When you can’t afford to leave a separate premise for a server room, buying a cabinet to accommodate network equipment is the right way out. But if due to lack of space or for economic reasons, such a cabinet is located in the immediate vicinity of employees, there is a need to install sound insulation because server hardware emits a loud sound during operation. The noise emitted by functioning devices reaches on average up to 20 dB. So, let’s see how to soundproof a server rack so that it doesn’t bother surrounding people and ensures perfect operating conditions for all housed devices.
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Reasons for Server Isolation
The noise isolation of the server cabinet is a set of measures for installing passive protection to absorb sound emitted by IT equipment (servers, storage systems, network hardware) and the cooling system. As a rule, we are talking about pasting the case with insulating materials for special purposes. High-quality sound insulation meets the following requirements:
- isolates noise of all frequencies;
- point isolation is possible;
- noise reduction up to 20 dB;
- does not interfere with cooling.
Professional soundproofing of the server cabinet eliminates the need to maintain a separate server room or insulate the cabinet with double-glazed windows and double seals. Servers, active network hardware, data storage systems can be installed right in the office. Pasting with noise-absorbing materials will not affect the functionality of the devices but will reduce the noise emitted by them to a comfortable level that will not interfere with employees.
Ways to Isolate Hardware in Data Centers
- Purchase a soundproof cabinet
This is the most effective option since you’ll get a ready-made solution for your needs without any extra actions. If you need such a model, find it here . A wide assortment of products is provided on the website.
To pick the right soundproof server cabinet, consider all the parameters, namely height, width, and depth. Before buying server furniture, make a list of stored equipment, calculate the occupied square, make a layout, and do not forget to leave extra space.
- Clean cooling fans
Usually, too noisy fan operation can point to dust. The device often becomes noisy due to dust accumulation. Dust and overheating work against the fan and cause it to consume more power, making more noise. Dust accumulation can lead to a number of potential problems. The main one is that dust blocks the vents and insulating parts. The fan is forced to work harder to circulate the air inside the cabinet. As a result, extra dust can cause overheating, which shortens hardware durability and disrupt performance.
- Reduce the speed of the fans
Fans can work noisily due to a high speed. It is possible to slow them down a bit. However, this option can be rather risky since changes in fan speed can cause trouble with the temperature regime and lead to system overheating. Thus, if you decide to slow down the ventilation system, monitor how hardware reacts to these changes.
- Buy a new quiet server
Developers almost never pay attention to the level of noise produced by servers, rightly believing that it makes sense to be in the server room only for authorized personnel only as needed. But in the conditions of domestic business, it is far from always possible to allocate a separate premise. Thus, modern manufacturers produce hardware taking into account this feature.
If it is the server that emits too much noise, then it may signal that it’s time to buy a new one. Perhaps, the service life of your device is coming to an end. Pick a modern device and replace noisy apparatus.
Ways to Soundproof Server Rooms
If you deal not with a soundproof server rack but with a large data center, then you need to isolate the entire room. The following options are common:
- Soundproof the door
Take accurate measurements. The smaller the gaps between the canvas and the opening (ideally, no more than 2 mm), the higher the level of sound absorption.
Add a rubber sealant to the threshold. A canvas in an aluminum profile can serve as an alternative. Such a door will fit snugly enough against the opening, reducing the level of noise.
In addition to filling gaps with special materials, it is recommended to hang a fiberglass curtain over the door.
- Soundproof the wall
Noise isolation occurs in two directions. Soundproofing means that any noise behind the wall will be reflected and not reach a person. Sound absorption implies that all emitted noise will be absorbed and will not go outside the room.
To make walls soundproof and avoid noise passing through side walls, engineers apply specialized materials that possess particular properties. These are vinyl or soundproof foam. The materials are recognized as top methods and are used in most data centers. The same technique can be used for soundproofing your ceiling or floor.
- Soundproof server cabinet
You should pick models from a soundproof server enclosure. These are closed-design cabinets produced from quality metal of high thickness, which allows keeping all the noise inside the body.
Helpful Tips on How to Purchase Soundproof Server Furniture
Before you buy a soundproof data cabinet, you should analyze a lot of parameters, answer questions, and determine the following criteria:
- Where will the cabinet be installed? (in a separate data center or in an office);
- What mounting type do you need (do you need a floor-standing or wall-mounted model?);
- How much hardware and what types of equipment will be housed inside of it?;
- Make precise calculations and find out the exact size of the cabinet (measured in Units, with 1U is 1.75 inches);
- Keep in mind leaving place for fan installation and space for free air circulation.
After answering these questions, you’ll have a clear vision of what you need. Now, you can call managers and find a suitable model. Professional employees will help you make the right choice and pick the best option for your needs.
To sum up, note that telecommunication hardware is rather noisy. Thus, the issue of soundproofing is accurate. However, you should treat this point carefully since ill-conceived modernization may lead to system malfunction and hardware damage. Consult skilled engineers and system administrators to achieve the best result and enjoy pleasant and safe server performance.