The best temperature for your HDs

Flash storage has become more affordable and reliable than it was, but still tons of data are saved on mechanical HDs. In order to get the maximum lifespan from your hardware it’s important to have stable temperature in your server room.

But what temperature is the best?

If we talk about air temperature, we can’t give you an answer. Because the temperature of your HDs may vary depending on case ventilation, hardware density and dissipation. The delta between air temperature and HD temperature isn’t fixed, of course.

Talking about HD temperature, we can get useful insights from a Google research paper that is – sadly – no longer available online. But you’re lucky because we have a copy you can download from here.

Google has literally tons and tons of hardware in its datacenters, so we can consider these tests reliable. They found that temperature and workload have little effects on drive lifespan.

Contrary to previously reported results, we found very little correlation between failure rates and either elevated temperature or activity levels.

Surprisingly, the temperature range that seems to achieve the highest reliability is between 25 and 35 celsius degrees. Temperature lower than 25° brings higher failure rates.

High activity levels didn’t cause high failure rate.

The paper is dated to February 2007 so it refers to almost a decade old HDs. Anyway, while data density improved, HD technology isn’t much different from its past so we can consider the insights useful.

With this data is possible to optimize hardware costs, air condintioning doesn’t come for cheap and a datacenter a couple of degrees hotter may result in important savings.