Server Room Monitoring Best Practices and Recommendations
Server Room plays a vital role in your business. Monitoring and managing the environmental conditions-accurately will maximize the use of your equipment, extend its useful life, minimize operating cost and avoid expensive affair caused by downtime or unexpected equipment breakdown. Here are the best practices and recommendation in monitoring a server room.
Server room contains valuable business data, track records and other crucial information necessary for business operation. So, if we think carefully what it is actually doing, any environmental threat can create a big impact in an organization which relies on its data, in their operation. A good example is a school or institutions, wherein both employee and student’s private data and track records are stored inside the server room. If not monitored properly, the Institution might face risk of data and financial loss that could negatively affect their credibility and reputation.
Environmental monitoring is one of the key components in running a server room efficiently and effectively. It is usually one of the smallest expenses yet plays an important role in 24/7 responsibilities.
Here are the most important environmental threats we need to keep an eye on:
- Temperature and Humidity
Servers are sensitive machine that need to maintain its temperature and humidity within the parameters to achieve its best performance and reduce errors or malfunction. That is why temperature and humidity are the top environmental variable most IT personnel consider. Since equipment such as servers release a lot of heat, multiple air conditioning system is installed in the room to maintain the ambient temperature 18°-27°C. When a lot of air-conditioning systems are installed, a failure can happen anytime which might lead to an overload of cooling system. As a recommendation, temperature sensor is recommended near each air conditioning unit to detect any problem.
Humidity on the other hand is related to the temperature. Too high humidity can affect the equipment components and will result to corrosion. Relative humidity in server rooms can be maintained between 40% and 60%rH.
Temperature and Humidity Sensors are usually installed near air-conditioning units or area where temperature escalate than normal.
- Flood/Water Leakage
Water leakage is not well-known threat especially if you haven’t experience how big damage it can cause.
There are different sources of water inside the server room as follows:
- Leak from Air Conditioning Systems
- Leak from the ceiling or floors
- Leak from water pipes
- Traditional Flooding
The presence of water cannot be detected easily. A perfect example is the flooding under computer raised floorings which cannot be seen as false ceiling conceals pipings above it. Condensation or leaks are discovered only when water patches are seen. Water accumulation can come from leaky pipes, seepages from adjacent walls, condensate from Air-conditioning systems, to name a few. Water can permeate to adjacent walls or downwards to the level below.
Without a water leak detection system, oftentimes problem goes undetected until it is too late. This is why monitoring any water build-up in these areas is necessary, and a good and reliable water leak detection system is critically important.
Linkwise technology offers a water leak detection system which provides high accuracy readings once leak has been detected and immediately alert you to prevent the bigger situation. It is equipped with different sizes of sensing cable that will pit with your needs and requirements.
The overall equipment and servers inside the server room can produce so much heat and power. Overheating is one of the main risks that needs to be address. Monitoring for smoke just make sense but most fire detection alarm system detects the smoke when it has already been built up. VESDA or very early warning aspirating smoke detection is recommended as it has detectors with multi-level warnings and a wide range of sensitivity that does not degrade or change over time, so even minute levels of smoke can be detected before a fire has time to escalate.
Airflow management is initiated to protect the servers from overheating which helps to prevent failure and downtime. Making sure that the heat coming from one device won’t be picked up by another.
- Access Management
Server room is normally restricted and only authorized personnel is allowed to enter. The doors should be locked at all times.
Whether you use card reader systems or electronic door locks, monitoring access allows you to check that doors are bit left open or that too many people are entering or leaving too often. You can also install video surveillance, which is an extra layer of security at those access points. If you already have an access control system in place, then all you need to do is reconfigure the authorization of each personnel.