What parameters should be part of your data center environmental management scheme?
- Temperature: Gauging temperature will always be a key component. The optimum range for equipment stability had been recommended between 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 23 degrees Celsius). In 2008, ASHRAE increased the range to 59 to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2011, ASHRAE raised the limits again — for the very latest equipment — to 41 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Humidity: A humidity sensor is fairly standard in any sized environment. Relative Humidity (RH) is the ratio of moisture in a given sample of air at a given temperature when compared to the maximum amount of moisture the sample could contain at that temperature. The recommended RH is between 45% and 60%. More humidity can condense into liquid water, while less humidity can cause electrostatic discharge (ESD) — either scenario can damage equipment.
- Water: There should be no liquid water standing in a data center, so sensors at low points within racks and aisles can report on leaks and condensation problems.
- Airflow: Maintaining good airflow is vital for both temperature and humidity control. Good airflow recommendations vary depending on the size of the environment, and are expressed in volume as cubic feet per minute (cfm).
- Computer room air conditioner/handler: CRAC and in-row units must be monitored constantly. This includes supply and return temperatures, internal humidity statistics and air-loss percentages. Any faults in this unit need to be dealt with immediately.
- PDU and electrical system status: Electrical circuits within the environment should be watched continuously for unexpected fluctuations or disruptions. Any disruptions would be a serious emergency (not to mention a potential hazard to the facility). In addition, the data collected from power distribution locations is often used to calculate power usage effectiveness (PUE).
Environmental Management Solutions
Thermal System Manager module provides thermal management for the dynamic and often complex data center environment. this module provides monitoring, reporting and alarm management for the entire mechanical chain from chillers and cooling towers to CRAC and CRAH cooling units.
Site Manager tracks and reports on the health of facility-critical devices and provides information on power, cooling and environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, air flow and leak detection. Its customizable notification and threshold validation functions allow users to focus on active alarms that need to be attended to immediately, thus enabling the effective and efficient use of support personnel.