How to soundproof a server rack

In this blog, I’ll show you how to build a soundproof server rack step by step. You can build your soundproof server rack from the scratch, which has the benefit of involving you in an exciting building project while also saving your money.

A soundproof server rack is a box that is specifically intended to keep IT equipment noise to a minimum. Switches, servers, and other electronic components are the source of these noises.

It’s no secret how irritating those sounds may be for anyone who operates from home or in a confined location with a lot of computer equipment.

Computer noise is not only irritating, but it also affects concentration and productivity. However, it is occasionally unavoidable to place noisy network equipment near workers or guests. Developing and managing a separate server room may be prohibitive due to cost or space constraints. Keeping sound to a minimum in instances like these can substantially improve the working environment for added comfort, protection, and productivity.

How to soundproof a server rack?

Various ways can be used to soundproof a server rack. It’s worth noting, though, that the more you try to muffle the shelf with various materials, the more heat will accumulate.

As a result, we fix this problem by including cooling fans, which we shall cover briefly later. The following are some options for soundproofing the server rack.

To soundproof a server rack, various methods can be used. However, it is important to note that the more you try to soundproof the shelf with different materials, the more heat will build up.

  • Install Mass-Loaded Vinyl
  • Use Sound Deadening Mats
  • Add a Rubberized Undercoating
  • Use acoustic Foam or Composite Foam
  • Install damping Compound
  • Clean Your Cooling Fans
  • Install a Cooling Fan

Install Mass-Loaded Vinyl

It is a high-density, high-flexibility dampening material that is suitable for noise reduction on walls, ceilings, and floors.

Mass loaded vinyl was originally designed as a sound barrier for industrial applications. As a result, it’s only natural to locate noisy machines or equipment lining them to lessen noise.

To lessen those unpleasant sounds, mass loaded vinyl can be loaded on your rack walls or server floor. It is feasible to coat some equipment with this sound barrier, although it may cause more harm than good.

This material’s versatility and flexibility allow it to be cut into any form and used to form a narrow but effective barrier.

To hold the material in place, use an appropriate adhesive material or glue. While you’re doing this, make sure there aren’t any air holes because they’ll let sound in.

Also, when installing the equipment, take extra caution to avoid tearing the material. It’s quite impossible to repair a broken piece. In comparison to other soundproofing materials, the substance is also heat resistant.

How to apply Mass Loaded Vinyl?

  • Cut the MLV sheet to fit the walls or floor dimension and make sure it’s in good condition.
  • To obtain a better notion of which side is fitting well, begin at the top of the wall and work your way down.
  • To acquire a proper coating or noise masking, begin from the edge of the top of the wall and work your way down to the floor.
  • To ensure sufficient coverage and fewer cavities, overlap each piece of shit with others by at least 1 inch.
Materials NeededTools Needed
Mass loaded vinylEwrap Vinyl Wrap Tools Set

Use Sound Deadening Mats

These mats are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit a variety of needs. They’re a type of mass-loaded vinyl designed specifically for automobiles, studios, and houses.

You can put these mats on the floors of your racks as well, and you can attach them to the walls or the rear of the cabinet. You’ll experience a substantial change in the level of noise if you use Sound-Deadening Mats.

Materials Needed
Sound-Deadening Mats

 

Add a Rubberized Undercoating

This is a simple-to-apply protective coating that doesn’t run. For vehicles and trucks, as well as many other surfaces, it offers anti-corrosive treatment, sound-deadening, and insulation. Rubberized undercoating has only two functions: it provides mass to assist attenuate sound and it prevents surfaces from rust. This is a fantastic material to use on metal racks.

You must first be ready for the unpleasant scent and the necessary drying period before applying this spray, which will necessitate not using the cabinet for a couple of days.

Another effect of rubberized undercoating is that it acts as an insulator. When adopting this dampening method, heat becomes an issue, however as previously said, a soundproof box will need fans to dissipate heat.

Its paintable top also lets you be artistic and embellish your rack if you so choose.

Materials Needed
Rubberized undercoating

Use acoustic Foam or Composite Foam

They can be used to mask sound by lining the rack. They make a noticeable effect when employed, although they aren’t beneficial on their own.

They are advantageous because they do not produce heat or rust. They’re inexpensive and perfect for inaudible noises or loud buzzing sounds.

How to install an acoustic panel on the wall?

When used in conjunction with all of the other soundproofing materials recommended, the acoustic panel can be quite effective.

