In 2007 we commissioned a survey of data centre managers and found that over 45% of the IT managers and facilities personnel that we spoke to had experienced an air-conditioning failure within the previous 12 months. As a supplier of environmental monitoring equipment we often hear horror stories of failing cooling systems, but we wondered if the air-con systems we rely on today are any more reliable than they were almost 10 years ago?
To update the survey, we contacted nearly 200 IT Managers and the feedback was startling: Just over 64% had experienced an AC failure of some description within the last 12 months! In the main, these failures resulted in overheating and water leaks in their server rooms and data centres. Fortunately, for many of those we spoke to, disaster was avoided as they had a reliable environmental monitoring system and a robust alerting procedure in place that allowed them to step in before permanent damage to their IT hardware occurred.
It is hard to pinpoint why this increase in failures has come about. However, it is impossible to escape the fact that closely monitoring the temperature within critical IT environments and receiving immediate alerts when problems arise, is now more important than ever.
Air-conditioning failure in any Server Room or Data Centre can be catastrophic. If left unchecked, temperatures can quickly soar. Your hardware may automatically shut-down to prevent any lasting damage, but you’ll still be left with a sizeable amount of downtime while rebooting and testing. If you aren’t so lucky, you may experience hardware failure along with the associated replacement cost and an even greater amount of network downtime during repairs.