I have worked at so many places that didn’t have a clue how to maintain their computer server systems, that I have made it a priority when I was in a position to do so. I consider it common knowledge that any electronic item or system needs to be in some sort of controlled environment. When I became the General Manager of a multi-screen movie theater, the first serious suggestion I made was to renovate the IT equipment room to provide server cooling.
After reading the logs of the previous managers and supervisors, I checked the IT equipment room and couldn’t believe the system that was in place. The manager’s logs were filled with service calls, movies being postponed or canceled, and inventory issues that I felt were completely avoidable with proper care of the equipment. I proposed that the company invest in revamping the IT equipment room, instead of replacing working equipment and not solving the problem. I literally bet my job on it.I needed more specific information to make a proper presentation, so I looked into a 42u server cabinet, and here’s what I presented to the owners:
Q: What is hot aisle/cold aisle layout and how can it benefit your company?
A: Simple arrangement and orientation can save your company money and reputation in sales, service calls, repairs, payroll, and energy efficiency. Rearrange your racks of equipment into parallel rows. In each row, the equipment faces front-to-front in one aisle, and back-to-back in the next, and so on. This promotes consistent airflow and ensures efficient movement that helps maintain a preferred temperature, instead of fluctuating or increasingly warming temperatures.
This system of better airflow management decreases the work that the equipment has to do to provide proper working conditions, like fan speeds to cool itself down. Once consistency is established, progress occurs with the onset of efficiency.
Q: How much is it going to cost you?
A: Less than what you are already paying for what isn’t working. You can expect to reduce your energy use by at least 20%. Now add that to the elimination of lost sales, additional payroll, service calls and repairs, and a reputation for undependable movie times and showings, and you get increased profit.
Establishing energy efficiency is going to take the most time and money. I suggest that you close the theater on the day of the week you make the least amount of money.
You need the Time to Allot for the following:
- Moving and spacing the racks, which means servers will be down.
- HVAC system needs to be adjusted.
- Set up better power distribution throughout the racks, probably with new cables.
- Racks should have perforated doors.
- Paying professionals ensures a job done correctly and gives you recourse for any future issues.
Be prepared for unseen costs, as with any project of improvement. For example, a professional may deem it necessary to alter existing electrical networks.
Stop apologizing for poor performance and making allowances in movie passes and/or concessions, and allow your employees to do their jobs without fear of yet another system failure.