You would think cooling fans were the most straightforward technology. Like most things when you dig deeper, things get more complicated. The reason these typically become an issue is noise. With everything being driven by price manufacturers fit the cheapest fans they can which cost pennies and generally are made in China.
Modern networks typically have VoIP phones and Wireless access points powered by Power Over Ethernet POE which means network switches now have bigger power supplies which in turn need more cooling.
These fans are often noisy when new and get worse over time as they wear, and as dirt builds up. This is not usually a problem for large companies as switches are tucked away in a comms room out of earshot of users
In smaller businesses where the comms cabinet is in the corner of the office, this can be a problem. Users will complain as the noise is annoying.
The answer is to either move the switch further away from the users, which is not usually practical, fit a soundproof cabinet which is expensive or to change the fans.
Switch fans are typically 40mm and can be 5 or 12 volts and can have 2 or 3 wires. Replacement involves shutting down the switch to take it apart and finding out the specification for the new fan and then reassembling. Once a fan is obtained, more downtime is needed to install it.
The key to making this effort worthwhile is buying the right fan. It is possible to purchase fans designed to be quiet. These have better bearings, vibration absorbing rubber mounts and blades designed to smooth the airflow to reduce noise. These are more expensive and take time to fit, but the benefit to the office environment is worth it.
To improve system reliability and make your office quieter
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