Cooling tiny data system

Cooling a cupboard data system. We have network system (switch router etc.) server and 2 rendering computers (tomorrow will be 4)

Each machine is minimum 8 core AMD (cheap render box's) and the server is Dual quad xeons

Am I best to remove the heat (extract) or provide fresh air (knowing that we are going into summer so fresh air doesn't mean cold air) Now at this stage the render box's are not on all the time but when they do go on they stay on 24/7 at 100% usage. So the nerds out there what do you think. 

Providing fresh air is cheap. You have just got to make sure that there is air flow to and from the machines. However you are at the mercy of the climate. Like you say, your going into summer and the air is going to be hotter. You risk not having enough of a temperature difference to actually cool the machines. Also if it rains the humidity in the air is going to rocket. This can also be an issue if humidity gets to high. (Facebooks servers were offlined in one of their datacenters after an actual cloud formed in there and thus it rained)

The alternative is to condition the air. Using, you guessed it, an air conditioner. This is going to cost you to run, but will certainly provide lower temps and effective cooling. This time though you face the opposite issue of humidity with the air being too dry. However this is an issue for large datacenters, not a couple of machines in a cupboard.

Ideally you'd be best to try and use a combination of the two methods. Using fresh air when you can, like at night or on cooler days. Using the conditioner only when necessary.

Thats the general consensus I have been getting so for now we have up graded the extracting and when it gets warmer we will put in a small air con type system. Thank you for your input very helpfull

What is your room setup as? Do you have the capabilities of pushing conditioned air towards the stations and sucking hot air from the back of them? This would give you the most efficient form of cooling but would also be costly because having to actually condition the air.

As stated above, you also need to watch for humidity. Too little and you get static, too much and you get corroded hardware.

Hi HelloMrOwl, we have the servers in a cupboard in the file room its not the ideal situation until we complete the build of the new place. Wanted the servers in the cupboard for security reason but looks like we will have to Air condition the room before to long no amount of extraction is enough. Thank you for your help though and to everyone else much appreciated 

all you need is good air flow.