Jonathan Burk, vice president at Burk Technology (, says:

Temperature monitoring throughout the data center facilitates efficient, cost effective cooling without risking hot spots and downtime.

Cooling costs in the data center can comprise a substantial portion of an IT department’s operating expenses. While guidelines for temperatures are slowly increasing and cooling solutions become more efficient, inadequate cooling still poses a serious threat to uptime and reliability. Simply overcompensating by lowering overall temperature is a costly workaround. The only way to be certain that initiatives to lower cooling costs will not adversely impact equipment performance is to monitor temperature in multiple locations throughout the data center.

Airflow problems and improper cool air distribution can cause significant disparities in temperature in data centers, as well as in individual racks. While some servers will perform normally, others in the same location may be degrading or outright failing due to heat related problems. When attempting to run a data center efficiently, a difference of only a few degrees in one area can be the difference between reliability and costly downtime.

More than ever, it is necessary to carefully monitor environmental conditions throughout the data center. Simply monitoring ambient temperature is inadequate, as rack density, ventilation and server load have a significant impact on server temperatures. Monitoring onboard server diagnostics, while necessary, will not differentiate between problems with individual hardware and an overall system or design. Depending on the design of the data center, temperature monitoring should be implemented in each rack or, at least each row. To ensure adequate airflow throughout each rack, temperature sensors can be placed at the top and bottom of each rack.

With over 25 years of facilities monitoring experience, Burk Technology developed Climate Guard to serve the environmental monitoring needs of data centers and server rooms of all sizes. Climate Guard monitors temperature, humidity, flood/leak and many other conditions that can adversely impact uptime and reliability. Climate Guard’s built-in logging allows IT and facilities personnel to spot trends and eliminate problems before they become disasters. The system alerts staff to out-of-tolerance conditions via email, SMS and SNMP traps.

For more information on Climate Guard and to see a live demo, visit