The Data Center Temperature Debate

·          Using an air side economizer, Intel subjected 450 high density servers to the elements—temperatures as high as 92 deg and relative humidity ranges from 4 to 90%. The server failure rate during this experiment was only marginally higher than Intel’s enterprise facility.

·          Data centers can operate with a temperature in the 80s and still be ASHRAE Efficiency Heating
Coolingcompliant. The upper limit of their recommended temperature range increased to 80.6 deg F (up from 77 deg F).

Arguments Against:

·          High temperatures, over time, affect server performance. Server fan speed, for instance, will increase in response to higher temperatures. This wear and tear can shorten the device’s life.

·          Studies from data center behemoths like Microsoft and Intel may not be relevant to all businesses:

o   Their enormous data center footprint is more immune to an occasional server failure that may result from excessive heat.

o   They can leverage their buying power to receive gold-plated warranties that permit higher temperature settings.

o   They are most likely refreshing their hardware at a more rapid pace than other businesses. If that server is completely spent after 3 years, no big deal. A smaller business may need that server to last longer than 3 years.

Position: Higher Inlet Temperatures may result in uncomfortable