keeping server room dust-free, how do you do that?

tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
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I'm just thinking about my future building, no outline yet but it's basically going to be a room with tiled or concrete floor with 4 42u capacity, not fully populated and never fully running of course but just for the future, and door. No cardboard boxes, no dust sources, as clean as possible. Still, there will be an air coming from outisde, filtered or not, it's never gonna be perfect, and sometimes i'll be spending some time inside doing maintenance.
Should I just put several standalone consumer HEPA units in there according to the airflow design and hope that's gonna do the trick?
How do you guys do it to minimize the amount of duster use?
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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You're building a room specifically for not one but multiple racks... it doesn't take much $\effort to engineer a 'good enough' filtration system. I don't mean spending $5-10k$ either. If the room has AC, which I'll assume it does and will be your incoming air source put in a MERV14 filter for that room AC outlet (AC into room) only and change it every 6 months and then run a HEPA filter in there 24\7. If you can still build the room you could run a merv7 then merv14 and save some $ on replacing the 14 less often.

Of course you could spend a couple grand and do it more prof. too :D
 
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tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
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You're building a room specifically for not one but multiple racks... it doesn't take much $\effort to engineer a 'good enough' filtration system. I don't mean spending $5-10k$ either. If the room has AC, which I'll assume it does and will be your incoming air source put in a MERV14 filter for that room AC outlet (AC into room) only and change it every 6 months and then run a HEPA filter in there 24\7. If you can still build the room you could run a merv7 then merv14 and save some $ on replacing the 14 less often.
Thanks for suggestion, I didn't even start properly researching into what this market has to offer in terms of AC+air circulation system, but yeah I guess that's going to be a point in the discussion. Since room is going to be just around 20 m2 or so, it will have at least one ceiling-mounted unit in the center, right above the hot aisle. So as long as walls aren't producing dust I thought the hepa units would do it. I didn't know AC units have some sophisticated filters, thought just a very basic mesh ones that they also auto-wipe nowadays.

It's not particularly dusty here, mostly pollen from rice fields and forests around, very low pm 2.5 in the area.
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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Thanks for suggestion, I didn't even start properly researching into what this market has to offer in terms of AC+air circulation system, but yeah I guess that's going to be a point in the discussion. Since room is going to be just around 20 m2 or so, it will have at least one ceiling-mounted unit in the center, right above the hot aisle. So as long as walls aren't producing dust I thought the hepa units would do it. I didn't know AC units have some sophisticated filters, thought just a very basic mesh ones that they also auto-wipe nowadays.

It's not particularly dusty here, mostly pollen from rice fields and forests around, very low pm 2.5 in the area.
If the AC unit is centralized and circulating air in the room like a mini-split or floor standing then a stand alone hepa will work fine :)
If the AC unit blows in air from outside the room then you should filter that air and run hepa.

Here the air is bad from fires and allergens we run HEPA in each room, and I purchased ducting, floor registers, etc, to build my own air scrubber for my house.... with a dog in a house you need a LOT of volume to keep it clean. In your small area a HEPA filter on high will keep it beyond great for computers though :) In my small apartment many years ago we ran a HEPA in each room and never had a need to dust it was amazing how well it worked when the units were actually sized for the entire living space, and maybe even over sized :D
 

tinfoil3d

QSFP28
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@tinfoil3d The redditer below is really the guy you should be talking too. :):):)

https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeDataCenter/comments/pira9v
just frickin nuts and years of planning i don't have. that's amazing but im not a fan of the idea of keeping the basement dry(is that even possible?) and actually carrying all those racks and servers there without some elevator... and i do a lot of swapping and maintenance throughout the year so i would be visiting that room fairly often to do something.
 

tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
284
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Japan
If the AC unit is centralized and circulating air in the room like a mini-split or floor standing then a stand alone hepa will work fine :)
If the AC unit blows in air from outside the room then you should filter that air and run hepa.
Yea the idea is to have two in one(that is, air circulation, intake from outside) and cooling/heating but I wonder how should I deal with extremely low humidity in winter(ey it's snowy here with lows under -30 celsius)
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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Yea the idea is to have two in one(that is, air circulation, intake from outside) and cooling/heating but I wonder how should I deal with extremely low humidity in winter(ey it's snowy here with lows under -30 celsius)
How low does humidity get? We will be into the 20%s in winter when it's cold some days and never an issue with my gear inside and static.
We heat with wood so it drys out a lot if it's very cold and were running the stove hot for weeks... we'll fire up humidifier if it gets that low for long though too.
 

tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
284
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Japan
How low does humidity get? We will be into the 20%s in winter when it's cold some days and never an issue with my gear inside and static.
We heat with wood so it drys out a lot if it's very cold and were running the stove hot for weeks... we'll fire up humidifier if it gets that low for long though too.
It's relative humidity. OAT is below zero for 3-4 months, with some nights down into -30 C. And at those nights it's very, very dry with clear sky.
 
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