The rapid growth in demand for large scale computing capabilities in the Energy sector has forced companies to look at new ways of maximizing their data center space utilization and increasing the energy efficiency while maintaining a safe work environment. The use of high density hardware has allowed data centers to have very dense configurations with minimal floor space, however, it introduced new types of operational and safety challenges.
Poor monitoring of the data center environment, which includes temperature and humidity levels, could lead to potential safety risks. Undetected hot spots and significant rises in the temperature could create an unhealthy work environment for operators, and along with poor housekeeping that could lead to fires, endangering the staff and facilities. Similarly, electrostatic discharge (ESD) resulting from low humidity levels could increase hardware failure rates while high humidity levels could cause electrical shorts and corrosion as a result of water condensation .
In this paper, we will share Saudi Aramco's Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC) Computer Center experience in addressing the challenges associated with the use of high density hardware and in enhancing Data Center Safety by using Air Flow Simulation and wireless monitoring software.