Adapting to Expanded Data Center Operating Temperatures

25 Jul 2023 by Colocation

Data center colocation provides the backbone of innumerable operations around the world, but as their workloads expand and technology advances, they are increasingly tasked with doing more with the resources available.  

One element that is often overlooked in seeking to optimize data center performance is operating temperature; many providers now strive for expanded temperatures and increased power savings—but how can you make sure your facility’s cooling architecture is still adequately equipped to handle these challenges?  

In this blog post, we'll explore some tips and strategies for adapting to expanded data center operating temperatures while ensuring safety, efficiency, and reliability remain paramount. Read on to discover actionable advice that will help you get ahead of rising temperatures so you can keep charting a course towards success. 

Colocation Defined 

Colocation, also known as 'colo', is a data center facility in which businesses can rent space for servers and other computing hardware. In essence, colocation allows businesses to place their server machines in someone else's rack and share their bandwidth as their own.  

It provides the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security while the customer provides servers and storage. This service is often provided by data center or cloud service providers

The way a modern data center works is that businesses house their servers and devices in a third-party data center. This is typically done in a 'per U' format, where space in the data center rack is rented out, or entire racks or cabinets can be rented out for larger businesses.  

The colocation provider then provides an IP, bandwidth, and power to your server. Once your server is set up, you can access it much like you would access a website on a hosting provider. The main difference being that you own the hardware. 

The advantages of data center infrastructure include saving on infrastructure costs, increased reliability and uptime, scalability, and security. Instead of maintaining servers in-house, in offices or at a private data center, companies can choose to 'co-locate' their equipment by renting space in a colocation center.  

Therefore, customers can avoid the capital expenditures associated with building, maintaining and updating a large computing facility, while still enjoying the benefits of having their own servers. 

Why Data Center Temps are on the Rise  

Elevated operating temperature levels in colocation services can be attributed to several reasons of current data center design: 

Higher Density Computing 

As computing power becomes increasingly densely packed into ever decreasing spaces, heat generated by servers inevitably rises. This results in the need for higher levels of cooling, sometimes using up to 40% of a data center's total energy.  

In order to maximize energy usage efficiently, and protect servers from potentially future temperature damage, it is critical for data centers to ensure their coolers are functioning at higher than optimal capability. Failing to do so can lead to parts overworking or malfunctioning due to complete lack of suitable cooling.  

Ultimately any cooling inefficiencies can worsen temperatures which decreases the wear-life and productivity of the hardware within the server environment. 

Inefficient Cooling Systems and Poor Ventilation  

Higher temperatures can be a result of inefficient cooling systems. Without the suitable setup for comprehensive cooling, the correct ventilation cannot be ensured. Consequently, this inefficiency might cause issues with short term and long term operations as well as create severe safety risks for equipment, personnel, and anything stored within the environment. 

Increased Server Workloads 

As servers handle more and more workloads, they can struggle to effectively keep up with the rising temperatures. Immediate heat generation is triggered during heavy processing, placing an increased burden on components and on the environment.  

In data centers running nonstop and at maximum capacity, temperatures can become negative for optimal performance. Not only does it affect the way components respond to operation, excessive temperature may also lead to problems such as overclocking.  

As such, frequent monitoring of temperatures within a computer system is paramount in avoiding operational risks or malfunctions due to high thermal levels. 

Environmental Factors 

External factors, such as the surrounding temperature and humidity levels, can often play a significant role in increasing an equipment's operating temperature.  

When humidity is especially high, condensation may also present itself, resulting in hardware corrosion and even potential failure. This makes it essential to be aware of these external parameters and monitor them accordingly to ensure optimal performance from any given system. 

Tips for Data Center Operators  

Here are some promising methods that colocation providers can implement to regulate temperature in their data centers: 

Strategic System Placement and Consolidation 

Capitalizing on the opportunity to place systems together that have similar heat load and temperature requirements could yield positive results. By doing so, we are able to maximize cooling efficiency and streamline data center initiatives.  

Consolidating data centers offers myriad advantages in helping us fine tune our objectives and shore up our efforts while saving money in the long run. Improving energy conservation strategies are instantly realized from such consolidation and optimization of existing resources. 

Utilize Best Practice Air Management 

Efficient data center cooling is essential for network operations, and air management strategies are an important part of this process. Best practices such as configuring clear 'hot' and 'cold' aisles can go a long way in improving the facility's cooling capacity; this kind of setup preventsmixing of hot and cold air to produce superior thermal containment benefits.  

Adopting best-practice air management strategies like this can help protect expensive equipment against potential overheating – no matter how much stress is placed on the system by frequent user activity or growing workflows. 

Microchannel Liquid Cooling 

Micro channel liquid cooling technology is becoming increasingly beneficial for data centers, as it can lead to improved performance due to the increased rate of air-side heat transfer between the fins in the heat exchanger and the ambient air.  

This high rate of heat transfer enables steady fluid flow between the components, resulting in optimized thermal attributes. Moreover, microchannel liquid cooling technology increases hardware surface contact with liquid coolant by up to 10x compared to conventional designs.  

Expert Consultations 

Consulting with experts before embarking on a plan to accommodate higher operating temperatures at data centers can be extremely beneficial. These professionals have extensive experience and are well-versed in the intricacies of designing, managing, and running data centers.  

Industry experts understand the implications of temperature changes and can provide informed advice on the best strategies to implement. This ensures that your plan is not only effective but also efficient, preventing unnecessary costs and potential system failures. offers no-risk, no-cost consultations, making it an invaluable resource. Our team of experts can provide you with tailored advice and solutions, ensuring that your data center can handle increased temperatures without compromising performance or reliability. 

Author Colocation provides consulting and engineering support around colocation and has developed a platform for Datacenter Colocation providers to compete for your business. It takes just 2-3 minutes to create and submit a customized colocation RFP that will automatically engage you and your business with the industry leading datacenter providers in the world. provides a platform to view and research all the datacenter locations and compare and analyze the different attributes of each datacenter. Check out our Colocation Marketplace to view pricing from top colocation providers.  


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