The Server Room Environments blog provides information on the design, installation and maintenance of solutions within server rooms and datacentre IT environments including cooling, power, energy efficiency, monitoring, security and fire suppression systems as well as air conditioners, server racks and cabinets, UPS systems, PDUs and standby power generators.
This what your The Server Room Environments Blog Blog Ad will look like to visitors! Of course you will want to use keywords and ad targeting to get the most out of your ad campaign! So purchase an ad space today before there all gone!
notice: Total Ad Spaces Available: (2) ad spaces remaining of (2)
There is a very good chance that we will always remember the UK summer of 2018. Week-long heatwaves and an average temperature of 15.8˚C saw this summer narrowly beat the previous record temperature levels of 1976. The summer months of June and July were also notably dry, although August seemed to return to more average [...] The post Cool Lessons From The Summer Heatwave appeared first on Server Room...
There is a very good chance that we will always remember the UK summer of 2018. Week-long heatwaves and an average temperature of 15.8˚C saw this summer narrowly beat the previous record temperature levels of 1976. The summer months of June and July were also notably dry, although August seemed to return to more average conditions.
So, what did this mean for the cooling industry and those reliant on their air conditioners? The first thing we noticed was a rapid call in rate from potential UK clients whose air conditioners were alarming due to their loading and the ambient temperatures they were working within. Across the industry this led to more rental units being rushed to sites along with HVAC installation teams and maintenance personnel.
The second thing to note was that the HVAC industry was taken by surprise, at a time when most air conditioner factories were heading into their summer shutdown period. Supply chain stocks started to quickly dry up and lead times for new air conditions extended quite dramatically.
When you also factor in that the heatwave was Europe-wide, you can start to see the scale of problem. Those server room and datacentre operations with little spare capacity or resilience faced desperate times and may well do so again in the future. The summer of 2018 was not a one off event.
The summer heatwave lead to many more discussions about the causes for global warming and the need to reduce one of the principle causes: emissions.
The UK is already leading the world in terms of tackling climate change. Since 1990, UK emissions are down more than 40%. However, worldwide emissions are still too high and are not falling quickly enough with many predicting that summers like that of 2018 could become the norm in countries like the UK.
In terms of forecasts, the UK Met Office issued the UK Climate Projections in November 2018 to illustrate a range of future climate scenarios up to 2100. The predictions include:
For more information on emmissions and UK climate projections see: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2018/ukcp18-launch-pr
Winter in the UK can seem almost bearable given last summer’s heatwave and it is all too easy for some to forget just how hot it was. However, the winter period provides an ideal opportunity for UK based server room and datacentre operators (from small to hyperscale) to review their current climate control operations. Who knows, the summer of 2019 will be even hotter and set a new record!
Cooler outside ambient temperatures provide the ideal breathing space to review climate control operations in a less hectic and more pragmatic manner than when fans and filters are overloaded and systems are in alarm conditions.
At Server Room Environments we would recommend the following summary checklist of areas to cover:
There is no doubt that some IT and Facilities Managers will take the time this winter to review their climate control systems. They will take steps to ensure that summer heatwaves like the one of 2018, present a managed or no risk to their server room and datacentre operations.
Others may be inclined to continue to run too close to the edge and risk operational reliability. For those who want to take the risk it is important to remember that heat kills electronics and is a sign of inefficiency. When you continuously run an electrical or electronic system at near to or above full capacity this can lead to a rapidly reducing working life. Put simply, heat ages components, assembles and complete systems and can lead to sudden and dramatic failures. Unexpected labour and replacement component costs can occur which may not be covered by an air conditioning maintenance contract. Other costs can be associated with cooling system failures including non-productive downtime.
So if you want a ‘takeaway’ from the summer of 2018, consider reviewing your climate controls with the checklist we have described. Our team of HVAC qualified project managers are always available to give advice and carry out a complete site survey.
Server Room Environments are specialists in all aspects of building HVAC systems. We work with several air conditioning and HVAC controls manufacturers and are completely independent. This allows us to propose the right solution for our clients and ensure that their buildings are ready to face the future with confidence in their cooling systems.
With weather patterns in the UK forecast to become more erratic we are seeing a greater focus being placed on how to design a server room to ensure it is adequately cooled. This summer saw a large rise in demand for emergency air conditioning and cooling units as some server rooms struggled to maintain a [...] The post How to Manage Sudden Server Room Temperature Rises appeared first on Server Room...
With weather patterns in the UK forecast to become more erratic we are seeing a greater focus being placed on how to design a server room to ensure it is adequately cooled. This summer saw a large rise in demand for emergency air conditioning and cooling units as some server rooms struggled to maintain a comfortable and safe working ambient.
