Server rooms are never cold places. The heat that is generated from hard-working processors is huge. So, when you put dozens of them side-by-side and on top of one another; you’re bound to have some issues with temperature. And, this isn’t considering that the other parts of the server will also generate some heat. Getting around this sort of issue has been on the minds of engineers for decades. Nowadays, we’re getting very close to solving this problem entirely. This post is going to be going through some of the solutions to heat problems that server centers use.
A lot of people assume that servers use water cooling loops, just like enthusiast PCs. Unfortunately, though, in a server room; these are no good. Because of the need for a radiator, they would have to have incredibly long tubing to avoid heat being pumped into the air. And, like air cooling, water cooling can only drop the temperature down to the room’s delta temp. There’s a solution to this issue, though. And, it’s one that can make the parts colder than the room around them. Phase-change cooling involves very similar principles to water cooling. But, instead of having a pump to move the liquid; it uses a liquid that evaporates at a low temperature. When the liquid evaporates, it will move to a passive heatsink cooler. This makes the fluid cool enough to become a liquid again; and, it flows back to the parts again. The energy spent by the liquid changing into a gas is the process that achieves the cooling.
That may sound a little complicated. And, it is. This sort of system will cost a business a huge amount of money to install and maintain. But, water cooling will have similar costs. So, what is used? Well, air cooling is the most common solution found in data centres. But, it’s used in tandem with air conditioning. Air conditioning uses a chemical reaction to cool down air. This process allows the air cooling in the systems to remain effective; because, the air in the room doesn’t get hotter. This sort of system is usually used as a backup in cases where phase-change cooling is used. Air conditioned machines are so reliable, it makes it easy for companies to trust them with the work they have to do.
Of course, where you find heat; you will usually find fire. And, this is often the case in server rooms that aren’t properly cooled. There are loads of flammable items in this sort of environment. So, the right tech has to be used. Sprinkler systems will usually be deactivated in these rooms because they will damage the machines. Or, they will use insulating foam. You can’t expect most hardware to survive a fire, though. Thankfully, they only irreplaceable asset in this sort of room is data. A lot of companies choose industrial temperature SSD options for their work; as they can save data in most fires. But, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup, too.
Hopefully, this will shed light on the tools that server operators use to keep things cool. It’s hard to perform a job like this without great expense. So, a lot of companies work hard to find the very best ways to keep things cool.