Hot Spots

February 11, 2008

I just read where computer processors generate more heat per surface area than stove tops. Think about that for a moment. Now approach your servers with crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, and make s’mores.

No, wait, bad advice. I meant to say approach your servers with oven mitts, and rearrange your future server plans. If you’re like many small businesses, you put servers here and there, until one day you realize you should gather them in one sport for easier management. That may be a table, a corner or a closet today. Tomorrow, that should be a server rack.

You may be thinking that buying new servers in a rack will just concentrate the heat now spread around, making heat management more difficult. True to a point, but racks have better heat management tools than individual servers. If you go to blade serves, the heat per server drops more. Since all the hot servers are now conveniently located in the same spot, one cooling system handles the entire rack.

If you’re still in the one to three server stage, this won’t matter much. When you start talking about a half dozen servers, the price point makes blades or rack servers about the same money for equivalent server horsepower.

While you don’t save much at the half-dozen mark, you can manage heat dissipation easier with the server enclosures than with multiple servers sitting on a table. Server concentration also helps management and troubleshooting when necessary.