Sunday, March 26, 2017

Thermal Mapping Your Data Center

Data Centers have traditionally monitored the temperature and humidity within them via sensors positioned in the room or on individual cabinets. AKCP has been the worlds leading supplier of SNMP based environmental monitoring solutions for the data center for over 30 years. We recently introduced the Thermal Map sensor, a 3 in 1 (or 4 in 1) sensor that will monitor the temperature and humidity at the top middle and bottom of your server cabinet. Designed to be placed at the front air inlet of the rack, with a second sensor placed at the rear air outlet.

Why do this? What's the advantage compared to placing one sensor in the rack? Why monitor both air temperature coming in and out?

High air inlet temperature indicating hotspot in the room


By having an overview of the air temperature coming into your cabinet at the top middle and bottom you have a better idea of your cooling input. Do you have hotpots, areas of warmer air coming into the cabinet. Ideally the air coming into the cabinet should be at an even temperature. If you have a higher temperature at the top compared to the bottom it may indicate hotpots in your server room, and a danger that your servers may not be being cooled effectively.

High air outlet temperature indicating hot equipment

Server Temperatures

By monitoring the air temperature at the exit of your cabinet, you can see how well your cooling is performing, and how hot your equipment is running. A high outlet air temperature can indicate inefficient cooling, an overloaded server or failure of a fan or cooling system in the server itself.

Thermal Maps for Cost Savings

Thermal map sensors can play a role in reducing your data center PUE. They allow you to more precisely monitor, and thus control, your cooling and server temperatures. You can identify areas that are being under or over cooled, and adjust your cooling, turn off fans to specific areas that are not needed, re-balance your server loads if you find some are more overworked than others. Temperature sensors in a data center don't simply need to be there to alert you to a critical situation, they can be used as an integral part of your data center PUE management.

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