This summer, data center managers are sweating – and it’s not just because of the heat. As temperatures hit record highs this year, the increased demands placed on US energy grids have lead to brownouts and occasional blackouts. Between the soaring temperatures and the power outages, data center cooling systems and backup generators are getting a real work-out.

The situation isn’t likely to improve in the summers to come. As our national energy usage increases, power reliability decreases during peak times. The demand for energy is growing at a much faster rate than our power generation capacity can handle.

Unfortunately, if you can’t take the heat, the solution isn’t “Get out of the data center.” Data centers that don’t want to get burned by future heat waves are investing in some preventative measures. Many businesses are installing extra cooling systems and on-site generators in the hope that these data center solutions will prevent costly downtime.

Heat removal is essential to the proper functioning of data centers, yet poor design and maintenance choices prevent many air conditioning systems from operating at peak efficiency. The availability and reliability of your network services hinge on the continued operation of your precision cooling solutions. If you’re looking for help minimizing the frequency and severity of unexpected downtime, try the following data center solutions:

– Provide redundancy throughout the entire cooling infrastructure by maintaining at least one additional computer room air conditioner (CRAC), pumps, and heat rejection equipment for each cooling zone. This is referred to as N+1 redundant.

– If you have a cooling system that employs on-site thermal storage such as a chilled water system, consider providing the air handlers, inside the computer room, with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) power to provide uninterrupted power & cooling to the site.

– To sidestep power outages altogether, size the on-site emergency power generators to handle your system’s cooling as well as power needs.

– Perform regular checks on your computer room air conditioner (CRAC) and heat rejection equipment including inspecting all filters and operating parameters.

For an expert assessment of your data center’s cooling system, consult a data center design firm. By evaluating your present and future loads, capacity and redundant capacity plans can be created and utilized to keep you cool when the heat turns up.

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