Summertime temperatures in the UK are forecast to both rise and become more erratic. This presents server room designers with an even greater need to design the right cooling system for any server environment, whether it is an on-site server room, edge computing facility or cloud service co-location datacentre. Server rooms need cooling solutions that are flexible and adaptable and not just to weather conditions. Whilst server manufacturers strive to make their hardware as energy efficient as possible, the actual power they draw is rising in line with their processing power. Typical populated racks are drawing higher amounts of power (up to 30kW or more) and this means a higher internal ambient and warm air to cool down at the rear of the racks.
What is for sure is that a sudden spike in ambient temperature or prolonged period of higher temperatures can lead to IT hardware failure. Put simply, heat kills electronics. A warm ambient also makes for an uncomfortable working environment for anyone having to work the facility. Smaller server rooms, network closets and comms rooms possibly have the worst of all worlds. As more equipment is piled in there is simply less space within which to plan for an optimum ambient environment.
Server room environmental monitoring can assist the situation. What you don’t monitor, you cannot control. Monitoring room temperatures allows for corrective actions to be taken when an alarm threshold is reached, and potential disasters can be avoided. Best practice for a server room environment is a temperature of 20-25˚C and with a humidity of 45-50%.
Whilst most servers can work above 30˚C, other hardware items within the IT space can be slowly damaged. Consider the lead acid batteries in a typical UPS system. This type of battery has a recommended working life of 3-5 years at 20-25˚C for a 5-year design life battery. For every 1degree rise above 30degrees, the design life halves.
With adequate computer room monitoring (for temperature and humidity) most overheat situations can be avoided. If you do find yourself needing to take emergency actions here is a typical checklist you can follow:
The right cooling solution is often specified and chosen during the server room design phase of many projects. It is subsequent events that lead to operational issues. Even in a well-designed server room or datacentre facility, there will always be the need for adequate environmental temperature and humidity monitoring. There are several manufacturers who specialise in this type of system and at Server Room Environments we provide a complete server room design and installation service for the manufacturers we work with.
These types of environmental monitoring systems can be connected via the IT network to a DCIM (datacentre infrastructure management) package and/or a BEMS (building energy management system). Alerts and alarms need to be configured for pre-set thresholds and response plans formulated to ensure that any changes in ambient temperatures are formally investigated by on-site staff and your local air conditioning and HVAC maintenance company.
The post How to Manage Sudden Server Room Temperature Rises appeared first on Server Room Environments.
Whilst many everyday people are still trying to come to terms with and understand what ‘Cloud’ computing means along comes ‘Edge’ computing. The two are in fact inherently related. Few realise that Amazon through its AWS (Amazon Web Services) is one of the largest cloud-based datacentre service providers. Microsoft and Google are others. What these [...] The post How Edge Computing Will Drive Power Innovations appeared first on Server Room...
Whilst many everyday people are still trying to come to terms with and understand what ‘Cloud’ computing means along comes ‘Edge’ computing. The two are in fact inherently related.
Few realise that Amazon through its AWS (Amazon Web Services) is one of the largest cloud-based datacentre service providers. Microsoft and Google are others. What these companies offer is a network of datacentres housing thousands of servers providing a cloud-based service. You can open an account, store, process, back-up and archive your data, whether a business, organisation or individual. You purchase from the provider a service and it is up to the organisation how they organise their server capacity to provide this, building in redundancy and resilient as part of the service terms.
Some of these clouded services have become everyday apps including Dropbox, Gmail, Office 365 and Slack. Content we access for streaming including Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, the BBC and ITV iPlayers are all users of the cloud whether they own them or subscribe to the service.
Edge computing is the latest development in the datacentre world. So what exactly is the Edge and what does it mean for organisations running their own server rooms. The Edge or Edge Computing pushes centralised cloud-based services closer to the user. Edge computing represents a distribution of data services closer to the source and area of generation and usage.
Why? One of reasons is to reduce latency or the time it takes to access information. Speed is a strategic differentiator in most business environments and website click-throughs are often determined by loading speed and the time it takes to access information or buy a product or service online. However, one must think wider than this and how technology will evolve in the years to come.
We are on the verge of over 20billion devices being connected worldwide to the Internet of Things (IoT) within the next 5 years. Here we are not just talking computing, mobile phones, tablets and laptops but assistants like the Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod, intelligent home systems (lighting, thermostats, fridges, TVs, cookers and kettles), industry 4.0 applications, self-driving cars and lorries and delivery drones.
Edge computing provides a way to solve latency issues and provide the scale of processing needed for the IoT applications and the new types of services that will evolve from greater connectivity.
So if that’s summarised what the ‘Edge’ is, how can it be delivered from a hardware perspective? We forecast that continued development of on-site server rooms and controlled IT environments. These may be developed as individual rooms or deployed as self-contained micro-datacentres. The latter may be more practical and economic to deploy where there is a need for large amounts of computing power, in a tightly controlled environment and possibly where space is limited or at a premium.
