Server room cooling

Peter McGarvey pmcgarvey at
Fri Aug 23 11:53:53 BST 2002

* Tim Wiser [Friday 23 August 2002 11:09 am]
>  Well, after repeatedly informing our managers that our server room is
> far too small and doesn't have adequate cooling (this is a brand new
> site that has been built to specification, howerver the specification
> that was put forward by us was blatantly ignored)....  the ambient
> temperature in the room is now knocking on 40 degrees celsius.  The only
> ventilation that the room has is a sucking fan that pulls air out of the
> corridor, through the room and then outside.  However, this is failing
> to make any difference at all as far as we can see - probably because
> the air in the corridor outside is warm.  *sigh*
>  Anyway, does anyone know of any documentation/websites that I can put
> under the noses of the managers to coerce them into doing something
> other than lipservice to I.T about this problem?  I've got a feeling
> that things may start going bang unless this is rectified soon.

Once-upon-a-time I worked in a similar situation.  I handled it by 
printing out a listing of the environmental specs of all the installed kit 
and a graph of the temperatures in the office.  I attached these to a memo 
which stated that as a result of running kit outside the stated 
environmental limits 3 things would happen.  Firstly things would break.  
Secondly it would invalidate servicing contracts. And thirdly, as the 
tapes were kept in this office, the heat would probably fubar the daily 
backup tapes - so we would only be able to rely on the weekly & monthly 
backup tapes.

I then sent a copy to every department head with an interest in the smooth 
running of the IT services.

Of course nobody paid the slightest attention.

But when a server went bang and a considerable mount of data was lost the 
big boss tried to blame me.  I pointed to a copy of my memo.  I didn't say 
"I told you so", I merely mentioned that perhaps I should have taken 
"additional steps" to emphasise the urgency of the siutuation.

Internal politics being what they were I was still "blamed" for the 
problem.  But I kept my job, we had aircon within the week; a secure 
location for the daily backup tapes.  And, for the first time ever, the 
big boss agreed to pay me overtime - to fix the problems caused by lack of 

BTW, the pulling air from the corridor idea had been considered at one 
point.  But the Health & Safety guy had a fit -  it seems fire regulations 
did not permit such a thing.  I don't know how true this is, so I'd 
definately check if your current arrangement is "legal".


Peter McGarvey
System Administrator
Network Operations, VIA Networks UK

More information about the Ukfreebsd mailing list