High-density server arrangements help businesses of all kinds achieve their goals while spending less money on server equipment and the space needed to contain it. These configurations may be efficient and compact, but even the best blade models from Oracle Sun create a unique set of challenges in the server room. Find out how hiring an experienced team of third party maintenance technicians can help you prevent these four server problems.
Heat Control Difficulties
Servers generate a lot of heat no matter the setup, but high-density configurations are hotter than usual. This is due to the increased demand on the CPUs because the increased density of physical servers allows for expanded virtualization. Intense virtualization in high-density server racks can use up to 50% of the CPU's processing power, while average servers barely use 1% or 2%. More processing means more heat produced by the servers.
The physical closeness of the servers also reduce air flow and contribute to the hot spot phenomenon. All that extra heat requires advanced cooling technology and constant monitoring to prevent emergencies that damage the equipment. Letting a third party handle both requirements leaves you free to enjoy the expanded processing power instead of worrying about the management of it all.
Some of the best cooling strategies for high-density server banks include
- Server cold plate equipment, which involves installing a heat sink inside each server that connects to a central refrigerant pump
- Active water cooling, which adjusts to focus resources on the hottest parts of the server room
- Full room air conditioning, which reduces the heat generated by other equipment in the room
- Top-hat style fans, which increase the efficiency of air conditioning by mixing the hot and cold air.
Power Distribution Challenges
On top of the heat generated by the increased CPU usage, you'll also experience an increase in the amount of electricity needed by the server room. As the kilowatts climb, it becomes more difficult to keep up with the demands of each enclosure, especially in crowded server rooms. Many companies turn to this configuration to save on construction costs and get more out of each square foot. However, this can lead to a veritable jungle of cables. Letting a third party maintenance team manage the changing power demands of a high-density room prevents your Oracle Sun equipment from overloading the building's supply.
Demand for RAM Expansions
Of course, those servers rely on more than just CPU power when arranged into a high-density configuration. The powerful servers used in these systems can handle heavy virtualization loads, but only when you're willing to invest in the RAM to match the increased work for the processor. Since small tweaks in your virtualization software often results in a major change in the RAM requirements, it's easier if the same third party team handles both the software and hardware changes.
Power Backup Limits
Uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) are responsible for keeping the servers on during a power outage so you don't have to deal with the downtime of a restart cycle. Many companies with a limited IT department switch to high-density servers with a higher power draw without upgrading their UPS equipment to match. Surge protection can also get overlooked in the rush to expand your capabilities as quickly as possible. If you hire a separate set of technicians that focus all their time on the maintenance of the servers, you can enjoy a smoother transition between the two arrangements.
Increasing density can save you money if you've hit the limits of your current server configuration and can't afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a brand new facility. Get help for both the initial reconfiguration and the ongoing maintenance and management of the room to make sure the heat and power demands don't grow out of control. For more information, go to websites of third party maintenance and support companies.