The Importance of Optimizing Server Cooling

Posted by The Team at CXtec on Jul 28, 2023 7:01:40 AM

The IT industry needs large, high-performance data centers and servers to meet its growing data management needs. Companies that...

The IT industry needs large, high-performance data centers and servers to meet its growing data management needs. Companies that manage such servers incur significant operational costs. And they need to invest resources to ensure their IT infrastructure is up to modern standards. Servers have significant operational costs, most of which includes the energy consumption by the components and the cooling infrastructure that a server needs. 

The Challenges of Keeping Servers Cool

Data centers and servers consume a lot of electricity and the problem seems to be getting worse due to current CPU trends. With each new generation, CPUs have become better but they require more power and generate more heat. Modern workloads may also need to incorporate GPUs, an additional heat-generating component. Heat is damaging for your server hardware and unchecked, it will destroy your server infrastructure. If you are implementing the latest server technologies, you must find a way to implement and optimize your cooling infrastructure. Here are some of the challenges that you might face while cooling your server:

  • Energy Efficiency - As discussed above, upgrading your server and cooling it will add to your energy costs. You will need to optimize your cooling process according to your requirements. Using new energy-efficient cooling technologies is beneficial as it will drive down costs, improve the reliability of your server system, and stabilize your running costs.
  • Airflow Obstructions - Adding a GPU, changing your server rack arrangement, or removing a drive/rack can change the airflow within your server room. When you upgrade your server or make changes to your infrastructure, reevaluate the airflow within your server room to ensure that there are no obstructions and all the target areas receive sufficient airflow.
  • Cost Efficiency - New cooling infrastructure is expensive, and your business must invest in the right equipment. A good ITAM provider can make choosing the right cooling technologies easier and help you implement it correctly.

Best Practices for Optimizing Your Server Cooling and Infrastructure

Here are a few best practices that can help you optimize your server cooling and infrastructure:

  • Understand Your Requirements - Most businesses do not need the highest-end server equipment, CPUs, GPUs, or cooling technologies. Understand your business requirements and plan your components accordingly.
  • Invest in Refurbished Hardware - Moving from OEMs to TPMs is an excellent way to reduce infrastructure costs. Refurbished hardware and cooling solutions can fit perfectly with your server architecture.
  • Choosing the Right Server Racks - Determine an efficient thermal layout for your server room beforehand and choose a rack design that optimizes airflow across your server components. The right design will reduce your energy and cooling costs in the long run.
  • Target Hot Spots - You should optimize airflow architecture for your server to direct cool air/liquid toward ‘hot spots.’ Hot spots are server components that generate the most heat, such as CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.
  • Disposing of Old Infrastructure - Do not discard your old infrastructure as e-waste. Your business can extract financial value from old servers and cooling technologies by repurposing and refurbishing them. CXtec’s ITAD services can help you create intelligent strategies to decommission your old infrastructure while maintaining proper data security and integrity. 

Cooling optimization is an iterative process. Servers with optimal cooling tend to be more reliable and require less maintenance in the long run. Additionally, a good cooling infrastructure increases the life of your server hardware and keeps them in operation for longer.