How to Soundproof a Server Rack and Room
If you're someone who spends a lot of time around computers and all the computer equipment, you must know how irritating the noise the computer equipment makes can sometimes be. This can prove to be even more problematic if you have to work in such a room since it can be quite challenging to concentrate and be productive with all the noise.
You must be wondering where exactly the noise could be coming from.
Well, there are multiple possibilities.
The first and the most likely possibility is that the cooling fans are the source of the noise. Despite this, it is still a well-known fact that those fans are an integral part of the computer and that they are more than necessary to prevent the servers from overheating.
The second possibility is that the walls of your server room are the problem. Obviously, the thicker the walls are, the better. If your walls are too thin there is a strong possibility that the noise will spread to other rooms.
You shouldn’t start worrying just yet. All of these problems are something you can fix yourself and, as always, it will be my pleasure to guide you through it.
Best Ways to Soundproof the Server Rack
1. Clean your cooling fans
The problem with fans is the fact that they tend to collect a lot of dust if they are not cleaned regularly. The dust slows them down and then they get even louder.
The dust can even cause your server to overheat and therefore make even more noise than before. Not to mention the fact that if you allow your server to overheat, the consequences will certainly not be pretty.
In conclusion, the first thing you need to do is check whether your servers are clean before you go on to inspect the rest of the equipment.
2. Reduce the speed of the fans
But what happens if you clean your fans, but they still keep making those irritating noises?
Well, there is a possibility of slowing down the fans. On most of the fans, there are settings that can be changed from high to low. For your situation, all you have to do is set the fan speed on low.
However, this can cause an even bigger problem with your server. This option is rather risky because slower fans do not work as efficiently and may cause your server to overheat.
If you are not completely convinced that your server is able to stand very high temperatures, this is definitely not a recommendable solution.
You really should not risk the possibility of your server getting overheated because your hardware might get damaged and you could lose all of the data that you stored on the server.
If your own personal server is the one that is malfunctioning, then you might as well risk it and see if this solution works.
But if the server does not belong to you but to your company or someone else, you surely should not risk it, because you might lose a lot of money if you damage the server somehow and you would probably get in a lot of trouble with your boss.
3. Buy quieter fans
You may have already guessed by now that the safer option would obviously be to get yourself some quieter fans.
Don’t worry, new fans are really not as expensive as you probably expect them to be.
For example, you can get this AC Infinity cooling fan on Amazon for under $20. The reviews from other users prove that despite being very cheap, it still works perfectly well, improves the airflow and reduces the noise. It is also fairly easy to install.
Before ordering anything, just remember to make sure to check if the fan you wish to order is the right size for your particular server.
4. Buy a quality soundproof server rack
This is one of the most effective options, but first I will have to provide you with a short explanation.
If you plan to soundproof any kind of enclosed space, the first thing you’ll need to do is seal any existing gaps. You see, if air can go in an out through those gaps, so can sound.
However, this is not as easy in the case of server racks. There has to be some air left in a server rack, because if there is not any air in there, the server will surely overheat, and we can’t let that happen.
What you have to keep in mind is although a server rack can reduce the server noise, it cannot magically make the server completely silent.
You should be careful when choosing a quality server rack for your computer. Buying groceries or books or makeup is not the same as investing in a new server rack. You really have to think it through, and I’ve done plenty of research to make the entire process easier and less scary for you.
How to Buy a Soundproof Server Rack
First of all, you have to make sure to avoid any server racks made of low-quality material like thin metal, and particularly any racks that have too many gaps in them.
The right choice would be to pick server racks made of some sort of thick and solid material and, of course, they should have the least possible amount of gaps. It’s also very important that they have their own fans.
This Navepoint server rack might be exactly what you need. It looks rather aesthetic compared to most racks and according to customer reviews, it does a great job. Although it may be a bit expensive, you should keep in mind that getting a quality server cabinet is nothing but a smart investment.
5. Buy a new Quiet server
If you’re so unfortunate as to have an old server that barely still functions, then you have no choice but to replace it with a new one that will not rumble or make any unnecessary noise.
Although my expertise in servers may not be a match to that of a professional, I’ve researched quite a bit and managed to find a nearly perfect server for you.
Lenovo ThinkServer TS150 is very popular lately and for a good reason. Customers claim that it is astonishingly quiet and that it is very affordable in comparison to most of the other servers. It is widely considered to be among the best servers of 2018.
Best ways to soundproof your server room
Now that I’ve provided you with all the ways to reduce the noise your server makes, I will proceed to show you how to easily soundproof the server room, or, more specifically, the doors and windows of the room. You will see that some of these solutions can be used for other rooms as well, which is why the following tips could come in quite handy to you.
Soundproof the door
When it comes to the door, the first thing you’ll have to do is make sure to cover any existing gaps located between the door and the door frame. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to add some density to the door, which can be done by sealing those gaps.
You’re most likely to find the most problematic gap between the door and the floor. Luckily, all you have to do to seal this gap is to put a door sweep under it. It is fairly cheap, yet quite effective. We even wrote a guide on how to install a door sweep here.
Then something needs to be done about the space between the door and the door frame. You’ll have to buy an insulation strip and use it to fill the gap.
When you’re done sealing all the gaps, you’ll have to do something to improve the density of the door.
One of the easiest ways to soundproof a door is to hang a blanket or curtain made of fiberglass over them.
Soundproof the Walls
Once you’ve finished dealing with the door, you can move on to the walls. I will let you know how you can properly reduce the noise coming in and out of the room by simply improving your walls a little bit.
The best possible option is to put some kind of insulating material (such as soundproof foam or vinyl) on the outside of the wall. Obviously, you do not need to do this on all the walls, you just need to focus on the walls that stand between your noisy server room and the room next door.
Of course, you can also soundproof your ceiling or your floor if the noise is bothering you when it travels to the room above or below the server room, and the process is fairly similar to the wall-insulating one.
On Soundproofing Server Rack and Room
To conclude, there is a variety of practical and easy ways to make your server room and rack silent once and for all.
Which option would you choose out of all of these?
I’d say it would have to depend on what’s causing the noise and where it’s coming from.
It could be a problem with the fans, or the doors and windows, or perhaps with the walls.
All in all, whatever the problem might be, I recommend you to try and apply at least a few of these solutions at once, since there are usually multiple sources to this type of problem.
You just have to follow my advice you I guarantee you that you will end up with the best possible result and finally get some peace and calm.
I certainly hope that this article will help you save some time and money, and perhaps even get some fun out of the whole project. I wish you the best of luck!