When setting up a new data center, cooling is one of the most important elements after power and network capacity. Here are the most important considerations for cooling:

Thermal load – Determine the amount of cooling required for the server room. This is based on the thermal load of the equipment. There are labels with the thermal load on the back of each server. Alternatively, calculate the total wattage or get an electrical contractor in to determine the heat load and the BTU required. When spot cooling is an option, calculate the load per zone.

Temperature – The ideal temperature for a server room is 70 degrees f. However, large data center operations run by companies like Google maintain much higher temperatures. The tradeoff here is on the lifetime of the equipment and redundancy. Except for large data centers, the method of cooling is not important as long as the temperature is maintained. It can be portable AC units or split types.

Redundancy – There has to be a backup for whatever cooling method in use. The best solution is to have one or more portable AC units available for immediate use. This way any breakdown does have any immediate impact on operations.

Servicing – Any air conditioning solutions should be easily serviceable. This is dependent on the size and the area immediately surrounding the room. This affects the placement and the type of AC unit.

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