How to Reduce Data Center Noise?

Data Center Noise

Have you ever worked in an office with 5-10 employees? Do you remember the constant noise of computer coolers? If this is not a familiar case for you, you’re lucky. Every office employee knows for sure that PCs and other equipment tend to reduce noise when functioning. Perhaps, some of them have accustomed to the noise, but what if the number of stored equipment exceeds one hundred or even more. Employees will hardly be able to work in such rooms with Data Center Noise.

The thing is that network hardware works noisily. Each device (a computer, a switch, a router, etc.) emits noise. Although this noise is not very loud, if over 100 devices work together, data center noise can become distracting.

Why does it happen? Computing equipment emits a lot of heat over performance. To cool it and prevent from overheating, ventilation systems are installed. When fans work, they become noisy. This problem can be partially solved using soundproof cabinets offers on Sysracks

Allowable Sound Range

For a person, an indicator of 45 dB is considered an acceptable sound pressure level. In fact it is maintained extremely rarely in server rooms. On average, system administrators claim that the noise level in data centers is at the level of 52 dB, which can become the cause of increased fatigue among people who spend a lot of time next to such premises.

Ways to Identify an Increased Level of Noise

If you are concerned about employees and the provided working conditions, you should check whether equipment does not interfere with the work process and does not distract employees from their duties. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Talk with the staff and discuss the point with employees. Let them express their opinions on this matter.
  • Walk through the DC, spend an hour or so on the premise.
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Most Common Reasons for Hardware Noisiness

When dealing with noise in data centers and identifying its cause, the most popular cases are:

  1. Outdated fans. It is necessary to replace fans from time to time. The thing is that new fans are clean and freely pass air through the blades. Over time, dust accumulates on the blades, reducing the free space for air circulation. Clean fans to reduce the level of noise.
  2. Broken fans. If something functions improperly, fans can make a hissing sound.
  3. Outdated equipment. Any hardware needs timely update and modernization. If the computer works for 10 or more years, it is evident that it won’t function as quietly as modern devices. Moreover, it consumes more power and requires more air to be cooled.
  4. Too cold or too hot environment in server rooms. Note that network equipment requires certain environmental conditions to perform uninterruptible and smoothly. If humidity or temperature levels in data centers are above or below standards, this will influence telecommunication parts and cause rusting, sweating, etc. As a result, devices will function noisily. 

Tips to Reduce Data Center Noise

Before you eliminate the cause of the noise, you need to understand where it comes from. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to identify the cause of the noise.

  1. Identify where the noise is coming from. 
  2. Contact manufacturers and consult them on the issue.
  3. Install soundproof or closed equipment.
  4. Install cooling equipment (if necessary).
  5. Install tiles, panels, or baffles.

TOP-5 Ways to Solve the Problem

If you need to reduce data center noise levels, the following solutions will come in handy:

  1. Mount a soundproof cabinet.

These products are made of thick metal sheets that are characterized by better characteristics of noise absorption. Due to a solid durable enclosure, this solution will help increase system efficiency without causing any harmful consequences for the staff.

Several types of soundproof server cabinets are offered on the market. They differ in size and construction so customers can pick the most suitable option. The main benefits of such models include:

  • Perfect protection and the highest level of security from damages, theft, unauthorized access. In addition to a solid body, goods have lockable doors.
  • Multilevel device allocation, which allows achieving convenient maintenance and easy access to all components.
  • Sliding and depth-adjustable shelves help allocate equipment wisely.
  • A built-in ventilation system provides sufficient cooling and air circulation.
  • The ability to install server cabinets in public places.
  • A wide catalog of models allows selecting an appropriate product for any size and need.
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If you stick to this option, you even won’t need to isolate the system from employees. The noise will be absorbed, and hardware won’t disturb the staff.

However, there are alternative ways to cope with extra noise.

  1. Use soundproof partitions

If it is not possible to buy the above-mentioned cabinet or the system is already adjusted to the existing furniture, additional partitions made of special damping material can be used. One layer of such material can absorb up to 40 dB of sound.

  1. Use modern devices and accessories

Apparatus for datum storage and processing is quickly developing. New algorithms and utilities require more computing capacity to cope with set tasks. Control the obsolescence of the equipment used and timely upgrade the system.

  1. Monitor the environment in data centers

When heated, equipment starts working noisier. Cooling devices also have to work more intensively to produce cold air, which leads to increased performance. Thus, the task of system administrators is to monitor the environment and maintain optimal conditions for apparatus operation.

  1. Soundproof the walls and floor of the data center

Previous options are ideal for cases when hardware is mounted in an office. If the cabinet is installed in a separate room (not next to employees), then you can soundproof the entire premise. Hire experienced workers who know how to soundproof the room. They will advise on the best material, calculate the cost, and do the job correctly.

Noise is an inevitable side effect of computing equipment performance. Thus, it is important to soundproof cabinets and the rooms where they are mounted. If the system is located in public places (offices, stores, etc.), soundproof server cabinets are used. If we deal with a separate data center, it is possible to soundproof the room itself.


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