How to quiet a noisy server room?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by deusexaethera, May 29, 2008.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    So I've cleaned up my office's server room, and now there's empty space to speak of, as well as less heat than there used to be. Still, though, the servers make a pretty loud droning noise (my guess is the center of the spectrum is around 1.5kHz), and it's pervasive enough that people sitting near the door can tell when someone walks down the hall because the noise from the server room changes. I'd like to make it quieter.

    The obvious solution, of course, is to close the door; the only problem with that is that the servers still make too much heat to close the door, and my company is too cheap to buy an A/C unit. Personally, I'd like to make it quieter without having to resort to A/C anyway, because the servers don't really need to be freezing-cold, and the less power consumed, the better.

    I was considering putting up some anechoic wall foam blocks, but of course they charge an arm and a leg for stuff like that; something like $160 for 12 square feet of the stuff, which is too rich for my blood. (Anything I do, I'll have to pay for, because there's no justifiable business reason to do anything about the situation.) What other methods could I employ to make things quieter?

    I'd also thought about getting a special door installed that has a ventilation grate in the bottom half, so that the door could be closed and cool air could still go into the server room and push hot air out through the ceiling vents, but I'll be damned if I can find such a thing.
     
  2. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Regular foil backed insulation works nearly as well as sonic foam.

    You can build a couple of wood frames, and fill in the spaces with insulation, then cover it in any plain looking material from the local fabric store.
    Put them against the wall directly in front of the server and you would knock down quite a bit of the noise.

    I'm looking at an old speaker building guide right now, and 3 inch fiberglass insulation will absorb 93% of the sound that hits it at 1,024hz.

    A staple gun, some nails, the fiberglass insulation, wood and fabric wouldn't run you more than $100 or so, and would quiet the room down quite a bit.

    The foil/paper side gets stapled to the back of the frame. You want the soft side facing the noise source, hence the need for fabric covering.

    I'd bet anything that 3 panels around 30 inches wide and maybe 6' tall each, would make a major reduction in noise.
     
  3. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    I'd sound deaden the case (with the same sound deadener you'd put in a car) and put the server in a deadened cabinet with baffles and an air pump.

    Or switch your heat sinks on the procesors from air to liquid cooled and just stick it in any old cabinet without an air pump.
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    No-can-do on the liquid cooling, but the insulation on the rack's side panels is a good idea. They're just sheet-metal right now.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You know, that's not a half-bad idea.

    Or maybe I could hang some cheesy anime tapestries from the walls, or something. :big grin:
     
  6. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    pass out some earplugs


    i would do the sound deadening on the case panels, although i know that they say it converts sound into heat to deaden it. i don't think its much heat though, but it might insulate the cases :noes:
     
  7. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    I'd hope a server would be supplying its cool air from outside of the case...so any insulation that adding sound deadening to the case would do will have little effect on the temperature of the processors.
     
  8. Zz_3.14_zZ

    Zz_3.14_zZ New Member

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    You really need an A/C unit in that room. I have a 1.5ton in my server room (I only have 4 servers) and if it shuts down for more than 10 minutes, there is a 15° jump in temp. At that point it sounds like a 747 taking flight with all the cooling fans.

    CBFryman, postwhore much? lol
     
  9. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    My post count would be above 11k by now had I not given up the main forum. :mamoru:
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    It's one of the old time tricks for recording studios when they setup a live end dead end room.

    They put the panels behind the speakers to cut down on the delayed signal that speakers produce when the wave length is wider than the speaker baffle.
     
  11. JoeDirte

    JoeDirte OT Supporter

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    a louvered door wouldn't help much, but if you wanted to try that, you could just buy a louver and cut a hole in the existing door.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008

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