Data Centers

Downtime and outages can cause decreased productivity, a damaged reputation, and lost revenue for data centers. On a daily basis data centers face insurmountable amounts of risk, environment conditions being one of them. Air circulation with too little humidity results in dry air, elevating the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD). While too much humidity will cause condensation to form, leading to damage, corrosion and eventually equipment failure of motherboards, hard drives and in connecting sockets. Whether too little humidity or too much, both can lead to unexpected downtime resulting in lost revenue and upset clients.   

To prolong the life expectancy of equipment by preventing ESD and corrosion due to excessive condensation, ASHRAE recommends maintaining a Relative Humidity (RH) range of 40 to 60 percent.1 DriSteem humidification systems are an essential part of maintaining an accurate relative humidity level within a data center which is critical to lowering the risk of outages, reducing energy costs, and mitigating environmental risks.  

Avoid disruption of critical processes and costly damage to valuable equipment by controlling the environment condition with relative humidity. 

Issues caused by low or fluctuating relative humidity

Lost revenue 

A survey by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC) found a minimum uptime of 99.99% is required by 85% of businesses and their IT leaders. This equates to only 52 minutes annually of unplanned downtime of mission critical systems and applications. 2 

A survey conducted by Ponemon Institute found the overall average cost of data center outage is $740,357. This is a 38% increase in average cost since 2010.3

Damage to equipment 

For data centers using rack enclosures, monitoring humidity levels within the top 1/3 of a rack enclosure is minimally acceptable. It is most likely that equipment air intake will experience damage from low humidity conditions at this elevation.4

The cost of integrating an efficient and effective humidifier into a data center’s existing HVAC system is minimal in comparison to the potential damage of an uncontrolled environment. 

Impact to reputation 

Protecting the reputation of a data center in today’s high demand world is detrimental to its longevity. Extended downtime negatively impacts one’s reputation resulting in unsatisfied customers. Maintaining a consistent environment with relative humidity lowers the risk of system failure. 



  1. ASHRAE: Best Practices for Environmental Monitoring of Humidity and Temperature
  2. March/April 2020: ITIC 2020 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey
  3. 2016 Ponemon Institute Report on ‘Cost of Data Center Outages
  4. Humidification Strategies for Data Centers and Network Rooms