Computer Room Pressure Testing

Much time and cost are invested in delivering good quality, conditioned air to your data centres, computer and server rooms, however, if the room pressures are wrong it could be to little or no positive effect.

Most IT and Comms rooms are designed to be sealed boxes, with, as far as practicable, a positive pressure created so all external contaminants (dust, debris and “unconditioned” air) are kept out. If your room is under negative pressure (or has a poor pressure differential) though, any of these things immediately outside the room can end up in it.

Such negative pressure conditions can occur with anything from a lack of fresh air introduction to unsealed walls and floors (e.g. where the last cable installers - or indeed the ones before that - didn’t seal the gaps at the point of room entry) and even each time any door is opened.

How effectively the hardware is cooled also depends on a positive pressure differential between the supply plenum/room and the equipment in it. Yes, many racks and kit these days have their own local systems to encourage air movement, but these are not always installed on everything. Bespoke racking and poor equipment positioning can further create local imbalances for example:

  • Too many supply grilles;
  • Supply grilles in the wrong place;
  • Cable “damping” or other obstructions in the plenums;
  • Badly positioned/installed/located hardware units; and
  • Local fans and intakes clogged – usually with plastic wrapping or paper.

Assurity Consulting has the solution by independently assessing the pressures within your computer rooms and data centre, and combining this with a thorough room inspection to check your room is not only well sealed but positively contributing to the environment you want.