Gotta cool down that Server closet!



  •  So...about two weeks ago I get a call from a client of mine, who needs me to move their server out of the office it was currently in and into a small file closet. The office was going to be emptied and used for a new employee, and the small closet was the only other place they had where they could put the server. It used to be located within the same office as an employee, but if you've worked with any Dell PowerEdge servers you may have noticed they can be loud due to all the fans and airflow. It hindered making phone calls, so it gets a room to itself.

    Back to topic, I moved the server into the closet as requested. Popped it back on the network and everything was good to go. The closet didn't have much airflow however and they can't keep the door propped open because it blocks the hallway to the restrooms. There was one tiny air conditioning vent in the ceiling tile. I returned onsite the week after it was moved and noticed the room was growing pretty warm. I mentioned that to my client and he had noticed the same and said he was going to have another, larger, vent installed in the ceiling to get more cool air into the room.

    Now back to the present, I returned onsite this morning for another random service call. I had to make a change on their server, walked into the closet and was stunned to find this:

    ac unit wtf

     

    Now...I'm not sure how this came about exactly, but instead of installing a new vent up top they decided to drill a hole in the cement block wall leading outside the building and install a portable A/C unit instead. I...was just at a loss for thoughts when I saw it. I did the only thing I could think of at the time: Break out my cellphone and snap a couple photos!

    I'm also not sure if it's from the a/c unit or from the electrician moving tiles and working in the ceiling, but EVERYTHING is now covered in a nice layer of dust and grit.

     I've been supporting small businesses in my local area for about 10 years now, and I've seen worse setups than this by far. It's just been a while since I've run across anything slightly WTF'ish, so I thought I'd share.

    I think I'm going to name the portable a/c unit "R2". Now if only it would blip beep beep whrirrrl at me if I talked to it......... 



  • From the size of it, that's probably a 6,000 to 8,000 BTU unit, which should be more than enough. You can pick one of those up and install it yourself for under $500, and it pretty much guarantees the problem is solved. Also, that's probably what the dust is from. No doubt they didn't run an airvac or wet-cut that CMU while installing it.



  • @FyreStorm said:

    install a portable A/C unit

    I need to do that in this office. The others keep the thermostat at 74-78, and I like it around 68 (but I'd settle for 72).



  • Kinda looks like a paper shredder to me.  

    The Real WTF is that the A/C and PC seem to have their own dedicated lines, which really diminishes the WTF-ness of this post.  I bet everything is properly grounded, too.



  • @FyreStorm said:

    I'm also not sure if it's from the a/c unit or from the electrician moving tiles and working in the ceiling, but EVERYTHING is now covered in a nice layer of dust and grit.
     

    Years back, my office was moving into a residential condo and they needed to do something similar, but across the entire unit.  So, they installed an HVAC complete with duct lines running along the ceilings of all the rooms.  Installing these ducts required drilling into the concrete ceiling, leaving dust everywhere.  Two days later, almost all of our computers had dead fans.

    So, be very scared of that dust/grit.  Assuming that exhaust hole in the wall was new, then there's a 99% chance that dust is cement dust, which is deadly to the barrings bearings in the fans on computers.  




  • @skippy said:

    So, be very scared of that dust/grit.  Assuming that exhaust hole in the wall was new, then there's a 99% chance that dust is cement dust, which is deadly to the barrings bearings in the fans on computers.  

     

     

    Indeed, I did ask an employee about that, and she told me that the electrician who installed the unit and put the hole in the wall didn't even bother to cover the equipment or anything before doing so. Didn't even mention they might not want the server in the room during that time.

    Instead he just laid a cardboard boxtop over the top of the equipment......



  • @FyreStorm said:

    but EVERYTHING is now covered in a nice layer of dust and grit.
     

    Years ago, the place I worked decided to take in an intern from the local IT diploma mill. A totally clueless git who'd been "educated" far past his abilities. Walked in as if he owned the place, knew everything, could do everything better than we could. A few days into tolerating his presence, we had him take a look at a laser printer that had been acting up (cheap-ass Brother POS that was leaking toner onto the printouts). Instead of taking outside to give it a good blow-out, he took it into our server room and clean it with canned air, right next to the new $250,000 Alpha server we'd unboxed the day before and were burning in.

    When I came back from lunch about 30 minutes after this, I noticed I was leaving white footprints on the floor tiles - EVERYTHING had a fine coating of toner on it. We didn't lose any hardware, thankfully, but it took a long time to clean everything up.

    After that, the intern got scut work that didn't involve anything more complicated than "here, untangle this 12 inch cord". 


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