When dealing with computers in a data center, environmental control is different from how the world knows it. It does not involve reforestation and waste management. Instead, this practice is aimed at keeping only the environment inside a data center to protect its content. Unlike other typical equipment, computers and servers normally found in this place are vulnerable to extreme changes in temperature. Thus, environmental control is necessary.
A computer consumes significant amount of electricity as it runs. Because electricity produces heat, consuming much of it will quickly increase the temperature of the computer’s operating system, which eventually turns into exhaust. For a single computer, this may not be a significant problem. But for multiple computers continuously running in one place such as in a data center, this is a huge concern. Therefore, heat must be controlled to prevent its effect on the efficiency of the information system.
Certain computer components have low heat tolerance and can easily break when exposed to sudden temperature changes. A central processing unit can easily overheat and malfunction. The same principle applies to cars breaking down after overheating. On the other hand, if the temperature drops as quickly, moisture can build up inside the computer parts and cause oxidation, which can lead to corrosion of micro-components.
It is vital for a data center to have a well-designed and maintained heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system for its efficient operation. Controlling the air temperature eventually reduces heat and humidity that will rid the equipment of early breakage. Depending on the size of the facility keeping the data center knowledge and the HVAC system installed, humidity must be kept at 45 to 55 percent, while temperature must be between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.
These temperature and humidity levels are neither too cold nor too hot for internal components to begin to sweat and corrode. The goal is to maintain a fair temperature that will keep the computer and its components properly functioning. An environment control specialist who has the right data center knowledge must monitor the temperature regularly.
Natural ventilation is preferred in some occasios such as before winter season. Contemporary data centers even use economizer cool that taps air outside to provide the necessary ventilation in the data center. One with sufficient data center knowledge would even recommend shutting down once in a while to let them cool.