Data Center Design & Optimization Crucial Even at Rack Level
As cloud architecture gets more efficient at managing resources, it’s easy to think that you’re achieving near-perfect levels of performance. But while you may have the fastest discs, the best virtual machines, and the most flexible management system, you may be overlooking one important element: the physical design of your racks in the data center.
Entropy is the Enemy
We all agree that entropy is the enemy. In fact, this has become one of those clichés that we nod our heads along with but do not think critically about. Every physical process creates heat. And we know how important it is to keep server racks cool. So why do we simply slot new hardware on the shelf, wire it up and call it a day? We need to be more mindful of where that heat is coming from, and where it is going.
Know What You’re Working With
Before you start, it would be wise to know what the baseline is. To that end, an inexpensive thermal imaging scan would help you map out hotspots as well as airflow. Surprisingly, many people skip this most obvious first step.
They tend to assume that, since the data center was designed with efficient cooling as one of its top priorities, the space must be in its optimal configuration. And it may be. But you won’t know until you test.
Consider Hiring an Expert
Every set of is different, and every set up has reasons for why it was set up the way it was. This combination of assumptions and legacy interests can create quite the tangled situation to unwind. You may easily decide that it would be a better use of time and money to hire a firm that specializes in precision cooling.
Otherwise, you can expect that you’re going to spend a little bit of time tinkering, testing the results of various configurations, seals, and arrangements. You will, however, learn the nuances that will be of use in overhauling or setting up future installations. Perhaps a resident expert would be a wise investment.
Cooling is expensive, but you’re paying for it anyway, via your contract with the data center. You might as well ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck. Not to mention your servers will thank you.
Taking the time to optimize your rack configuration to allow optimal cooling to take place will only help performance at any level.