115 V.  Since the MRCS13 works with standard power found anywhere (no high voltage 208/230 V required / no high priced electrician to run special power to the server room), it’s flexible and easy to install.  A typical MRCS13 installation takes only about 15-20 minutes.

The MRCS13 is highly efficient in the way it cools down your network.  The air conditioned computer cabinet creates a blanket of cold air directly in front of the IT equipment, cooling down only the space in front of the equipment versus cooling down the entire room.  As a result you keep the network happy and cool, while you save lots of money and energy!  Uptime Racks air cooled server racks are a far superior solution to permanent installations that do not take up extra floor-space (ceiling-mount and wall-mount air conditioners), which are very expensive and do not move from room to room.  The portability of the Uptime Racks server room air conditioner is an important feature when your lease expires, and you need to move into a new building.  The portable data center within your air conditioned computer cabinet easily moves with you when it’s time to move.  This will save you time, money, and headaches.

IT administrators try to use portable air conditioners in small server closet with limited success when floor-space is a premium.  Why?  Most of the time it’s because portable air conditioners are convenient to move from room to room, easy to install, and are a cost effective cooling solution.  How convenient are portable air conditioners when you can’t get to the IT network to work (reduced productivity)?  How effective is the cooling when most of the cooling bypasses the servers and ends up behind the racks because of the air conditioner being too close to the rack?  The pictures to the right show a small server room with a MovinCool portable air conditioner about 12 inches in front of the server rack because a lack of floor space.  There are thousands of small server rooms like these in the picture, however, they are difficult to document with an image because the rooms are too small for a camera.

Uptime Racks air conditioned server racks are just as convenient, easy to install, and effective as a portable air conditioner.  The Modular Rack Cooling System 13 is a highly efficient and cost effective cooling solution for small server rooms.

MovinCool Small Server Room CoolingServer Room Air ConditionerMRCS13-32C - Server Room Cooling