  • Remove any dust from the rack.
  • Compare the size of the walls of the rack to the size of the Acoustic foam panel.
  • Now, using the knife or any other cutter, cut the acoustic panel to the proper size.
  • Next press the foam on the wall for another 30 seconds, or till you’re satisfied that it’s set.
  • Continue the process till the entire rack is covered.
Materials NeededTools Needed
Acoustic foam panelAcoustic caulkingknife

Install damping Compound

A wooden rack is the most suitable for damping. To apply a damping compound, you’ll need to double the plywood or panels.

When sprayed, compounds like the well-known Green Glue noise proofing compound can halt sounds dead in their path.

This choice may be sufficient for a basic server rack. It has no negative impact on your servers, and neither party is ever in communication.

How to use Green Glue?

This is a three-step procedure for using green glue.

  • On the backside of the second drywall, apply many coats of green glue; preferably, 1-2 tubes should suffice.
  • Now press down this drywall on top of the existing wall, keeping in mind that it will dry in 15 minutes.
  • Attach the second drywall to the existing drywall with screws.

As a result, green sealant can help us damper soundwaves and minimise resonance indirectly and is the most appropriate method for soundproofing existing walls.

Materials NeededTools Needed
Green GlueDispensing gun

Clean Your Cooling Fans

One of the most serious issues with fans is that if they aren’t cleaned on a routine basis, they likely to collect a large amount of dust. A fan will decelerate and become even noisier as it collects dust and particles.

Dust will gradually overheat your server, resulting in more loudness over time. Check your fans at least 2 times a month to check they’re all clean and running correctly to avoid this issue.

Install a Cooling Fan

If you clean your fans regularly but they continue to make annoying noises, buying quieter fans is the best alternative. The installation method is straightforward. A good cooling fan, drill, half-inch drill bit, measuring tape, jigsaw, screwdriver, and masking tape are all required tools.

  • Identify the fan’s location. Mark the location of the fan, which should be parallel to the location of your apparatus. With the sticky tape, mark out the area to be painted.
  • Place the fan in the designated area and sketch out the outline. Cut a hole in the spot for the fan with a sharp blade.
  • Make two diagonal holes in the corners of the defined shape with a drill bit.
  • Using the drilled holes as reference places, draw the lines from above. Wipe the cabinet and connect the fan once the outline is completely sawed and the fan fits correctly.
  • To properly build the fan, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the drill and screwdriver to connect it.
Materials Needed
Cooling fan

Conclusion

Everyone benefits from a soundproof server rack. With the amount of noise that exists everywhere, it is only reasonable that we strive for quiet time in our workplaces and households. These are the final actions you must take to make your server rack completely silent.

 As you’ll see, all of these options are rather simple to execute; but, if you’re on a budget, replacing all of the fans with quieter ones is the most cost-effective alternative. The vibrations and creaking from old fans can be reduced by replacing the fans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to soundproof a server rack?

How can I lower server noise?

A noise-isolating server rack is one solution to solve your server noise problem while retaining the organisational benefits of a server rack. While using foam-sealed front and back doors, this rack is specifically developed to decrease server noise.

Why is the server so obnoxious?

The disc drive and cooling fans are frequently the sources of noise in personal computers, desktops, and servers. More server computer power usually entails higher power dissipation, necessitating the use of larger/faster fans, which emit more fan noise.

Is it true that tower servers are noisier than rack servers?

Tower servers are generally quieter than rack servers. Tower servers have more air space than rack servers, which are frequently space constrained. When there is less air movement, more fans run at higher speeds, resulting in increased noise.

What is the noise level of rack servers?

Whenever the ambient temperature rises to 75-78 degrees Fahrenheit, though, the servers can become quite noisy. The fans on the desktop are all scheduled to run at 100% all of the time, but what you hear in the clip is the loudest they’ll ever be.

What should you do if a server overheats?

Make sure servers are kept on cooling racks so that air can circulate freely through them. To efficiently chill the server room, invest in a specialised, self-contained air conditioner installed close to the ceiling. Increase airflow around the server by propping a door open or installing a ceiling fan in the server room.

On a rack, where should a fan be placed?

A fan near the top of the cabinet should be adjusted to vent out air, and a fan close to the bottom must be set to push in the air in an ideal setup.

Is it possible to put a server in a closet?

Temperatures in server rooms must be kept between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If you store your server in a closet with a closed door, the heat it emits will quickly increase the temperature to dangerous levels, causing hardware damage. To get rid of the warm air, open a door or install a strong exhaust system.

References

https://www.racksolutions.com/news/blog/can-you-soundproof-a-server-rack/
https://www.blackbox.com/en-nz
https://aquietrefuge.com/soundproof-server-rack/
https://soundproofwiz.com/soundproof-a-server-rack/
https://www.tripplite.com/smartrack-quiet-server-rack-18u-sound-suppression~srq18u