When it comes to security for your business’ network, you most likely think of viruses, data breaches, and other virtual threats. While these threats should be prevented, all the firewalls in the world won’t stop the physical dangers that are inside your building right now. These menaces include temperature, humidity, vibration, water leaks, and intrusion. These threats can damage equipment, force hardware to shutdown, and slow performance. Not recognizing all risks is a weakness many companies have when it comes to protecting their server rooms. It is important to identify, monitor, and report all hazards in your facility. Here are five common server room threats and how to prevent them:
Temperature is the foremost environmental threat to computer equipment. Countless amounts of servers become damaged due to, to warm of an environment. The air around your servers needs to be maintained in the range of 68° to 72° F (20° to 24°C) for optimal reliability. Not only must you consider the heat produced by the servers, but you must also account for outside influences that will have an impact on the room’s temperature. Sunlight and other factors may increase the room’s temperature for small periods of the day. It is critical to have visibility on the temperature of your computer or data center at all times, in the case of HVAC equipment failure.
In a computer room or data center, relative humidity (RH) levels should be between 45% and 55%. If RH levels become too high, water condensation will cause corrosion, rust, and short-circuiting within the equipment. Too little of moisture is also a problem, as an overly dry environment can result in electrostatic discharge, which can cause the server to malfunction. Since temperature and humidity are directly related, it is important to monitor the two.
Vibrations are a hazard that can dislodge components that are critical to keeping your server running. Vibrations can also disturb a rapidly spinning hard drive, and even with the tiniest scratch you data can become ruined.
Other than earthquakes, vibrations can come from having your server too close to a wall or hallway. People walking by, machinery or even a large truck on the other side of a wall can cause potential movement. Are your servers in a locked area, or is it in danger of people bumping into it?
One of the biggest threats for a server is water leaks, as water causes 24% of data center outages. It’s not always possible to choose a room without water pipes behind the wall and ceiling for your server rooms. If you seldom go into the area where your servers are, a slow water leak could cause critical damage. A small amount of water in the wrong place can short circuit several valuable components, which leads to the downtime of your network and lost revenue.
Intention destruction should not be underestimated when it comes to your data center. Both cyber and physical-intruders are critical, and your servers should be protected from both. Locking the door to your server room is a necessary and vital first step, but installing a motion and door sensor will let you know if someone has entered the room or left a door open.
How Much Would a Disaster Cost You?
Monitoring the environment of your server room is critical to ensuring uptime and system reliability. The average hourly cost for the downtime of a computer network is $42,000. How much will downtime cost you?
LABOR COST = P x E x R x H
P = number of people affected
E = average percentage they are affected
R = average employee cost per hour
H = number of hours of outage
LOST REVENUE = (GR/TH) x I x H
GR = yearly gross revenue
TH = total annual business hours
I = percentage impact (A high percentage would mean you can’t complete any transactions and will lose clients.)
H = number of hours of outage
The Monnit Solutions for Data Center Protection
It is not always possible or cost effective to run more cables and wires through your server room, which is why Monnit provides a wireless remote monitoring solution to track various conditions in any environment. For a long time, available solutions were very limited, expensive and difficult to use. Monnit’s affordable remote monitoring system makes it easy for business owners and managers to keep track of their data center from anywhere, at any time via computer, smartphone or tablet and receive alerts via text, voice, email, or through a local alert system the moment there is an issue.