Edge facilities and micro-datacentres will still need the type of critical systems we see within a server room or datacentre environment. These include uninterruptible power supplies, power distribution, cooing, access control, fire suppression and environmental monitoring. The point with a micro-datacentre is that this is more than a containerised building. It is a self-contained room or system that can be built-up on-site and deployed rapidly to meet growth and demand.
One aspect that aids quick deployment is standardisation and Edge computing will lead to new developments and standards. One area to consider is the role of uninterruptible power supplies and their battery packs. A UPS system has traditionally used lead acid batteries which are suitable for standby power role. When mains power is present, the UPS batteries are charged up and the charge maintained. The batteries are only used when the mains power supply fluctuates or fails completely. The batteries discharge their power to the UPS inverter which powers the load until either a local standby power generator starts up or the mains power supply returns. Worse case there is no back-up power generating set and/or the batteries fail before mains power is restored.
Some UPS systems can now be installed with lithium-ion battery packs. There are several types of Li-ion battery (visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery), but the operational characteristics of the type used with UPS systems is very similar to that of mobile phones and tablets. These batteries are designed for continuous cyclic usage in terms of charge/recharge cycles and can recharge more rapidly than lead acid batteries. Whilst they are more expensive the battery technology working life can be double that of a lead acid battery and achieve a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
The amount of energy storage in lithium-ion batteries will continue to evolve quickly as more applications adopt this type of battery, including electric vehicles as well as UPS systems. This gives rise to other potential applications including demand side response programs that pay for UPS and EV users to allow their stored energy to be used to supplement grid power levels and availability.
A wide spread usage of Edge computing and micro-datacentres also provides greater opportunities for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) within IT networks. Examples include automating demand side response programs at the speed required to maintain uptime and allow synchronisation of multiple storage resources between buildings and even substations. Whilst power demand will continue to increase rapidly, Edge technologies and the Internet of Things provide opportunities to maintain uptime and improve response speeds. These environments and applications require the same level of design and build consultancy required for server room or datacentre environments if they are to be resilient, energy efficient and achieve the best possible TCO for their owners and operators.
The world has an insatiable appetite for data, with over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being generated each day. At the same time speed is paramount. We want access to that data, to be able to store and share it at an ever-faster rate. The days of ‘waiting’ are long gone as we expect IT [...] The post How Will Edge Computing Change Computer Room Design? appeared first on Server Room...
The world has an insatiable appetite for data, with over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being generated each day. At the same time speed is paramount. We want access to that data, to be able to store and share it at an ever-faster rate. The days of ‘waiting’ are long gone as we expect IT systems to provide instantaneous service and no one will accept latency in any form.
This trend will continue as more devices become connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence becomes more widely adopted within the everyday machines and services we come to rely on. Self-driving cars for example will require multiple connection points along a journey to be able to ‘intelligently’ deliver passengers to their destination. The data required will cover a range of environmental information including local traffic, road and whether conditions.
At the heart of this revolution society at large will become more reliant on hyperscale datacentres. The complexity and scale of these types of data processing factories will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. However, with this rise in scale and sophistication will come a dependency on Edge computing.
Edge computing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_computing) is a way to optimise applications and cloud stored systems by moving part of the application, its data and services nearer to the node of local usage. The advantages of this are improved speed of service delivery and of the type required to meet the demands of the age of the Internet of Things. This will give rise to the need for more local micro-datacentres and on-site server rooms.
Micro-datacentres are growing in their popularity. Referred to as an MDC, a micro data centre or micro data center is a self-contained and possibly modular arrangement of datacentre architecture designed to be installed wherever data centre type services are required. The MDC will house all the servers, racks, power distribution and UPS systems, cooling air conditioners, fire protection, security and network integration systems. They can be installed outdoors or within a building. The point is that a micro-datacentre is self-contained and can be transported and delivered rapidly to its point of us.
The alternative for an organisation is to continue to develop its on-site IT network and facilities and run their own server room. Our forecast is that this will continue in tandem with the development of micro-datacentres. Organisations whether public sector, commercial, industrial or other, will continue to require an on-site IT network and connectivity to the outside world and Cloud storage. The local network can connect via servers, bridges and routers within a central server room or via single micro-datacentre.
Will the size of on-site facility shrink or grow due to increased demand? This is harder to forecast but the consensus is that on-site services will continue up to a demand of around 300kW of power. Most small organisations run server rooms with a 10-30kW power demand either single phase or three phase and this size will be the norm for smaller installations. Medium on-site installations could be considered in the 30-100kW and larger ones at 100-300kW.
