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5 Things to Keep in Mind when Maintaining Server Racks

Server Racks are extremely important pieces of hardware for companies and data centers of all sizes.

Maintaining server racks is not exactly difficult, but it’s easy to forget about rack maintenance in the daily routine. While many companies prefer to examine and maintain their server racks once or twice a year, we recommend frequent small checks through the years. Here are a few vital tips to extend the life of your server racks.

Don’t Disturb Aisle Arrangement

When setting up your server room, your aisle pitch would have been carefully designed to make sure that there is enough distance between racks to keep the flow of cold air going. Aisle Design also ensures that racks are never set back-to-front. When the fronts of two racks face each other, this forms cold aisles, whereas racks facing back-to-back form hot aisles. The width of each cold aisle should be about four feet, while hot aisles should be three feet wide.

When doing maintenance, keep in mind that these aisle widths should not reduce, nor should the racks be rotated in any way. All server racks must return to their original positions before closing the exercise.

Check Metal and Screws

Since a server rack or cabinet is basically metal screwed together, it’s important to check on this aspect regularly and frequently to ensure stability. Any loose screws could have disastrous consequences unless dealt with expeditiously.

Service Fans and Aircon Units

Check the operation of fans in the server rooms periodically. A thorough wipe down helps keep the vents clear of debris. Fans are a necessary part of the server room, and the servers and racks can face serious overheating issues without fully functional fans and ACs.

Similarly, aircon units remove heat and moisture from the relatively small and densely occupied space. Racks can get overheated, depending on the size of the room, number of servers and how the server racks are spaced out, and this can have serious consequences on the long-term life of the racks.

The type of maintenance of fans differs based on the type of rack, as racks with more solid doors usually require an external fan from the top to minimize air recirculation.

Use Monitoring Tools

With some older facilities, an issue arises that the hardware simply doesn’t match with pre-installed systems. Because of this, the cooling ducts, exhaust procedures, power supplies, etc. may not necessarily work with the newer racks. That’s why it’s important, when getting custom server racks, to build in monitoring tools.

These monitoring tools can be utilized to track individual components and ensure that there’s no overheating, speeds are optimal, and that the overall system is efficient, safe and working well with the existing power supply.

Server racks can be sensitive and must be dealt with by people with experience and expertise. Healthy racks are key to the safe and efficient operation of data centres and server rooms, and, therefore, must not be taken for granted.

At Hardy Racks, we live and breathe server racks, and our in-depth expertise enables us to act as data center consultants to our customers for better planning, more efficient operations, and easier maintenance of server racks. Contact us today for more information.


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