What are the standard operating Temps and Humidity for DATA Centers containing current equipment and HVAC systems. In the past data centers where kept at low temps to keep the equipment from overheating .
Lee R. Riggs
The standards are not really very standard. ASHRAE say 80.6 F degrees is a good top of the rack temperature and there is speculation that it about to be raised to 86F. The problem is that most data centers are using temperature set points at the CRAC, on a wall or column,or by return air temperature, NONE OF THESE MATTER. The only temperature that matters is the temperature at the rack. You need to look at ways to manage that.
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ASHRAE TC9.9 gives the "Recommended" range and " Allowable" range. I don't think there is a standard. However, best practices in data center cooling can be adopted.
As Jeff has stated, what matters would be the condition(air temperature, humidity, air volume, air cleanliness) in front of the equipment rack.
The challenging part of all of this is how to convince the IT guy to accept the range stated in the ASHRAE TC 9.9 document. They are almost always hesitant, if not completely resistant to the idea.
It would take some effort to educate IT guys to accept the fact that data center cooling has changed. Gone are the days when we have to cool down the entire room (to a level that makes wearing jackets necessary)
The ASHRAE TC9.9, developed by industry experts and IT OEM's, has adopted the most accepted "standard" in the industry by recommending server intake temperatures ranging from 64.4 to 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity levels from 20% to 80%. This has allowed controls to be relaxed, leading to billions in energy savings across the board. Allowances from the same committee are much more lenient however, with temperatures ranging from 41 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit with 8% to 90% relative humidity. These allowances should not be used for an extended period of time and can lead to a higher rate of IT failure.
The IT guys have a pretty good reason for not supporting some of these changes. Some warranties provided by the major IT manufacturers do not cover equipment in extreme environments that fall outside of their testing range. Be sure to check warranty guidelines before implementing any changes, Similarly, operating in more extreme environments leaves little room for problem mitigation when temperatures begin to rise because of faulty HVAC equipment.
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