Data centers, facing the arrival of heat waves

Data centers, facing the arrival of heat waves
Data centers, facing the arrival of heat waves

Climate change is advancing rapidly, leading the planet to experience increasingly extreme temperatures. This global warming intensifies heat waves in summer, making them more frequent and longer. A clear example of this occurred in July and August 2023, when record high temperatures were recorded in various parts of the world, including Spain.

Heat waves pose a danger not only to human health, but also to the operation of digital infrastructures, especially data centres. These centres are crucial for the operation of numerous business activities and digital transactions today.

For this reason, Fibratel, through its data center unit fdata, calls on companies and data center operators to strengthen their infrastructure and be able to face these climatic challenges.

In this regard, Diego Fernández, director of operations at the fdata unit, warns that “to ensure optimal operation of the infrastructure of a data centre, it must be kept between 18 and 23 degrees and, if it exceeds 25 degrees, the installation may be affected. This increase can occur when the outside temperature rises to more than 40ºC if the data centre has not been designed correctly, so everything has to be prepared from the design phase, so that, when these temperature increases occur, they do not impact operations.”

Data center and heat

According to a company specializing in the design and installation of data centers, one of the most critical risks is the overheating of equipment. This can impair its performance, cause failures or even lead to downtime, resulting in financial losses for companies and reputational damage for facility operators.

In addition, it is important to consider the increase in energy consumption and resources needed to keep the equipment cool. Facilities must be adequately prepared to avoid interruptions in the power supply, which could cause massive failures in data centers (CPD). It is essential to verify the correct status and operation of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and generators to ensure their activation in case of emergency.

Fibratel specialists also warn that the risk of fires increases significantly during heat waves, which increases the danger for these infrastructures.

A CPD prepared to face extreme temperatures

Fibratel’s data centre unit stresses that any potential issues in these critical facilities, such as heat waves, must be considered from the design phase. Each design must be unique and tailored to the specific conditions of the environment and the needs of the client, ensuring the highest standards of operation. Factors such as location, cooling, power, physical and digital security, and fault tolerance must be carefully assessed.

Anticipation is key. As Spain faces episodes of extreme heat every summer, it is crucial to have an action plan in place to react quickly, in an organized and efficient manner. This plan should include risk assessment, responses to different scenarios and staff training. It is also advisable to provide concrete examples of actions to follow in each situation.

Finally, experts highlight the importance of having real-time monitoring and analysis systems to monitor the status of data center components. Detecting abnormal temperature increases allows preventive measures to be taken to avoid major problems. In addition, the analysis of historical data is key to predicting sudden temperature changes and improving the management of these incidents.

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