Best Practices for Data Center Infrastructure and Server Room Environmental Monitoring
2. Ambient room monitoring
Ambient room monitoring is the environmental monitoring of the room for its humidity and temperature levels. Temperature and humidity sensors are typically deployed in:
When multiple air conditioning systems are available in a room, then a failure of one system will initially be compensated by the others before it may lead to a total failure of the cooling system due to overload. As a result temperature / airflow sensors are recommended near each unit to get early failure detection.
Humidity in server rooms should be between 40% and 60% rH. Too dry will result in the build up of static electricity on the systems. Too humid and corrosion will start slowly damaging your equipment resulting in permanent equipment failures.
When using cold corridors inside the data center, then ambient temperature outside the corridor may be at higher levels. Temperatures of 37°C / 99°F are not uncommon in such setups. This allows to significantly reduce the energy cost. However this also means that temperature monitoring is of utmost importance as a failing air conditioning unit will have a way faster impact on the systems lifetime and availability (fans stress, CPU overheating, …) and running a room at higher temperatures may also affect non rack mounted equipment.
When using hot corridors it is important to monitor temperature across the room to ensure that sufficient cold air gets to each rack. In this case however one can also rely on rack based temperature sensors in addition of temperature and humidity sensors close to each air conditioning unit.
3. Water & Flooding Monitoring
Water leakage is a less known threat for server rooms & data centers. The fact that most data centers and server rooms have raised floors makes the risk even bigger as water seeks the lowest point.
Two type of sensors for water leakage can be commonly found: spot and water snake cable based. Spot sensors will trigger an alert when water touches the unit. Water rope or water snake cable sensors use a conductive cable whereby contact at any point on the cable will trigger an alert. The latter type is recommended over the first one due to its higher range and higher accuracy.
If using a raised floor, then one should consider putting the sensor under the raised floor as water seeks the lowest point.
The four main sources of water in a server room are:
4. Sensors Deployment
* External probes need to be connected to a Sensorgateway (SKU 311323) in order to operate. One Sensorgateway has a built-in temperature probe and can support up to 2 external probes.