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How do you do....it? Thread, planning to turn my airing cupboard into server room at home in Technical; Hi Chaps, I hope you're all enjoying your summer holidays! Shortly before the start of the summer hols I finally ...
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    planning to turn my airing cupboard into server room at home

    Hi Chaps,
    I hope you're all enjoying your summer holidays!

    Shortly before the start of the summer hols I finally took ownership of my first house and have spent the last 4-5 weeks doing various refurbishment works to turn it in to the sort of house I want to live in.

    For part of these works I was hoping to turn my small (~1mx~1.5m) airing cupboard into a server room, as I have just had the boiler replaced with a combi boiler, meaning no hot water cylinder, and basically no heat in the airing cupboard at all. I have oodles of storage space for towels, bed stuff etc which leaves me with this room fairly idle.
    As bed3, which neighbours the airing cupboard, is to be my office/den/games room I am hoping to sit my UPS, my server (poweredge 1800) and my day to day gaming workstation in the airing cupboard and feed all cables through the stud wall in to my office which should hopefully provide a relatively quiet working/gaming environment.

    I have gone through great discomfort (itchiness mostly) in more thoroughly insulating the house and now realise I really need to worry about getting rid of some of the heat that will build up in the airing cupboard. The airing cupboard is a little more than a door width wide, has a stud wall either side of it neighbouring bed3 and the bathroom and the other wall being the external wall on the back of the house.

    The reason I am asking for advice here is, I am aware that many smaller schools (possibly primary schools?) potentially have little more equipment in their server rooms, and possibly similar sized server rooms and felt that there would at least be someone out there who has already thought about the scenario and may be able to offer me some advice.

    Can I get away with some form of extractor fan (perhaps thermostatically controlled) pushing heat through the outside wall, or am I likely to need to go the whole hog and install an A/C unit for the room?
    Having already spent a considerable amount on developing the house I don't want to go nutty here but at the same time I'm not looking to cook my server/games machine!

    Any advice boys n girls?

    Thanks

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    PEO
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    space would require an extractor fan and a door to allow air flow.

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    itwasntme (13th August 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PEO View Post
    space would require an extractor fan and a door to allow air flow.
    An open door? Or just the gaps around the door are sufficient do you think?
    Any advice on make/type/price of an appropriate extractor?

    Thanks

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    you can get wooden doors with wooden slats which are angled at a 45 degree angle. look nice and would be alot better than wholes around your door

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    Could you add a vent to the door to take away some of the excess heat?

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    From a Primary School:
    My "server room" is only slightly larger than your airing cupboard. I have a vent in the (locked most of the time) door and an extractor fan to, supposedly, take away the heat from the 3 machines, switch cabinet and two UPS units. It's proving to be not enough. The heat generated far outweighs the heat extracted. In the autumn term I shall need to look at another solution.

    The suggestion of a louvred door sounds interesting, might investigate that one

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    Quote Originally Posted by PEO View Post
    you can get wooden doors with wooden slats which are angled at a 45 degree angle. look nice and would be alot better than wholes around your door
    Hmm, a possibility, although I wouldnt look to make any additional holes/gaps around the doors, merely allowing the air to trickle under the door, and maybe even take the door stops off (and fudging some sort of mini door stop near the latch just to make it latch), maybe take off 3/8" of the bottom of the door to allow a little more breathing..
    I'm also considering making the 'cable feeding hole' between bed3(office) and airing cupboard a little larger to allow more air to bleed between rooms..
    the server/ups runs 24/7 but the PC only runs when I need it, otherwise it sleeps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r View Post
    Could you add a vent to the door to take away some of the excess heat?
    I'm hoping not to have to chop out any holes in the door for vents/grilles, they tend to look rather nasty, in my case the door sits at the top of some stairs, so it would likely look very obvious!

    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    From a Primary School:
    My "server room" is only slightly larger than your airing cupboard. I have a vent in the (locked most of the time) door and an extractor fan to, supposedly, take away the heat from the 3 machines, switch cabinet and two UPS units. It's proving to be not enough. The heat generated far outweighs the heat extracted. In the autumn term I shall need to look at another solution.

    The suggestion of a louvred door sounds interesting, might investigate that one
    Thanks for the advice, there will only be the one permanently on machine in the room, perhaps I will get away with it... maybe..

    I would still love to hear any advice people have for how much to spend on a suitable extractor.. looking at screwfix they are anything from £20+, and I imagine I will need to get some form of thermostat control for it too..

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    I think taking 3/4 of bottom would be ok but I think carpet is a dust trap. If you do decide to go down that root I would make sure the machine is raised of the floor by a foot to reduce dust been sucked through the front vents....

    thinking on... what about water cooling?

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    you could just join the cloud revolution instead.
    seriously - if you can't get bandwidth then get a low power device such as an NSLU2 or even a low spec atom ITX machine with no fans and a web interface.

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    Yeah i would say a vent in the wall and a door with holes in it would do just fine Servers have lived in worse places then that and lived.. as for the heat well no one cares do they

    But yes i think the above will be fine for you, if it does still get very warm maybe stick a small fan blowing cold air through from the back to the door with holes in it

    James.

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    Not sure if you thought about this, but running a server 24/7 uses more electricity than you think. I did in my rental house for a few months until we got the first bill. Second quarter I kept it off most of the time and the bill halved, that was definitely a significant cost increase to the bill.

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Not sure if you thought about this, but running a server 24/7 uses more electricity than you think. I did in my rental house for a few months until we got the first bill. Second quarter I kept it off most of the time and the bill halved, that was definitely a significant cost increase to the bill.

    Mike.
    I have given it some thought and for the time being it is what I'm going with.. at least until I can find a cheaper media server solution with lots of storage!
    Thanks though

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    Quote Originally Posted by PEO View Post
    I think taking 3/4 of bottom would be ok but I think carpet is a dust trap. If you do decide to go down that root I would make sure the machine is raised of the floor by a foot to reduce dust been sucked through the front vents....

    thinking on... what about water cooling?
    Already intending to lift the machines off the floor, thanks

    What do you feel the advantages of water cooling would be? Sure it runs quieter, but it still has to dissipate the same volume of heat, right? Or are you perhaps suggesting that if I were to use water cooling, I might be able to put up with being in the same room as my server/workstation etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Not sure if you thought about this, but running a server 24/7 uses more electricity than you think. I did in my rental house for a few months until we got the first bill. Second quarter I kept it off most of the time and the bill halved, that was definitely a significant cost increase to the bill.

    Mike.
    I found this too, even using a relatively low-energy DELL Dimension tower system unit for my Windows Home Server setup.

    I now have a couple of DELL Optiplex 760 systems (one for media & one for Home Server) with a BIOS that supports wake up on a timer, they are set to wake up at around 6pm and close down at 11:30pm. These were bought 'refurbished' with cosmetic defects so were relatively cheap; as they are out of sight I wasn't too worried about scuffs on the cases. They run cool & quiet, and with Core2Duo processors are quite quick too.



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