Data center managers must respond when computer room cooling specifications are out of operating range. The best defense against cooling system failures is to incorporate facility tests along side of scheduled cooling system preventative maintenance.

An easy test to incorporate is to profile the cold aisles of the computer room on either a monthly or quarterly basis. It should also be considered to perform this test upon a significant change to the computer room environment (for example, replacing a traditional server rack with blade servers).

To profile the cold aisles, place sensors in the cold aisles approximately every 4 to 5 racks apart and 5 feet off of the ground and take a temperature, humidity and possibly an air flow readings. Recording this data on floor plan can indicate proper operation or trouble spots across the computer room floor.

If areas are found to be out of spec, this could be an indication of:
• Obstructions in the supply air path
• An imbalance of computer heat load
• Air recirculation where supply air is mixing with return air
Areas that are out of specification should be addressed either by self discovery or by hiring a consulting company to perform a cooling system analysis.

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