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02/07/2022

AVTECH Introduces ASHRAE Temperature and Humidity Report Overlays

In this product update we introduce a new feature in the online monitoring portal for Room Alert environment monitioring devices ideal for server room and data centre managers. The new feature is an option in the reports section to overlay ASHRAE environmental recommendations, specifically for temperature and humidity.

There are several environmental conditions that can lead to downtime and disruption in a server room or data centre environment. The primary environmental-related causes being high temperatures, high humidity/dew points, water leakge and of course a power outage.

Recommended Data Centre Temperature and Humidity Levels

As energy costs continue to rise it can be tempting to reduce air conditioning and alowing room temperatures to rise. This is not always possible in a server room or data centre.

High ambient temperatures and humidity can lead to IT servers and their related networking devices overheating with several associated risks. These include eratic operation, data corruption and data loss, corroson and potentially a fire. Low humidity can also be an issue. In an IT environment with too low a humidity level, there is the potential for static electricity to build up. This can lead to electrostatic discharge (ESD) and damage sensitive electronronic components. Sparks in a computer room, server room or data centre environment are never a good sign.

ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has for several years provided guideance on the latest thinking and research regarding temperature and humidity levels for an IT environment.

Recommended Temperature Range for Computer Room Environments

ASHRAE recommends an acceptable operating temperature range of 18-27°C (64° to 81°F). The top end could be a little too high for a comfortable working environment for IT managers, engineers and subcontractors brought into complete service work such as room cleaning, and general maintenance. For environments with low levels both copper and silver corrosion, ASHRAE recommends a temperature range is between 18-21°C (64-69.8 °F).

Recommended Humidity Range for Data Centres

20-80% is the ASHRAE recommendation for relative humidity. Again, in environments with high levels of copper and silver corrosion, the top end is lowered. This time to 50-60% relative humidity.

Avtech Environmental Monitoring Solutions

Server rooms and data centres that proactively monitor their environmental conditions can more effectively ensure that they maintain within the ASHRAE guidelines or at least take corrective and preventative actions should a gradual or sudden rise in either occur. Staying within the guideline parameters helps to ensure a stable operating environment and prevention of outages and downtime related to environmental factors. Without proactive monitoring, any change in temperature or humidity levels may not be picked up until it is too late to react in time and recover the situation.

Whilst there are several suitable environmental monitoring solutions for server rooms and data centres, only Avtech provides ASHRAE overlay maps in its monitoring software, called RoomAlert.

RoomAlert.com is an online monitoring portal from Avtech that provides real-time views of the monitored environment. Data is pushed to the portal regularly including change of state alarms, allowing IT, data centre and facilities managers to responding quickly to events and act accordingly.

ASHRAE Report Overlays

The new overlay feature from AVTECH is available for use with any of the AVTECH environmental monitoring solutions. From small single port devices that used to monitor single point locations (Room Alert 3S) to their most advanced solution the Room Alert 32S, designed specifically for multiple location and environmental factor monitoring in server rooms and data centres.

The overlays can show actual temperature and humidity readings from the sensors connected to the monitored Room Alert device, compared to the latest ASHRAE temperature and humidity recommendations. If these change in the future, the overlay will automatically update. The new overlay feature makes it easy to quickly compare actual data to the recommendations, making it easier to identify areas of concern for proactive preventative action(s). The new overlay function therefore makes it easier for any server room or data centre environment to keep within the ASHRAE’s temperature and humidity guidelines.

There are several ways to use an Avtech device to monitor temperature and humidity. Separate plug-in sensors are available from Avtech including for temperature and humidity. The company also supplies a combined Digital Temperature & Humidity Sensor ideal for server room environments looking to accurately monitor temperature, humidity, heat index and dew point levels. Any deviations from acceptable ranges are reported automatically via email, SMS, and phone calls.

Summary

According to AVTECH, 30% of all server room and data centre downtime is due to environmental factors. Monitoring temperature, humidity and even power can help to ensure that critical cooling and power protection systems are operating as designed.

Environmental monitoring systems help to protect, monitor, and control server room and data centre environments. The systems help to optimise environmental conditions and prevent downtime thanks to their continuous monitoring and alert facilities to even the smallest changes in temperature and humidity and any other monitored environmental conditions.

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