July has certainly got off to a hot start and weather forecasters are predicting more soaring temperatures for the weeks ahead. So spare a thought for your computer systems, which are liable to overheat if certain basic precautions are not taken.
Open doors or windows and increase ventilation using desk fans and mobile air conditioning units wherever possible. Of course, these measures will make life more comfortable for your staff as well as your equipment! But here are 5 more tips, specifically aimed at your hardware.
Check system fans
Be aware of fans turning more than usual – especially server fans, as this may be an early sign that hardware is struggling in the heat. It is often recommended you keep a spare fan to avoid prolonged system downtime should the existing fan need to be replaced, advice which is particularly relevant to older or out-of-warranty servers.
Check air flow
Most hardware sucks cooling air in from the front and pushes it out through the back. Take a moment to understand the airflow of your computers and servers, moving these devices away from walls, desks and any other objects that might obstruct ventilation. Ensure there is adequate space in your comms room as placing servers too close together will not help.
Avoid direct sunlight
During hot conditions, your devices will already be struggling to cope with the heat created by their own power supplies and processors, so keep them away from direct sunlight. As well as servers and PCs, don’t forget about smartphones, tablets and peripherals such as Wi-Fi access points and routers that may be sitting on window sills, in cupboards or under piles of paperwork.
Switch it off
Remember to turn off any unused workstations, monitors and related equipment when these are not being used.
Naturally, this is the preferred option. If you have it, take a moment to ensure your air con is working and that is keeping your equipment sufficiently cool. If you’re thinking of buying a system, make sure you know your BTU (British Thermal Units), since many businesses fail to take these into account. Each of your devices has a BTU output which can be found either on the case labelling or researched online.