Best practices for keeping data enters up and running and efficient

Recently, AFCO Systems compiled a list of best practices for companies to take to ensure their centers stay “happy.”

By Max Burkhalter
February 16, 2011
Recently, AFCO Systems, a company that designs and manufactures scalable enclosure technology for mission-critical data center environments, compiled a list of best practices for companies to take to ensure their centers stay “happy.”

"We don't mean happy as in joyful but maybe more content and comfortable," said Tony Wilson, AFCO Systems’ senior director of marketing. "As a data center or facilities manager, you have to ask yourself if you've provided the right environment for those high-end servers you're putting into your data centers."

AFCO’s list hopes to help IT managers with decisions regarding the upkeep of their data centers as well as any additional deployments.

Firstly, AFCO recommends companies keep their data centers cool. With lower temperatures, servers and switches can perform more consistently without overheating. Using an enclosure that manages and segregates airflow will optimize the center’s temperature and keep systems running efficiently.

Next, AFCO states centers need to remain accessible, meaning no tangled or misplaced cables. With clean centers, technicians can easily enter and move around in case a server or switch needs servicing. These technicians should be able to do this without disrupting other nearby servers, which would, in turn, create more problems.

Companies need to ensure their centers have room to breathe as well. Creating centers with optimal air flow design is important, as all servers and switches have access to the same level of air in the enclosure. Thus, companies should also treat each enclosure like its own, mini data center when dealing with air flow. Containing the air in rows of racks through aisle containment strategies is an effective way to perform this task.

Ensuring systems and servers have room to move is also important, according to AFCO. As technicians or workers move systems around or add more servers, heat density can rise. Making sure that each enclosure can handle the heat density is an important step. If there’s enough room to move systems around easily, odds are that the enclosure’s heat density is appropriate.

Lastly, companies need to monitor and manage their data centers diligently. Employing smart power strips and sensor networks will allow workers real-time data on their systems.

"Following these common sense ideas can give you much happier data center servers and lead to lowering your costs associated with data center power and cooling," said Wilson.

With many large business relying on data centers to propel their services, following these steps could go a long way toward increased lifetimes of the enclosed servers and systems.


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