Code red as data centres face thermal runaway during extreme heat

Code red as data centres face thermal runaway during extreme heat

With the UK recording temperatures above 40C for the first time today, UK and European data centre operators need to adjust to 40C+ temperatures being much more likely for European summers.

What can catch many operators by surprise is just how quickly thermal runaway can transform a data centre that was running fine into a site with real problems due to cooling plant failure. Where cooling systems and critically resilience have not been tested in anger, plant failures or reduced output caused by high ambients can quickly lead to high IT temperatures. So it’s easy to see how what was previously thought to be a well-operating site can quickly become well over temperature within hours, if not minutes.

As the UK’s ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 2002, it’s reasonable to assume that the extreme heat issue is going to become a more frequent occurrence. Data centre operators need to prepare for this as part of their risk planning, preparing not only for eventualities such as thermal runaway but also in terms of immediate action plans when a similar even occurs.

Given that cooling issues still account for almost a third of unplanned data centre outages, it’s increasingly important for operations teams to have access to the data required to effectively manage their thermal performance. EkkoSense, with our EkkoSoft Critical software and Critical Things sensor technology is ideally placed to equip organisations with a solution that can monitor, plan and optimise the critical data centre environment.

This kind of visibility is particularly important before, during and after extreme temperature periods, giving teams precise data and real thermal insight so they can highlight unforeseen issues before they occur, track actual performance in real-time when they do and finally truly assess site performance after an event so site can be improved for next time. A simple, ‘we were ok this time’ is not enough. Monitoring cooling performance is clearly essential if you’re going to find out exactly how your rooms perform when the weather gets really hot.

There are some clear lessons that organisations can learn and we’ve divided them into two key tip areas: What you can do to prepare your data centre for extreme heat events, and what immediate steps can you take if you’re facing thermal runaway.

What can you do to prepare your data centre for extreme heat events?

Immediate steps to take when facing thermal runaway

EkkoSense is the leading thermal expert for Data Centres worldwide and we are ready to mobilise our tools and expertise to assist our clients to identify & prevent issues or, if needed, solve them when they occur. To understand more about how tools such as EkkoSoft Critical and its Cooling Advisor service can help you reduce the risks associated with potential thermal failure, contact me James Kirkwood at [email protected] or book a demo of EkkoSoft Critical Cooling Advisor here

EkkoSense solutions are available directly, or through the company’s expanding network of international partners across North and South America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.  
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Press Contact: Cheryl Billson, Comma Communications – PR for EkkoSense,
+44 (0)7791 720460
[email protected]