How to Reduce Server Rack Noise? – Soundproofing Your Server Room

IT systems cope with effort-consuming computing duties and process big data volumes. Due to high performance, hardware tends to work noisily. Thus, emitting noise is an indispensable feature of network system operation. It can turn into a real nuisance for users who install server cabinets next to employees (in open spaces or offices). Thus, if you plan to arrange an integrated server cabinet in a public place, the problem of server rack noise reduction is crucial for you.

Reasons to Reduce Server Noise

make your servers super quiet

When making equipment silent, technicians are guided by the following points:

  • avoid the distraction and disturbance of employees;
  • prevent equipment overheating;
  • provide more opportunities for server cabinet location;
  • install furniture in public spaces.

If you deal with a small premise, arrange a home office, and do not have an opportunity to place a server cabinet in a separate room, you’ll definitely face the need to cope with extra sound emitted by equipment.

Ways to Reduce Server Rack Sound

When trying to reduce the level of noise emitted by hardware, technicians should start with system examination. The first step is to analyze all components and determine the cause of sound, i.e. find what exactly devices stand as noise sources. Based on the obtained analysis results, choose an appropriate strategy.

In most cases, fans serve as the key sources of noise. Thus, system administrators should pay particular attention to them and examine fans primarily.

Clean Cooling Fans

Deep-Clean PC Fans

The cleanness of devices directly affects their noisiness. Dust and other environmental pollutants tend to settle on fan blades. Over time, thick layers of dust will grow on blades. This usually results in hindered airflow and low air permeability. Since the airflow can’t circulate freely through fans, they emit more noise. This is why it is vital to clean cooling devices regularly. Technicians recommend cleaning fans at least twice per month using a wet cloth.

Reduce the Speed of your Fans

Each device has its optimal operating speed. If fans run quicker than is designed by specs, they will work loudly. Thus, recheck the manual and examine whether the fan speed is within the permitted range. If not, try to slow down the speed and listen to how it works. This step should lead to server cabinet noise reduction.

However, note that when you reduce speed, the air circulates slower, which influences the cooling speed and may cause overheating. Thus, once you slow down your fans, adjust a cooling strategy by adding extra devices or choosing other cooling options.

Buy Quieter Fans

Silent Server Fan

If you’ve tried the two above-mentioned solutions (cleaned fan blades and checked speed), but noise didn’t disappear, it means that you need to buy new devices. Perhaps, your fans are outdated and deteriorated over time.

Modern manufacturers constantly improve hardware. New models are always characterized by higher performance characteristics and improved capacities. Thus, surf the market to find appropriate fans. When searching for new devices, pay attention to their capacity, power feed, and generated airflow. Make sure to pick the devices that will be powerful enough to cool down your network system.

Buy a Quality Soundproof Furniture

After all, you can buy a modern server cabinet that will be equipped with innovative tools for sound absorption. Modern furniture pieces have soundproof constructions, where walls and doors are reinforced with soundproof materials. Users can buy a ready-made solution at once and enjoy quiet functioning.

Modern manufacturers offer diverse solutions for data centers. Furniture pieces have different constructions and designs to serve various purposes. Look through the catalog on the website to select appropriate models. Managers will be glad to consult clients and assist in choosing fitting options.

Effective Techniques for DIY Soundproofing Furniture

However, if you have a modern enclosure without soundproofing technologies, it doesn’t mean that you need to buy another model. It is possible to upgrade your furniture and make a DIY noise-reducing server cabinet. Below, let’s consider the most popular and effective techniques.

Soundproof the Door

sound proof doors

When dealing with soundproofing server cabinet doors, there are two main parameters to consider:

  • gaps between the frame and the door;
  • the thickness of the door.

These are two main problems that let the sound go through. Thus, you should eliminate them.

To seal gaps, technicians advise using several options. The staff tends to use one of the following materials: door sweeps, self-adhesive insulation strips, or door gaskets.

Improving doors’ sound absorption is achieved by hanging fiberglass blankets or blocking curtains. The easiest way is to replace doors with thicker models.

However, increasing door thickness is similar to soundproofing walls. Thus, let’s consider this technique in the following point.

Soundproof Walls

soundproof a Wall

In this case, there are two methods to block sound. Technicians should decide whether to soundproof walls from the inside or outside. The latter option is more convenient. Regardless of the chosen method, the following materials are used to absorb sound:

  • mass-loaded vinyl. Rolls of vinyl are characterized by high density, which means that they absorb sound effectively. They are easy to apply: all you need is to cut the required shape and apply it on the cabinet’s side panels with glue.
  • sound deadening mats. These accessories have much in common with the above-mentioned one; however, mates are more durable in terms of tear and wear. If side panels are exposed to frequent friction, it is reasonable to use mats since they serve longer than standard vinyl materials. The process of application and the sphere of use are the same for both materials.
  • rubberize undercoating spray. This option is very effective. The spray is applied to metal walls and left to get dry. As a result, a thin layer is formed. Due to its physical properties, coating perfectly deadens sound. Moreover, it prevents side panels from rusting.
  • acoustic foam. The material hardens sound distribution. It is a cheap and easy-to-apply solution. Note that while foam forms an additional layer, it is still breathable and does not stand as a heat increaser inside cabinets.

Also, such options as green glue, acoustic sealants, and damping compounds, can be used. But they are popular for wooden constructions.

Note that it is possible to combine several techniques and create multi-mixed methods. For example, it is possible to apply spray from the inside and attach foam from the inside. Or, several layers of rubberized mats or vinyl are applied to make the protective zone thicker.

Noise emission is a common problem in server cabinets. Depending on the sound source, the staff should examine devices and identify the problem. If everything runs properly and there is no problem with fans, it is possible to soundproof cabinet bodies.

Modern technicians offer diverse noise reduction rack techniques. Thus, technicians can find suitable methods and soundproof their furniture. Sound absorption allows for installing cabinets next to employees and in public locations.