What temperature is your computer room?

I am working for a new company. We’re just getting started and I’m in charge of the computer system, among other things. At previous offices, I have always seen computer rooms kept cold (62-65 degrees) and dry. I am getting mixed messages on how cold the computer room should be and what problems may occur with above optimal temperatures. I am getting some pressure to reduce my budget and wonder if I can get away with just a dehumidifier.

Anybody out there with the straight dope on this? The small room will contain, at a minimum, two routers, a firewall, four small to medium servers, tape drives, and miscellaneous. No UPS will be necessary because I will be tapping the manufacturing area UPS.

If you have any suggestions as to how the cost can be held down, please let me know.

You need air conditioning for the room. That equipment will put out alot of heat. A dehumidifier would just add to the heat in the room. A dehumidafier is the same as an air conditioner except it expels the heat back into the same room. The computers are going to run hotter than the tempurature in the room. The room doesn’t have to be that cold either. You don’t want the temperature over 80, and 70 is great. Remember that good airflow through the computers is very important.

My situation is different because our server & switch rooms have rows & rows of public network nodes that can’t ever be subjected to overheating. For that reason we keep it birrrzy-cold (low 60’s I think) to the point where you need to wear a sweater if you are going to be working in there for any length of time.

One of the things you need to consider is how long it will take you to get there (and get an A/C contractor there, too) if the A/C fails & the room begins to heat up. Our switch rooms are alarmed for thermal runaway at a very low threshold so as to give plenty of time for us to get sombody there & fix the problem.

The last time the A/C failed, the heat monitor alarm went off at around 68°, and by the time we got the necessary people together & got the problem resolved (they replaced a water pump or something), the temp had gotten up to the low 90’s. If we had set the normal operating temp higher, the equipment might work just as well but we would have had a lot less time to act on the alarm.

So can you afford to have your servers go down for any length of time, including the time it will take to get potential A/C problems repaired?