Baby, it’s cold outside

I posted a few months ago to say that my server wasn’t a massive fan of the high temperature in my loft.

Well, now it’s too cold. The UK has had a bit of a cold snap lately. Outdoor temperatures in Bristol last night got as low as -3 °C, and in turn the temperature in my loft went down to 2.5 °C.

Ambient temperature in my loft
Ambient temperature in my loft

Thing is, that’s probably a bit too cold for my server now. The CPU is happily sitting there at 24 °C but the disks are all around 15 °C.

According to Wikipedia:

A common misconception is that a colder hard drive will last longer than a hotter hard drive. The Google study seems to imply the reverse – “lower temperatures are associated with higher failure rates”. Hard drives with S.M.A.R.T.-reported average temperatures below 27 °C had failure rates worse than hard drives with the highest reported average temperature of 50 °C, failure rates at least twice as high as the optimum S.M.A.R.T.-reported temperature range of 36 °C to 47 °C.

So my disks appear to be at risk of failing sooner. Worse yet, they’re not consistently at 15 °C but fluctuate wildly on a daily and seasonal basis. Looks like all I can do is keep my data on a redundant array and swap out any disks when (not if) they fail.

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