What this means for most organisations is a transitionary period. Legacy server rooms will continue to adapt and grow within the confined physical space they operate within. The growth of their IT network will very much depend on the growth of the company and whether systems and employees are on-site or remote. In and industrial environment, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) growth in data collection and connectivity could see an organisation replacing its server room with a complete micro-datacentre. The organisation here makes a step-change in its critical infrastructure and invests in an MDC for the future.
This then gives rise to the choices facing organisations. Within a server room environment over the last 10-20 years development in hardware and software have allowed rooms to be reconfigured to make use of new technologies such as server virtualisation. This has effectively shrunk the need for physical space but pushed up potentially demand for power and cooling from larger and faster servers and storage devices. If an organisation does go down the microdatacentre route they could be limited in future capacity deployment. Scale and growth plans need to be designed into the day-one installation if the datacentre is to cater for future expansion.
At Server Room Environments we will continue to develop the ranges of products we supply and work with manufacturers who we truly believe are engaging with hyperscale and microdatacentres, Internet of Things technologies and Edge Computing. In this way we can ensure that we can continue to provide our clients with the latest technologies whether its intelligent air conditioners, racks and cabinets, intelligent PDUs or modular UPS systems.
The next 10-15 years will see another fundamental shift in technologies with energy storage being used to hold-up grid electrical supplies and electric vehicles taking over from fossil burning ones and even hybrid vehicles. In much the same way we expect to see a growing reliance on server rooms and micro-datacentres as the backbone of the systems we will rely on to store and access the data that will become vital to society, work and general services.
To learn more about our thoughts on Edge Computing and how we can help you prepare your on-site server room for the future, please contact us. We provide free server room and datacentre surveys across the UK.
The post How Will Edge Computing Change Computer Room Design? appeared first on Server Room Environments.
With the UK experiencing one of the hottest summers since 1976 many server room air conditioners and datacentre cooling systems are facing extreme workloads. The issue is not the ambient temperature itself but the length of time that the higher than average temperatures have been around. For future upgrades and new system installations it may [...] The post How to Calculate Server Room Air Conditioner Sizes appeared first on Server Room...
With the UK experiencing one of the hottest summers since 1976 many server room air conditioners and datacentre cooling systems are facing extreme workloads. The issue is not the ambient temperature itself but the length of time that the higher than average temperatures have been around. For future upgrades and new system installations it may well become the norm to have to build in a ‘heatwave’ factor to prevent disruption and potential system failures. So how do you size an air conditioner for a server room or datacentre?
The post How to Calculate Server Room Air Conditioner Sizes appeared first on Server Room Environments.
At Server Room Environments we see a growing importance for on-site server rooms, even with more businesses turning to Cloud based services. What’s driving the demand for on-site IT facilities is the need to prepare for the Internet of Things, Edge Computing and the level of critical infrastructure that organisations will need soon. It’s important [...] The post Future Proofing Server Rooms For The Internet of Things appeared first on Server Room...
At Server Room Environments we see a growing importance for on-site server rooms, even with more businesses turning to Cloud based services. What’s driving the demand for on-site IT facilities is the need to prepare for the Internet of Things, Edge Computing and the level of critical infrastructure that organisations will need soon.
It’s important to remember that a datacentre is a managed building dedicated to the provision of sever-based services whether it is an Enterprise datacentre or a Colo (Co-location) one. We believe that the shift in the datacentre market globally will be towards mega-sized datacentres which will provide many of the cloud-based services we will rely on day-to-day. These can already be provided by Amazon AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure with new players like Huawei posing a real threat to the established players. Competition amongst mega-sized datacentres and their scale provision will lead to ever falling prices for cloud services. At the same time more and more devices will become internet enabled.
Worldwide, by 2030 there could be over 30 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) including Industry 4.0 or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices (https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide). Whilst these will connect via the Cloud to mega-sized datacentres, the local environment must be able to provide secure data processing and network communications. More sophisticated network closets, computer rooms and server rooms will continue to evolve to meet this demand as will micro-datacentres serving Edge computing applications. One only has think about self-driving electric vehicles to consider the number and frequency of internet connections that will be required for auto-pilots to function safely.
So, should an organisation prepare its on-site server facilities? Here we provide our checklist which is general in its approach.
Whilst not comprehensive by any means our server room design checklist provides areas for consideration when it comes to future-proofing. If you would prefer a site-specific review and consultation, please ask us for a site survey. We provide surveys free of charge in the UK if we can schedule the visit request date easily into the diaries of our project managers. Alternatively, we are always available for consultative call or webinar type meeting.
The post Future Proofing Server Rooms For The Internet of Things appeared first on Server Room Environments.
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here
If you are the owner of The Server Room Environments Blog, or someone who enjoys this blog why not upgrade it to a Featured Listing or Permanent Listing?