How to Setup the Ideal Server Room

Description : 

Whether a business or company is large or small, if it has a network of computers than it likely going to need a server room. But not every organization has the means to construct the type of expansive hub filled with wall-to-wall computer banks that are commonly seen in the movies. A server room doesn’t need to be the largest or most well funded, but it does require a good amount of solid design to ensure effectiveness and sustainability.

How to Setup the Ideal Server Room

Those IT professionals embarking on the planning phase of server room construction should focus not only on operational needs but on long-term functionality as well. After all data rooms expand, and if there isn’t enough space to accommodate new equipment then the entire room will prove ineffective. To that end, here are some tips to setting up the ideal hub for IT infrastructure: the server room.

Plan for Space

As mentioned above, IT needs increase the longer an organization is in operation. And although raw space is expensive, that’s no reason to shortchange the server room. It is important to focus on room size when designing the layout of a data center. That said, square footage isn’t the only consideration. IT professionals can maximize space with the proper equipment, including telco racks and enclosed cabinets. And with the advent of smaller servers, oftentimes hundreds of units can fit on a single rack.

Focus on Server Physical Security

Just as it’s important to focus on room size when designing a new server room, it’s also important to focus on room security. Staying abreast of all the new software patches and packs is all for nothing if the room and physical equipment are not secure. That means implementing strict policies regarding the server room, such as only allowing authorized personnel in the area at all times. And while keycard security systems are certainly effective, other more advanced systems, such as handprint recognition, provide the ultimate piece of mind.

Security also extends to safety, and to this end proper fire and water-detection systems should be installed in the server room.

Consider the Environment

The manufacturers of server equipment set strict environmental limits, and it is important to adhere to these limits absolutely. Those running servers in an environment heavy with severe weather, such as hurricanes or lightning storms, would do well to install a generator capable of backing up the UPS in the case of a power outage.

Invest in Server Monitoring

As the nerve center of an organization, the server room is functionally a living organism and thus needs to be constantly monitored to ensure good health. To this end, it’s vital to install software systems that monitor every aspect of the data center, from servers to network traffic. Modern monitoring software also allows for notices to be sent to mobile devices, which is ideal.

Spring for Cabling

Most in the IT business will recommend those designing a server room to make the speed of the connections as fast as their budget will allow. Those who skimp on cable quality usually regret it down the line when they find their overall IT needs are not being met. Nothing less than category 6 cabling is recommended for the server room, and it should be installed by a professional organization that provides a comprehensive warranty.

As for cable location, under the floor is always ideal. Cable pathways under a raised floor (12” or so) prevent tangles. They can also be disconnected and connected from equipment quickly and don’t get in the way when equipment needs to be moved.

Maintain the Correct Server Temperature

This is one of the most important things to consider when designing a server room, as incorrect temperatures can lead to total equipment failure. Servers are sensitive, and thus operate in a narrow temperature range. General recommendations state that temperatures should not be above 82 degrees or below 50 degrees. Those who want to ensure accurate temperatures can invest in a monitor, which measures temperatures all the time, including nights and weekends.

In the end, the importance of proper server room design is crucial. Once the room is in business, it’s only a matter of time before something needs to be added or moved around. By implementing the above tips into the design, IT professionals can ensure a secure server room that is also flexible.

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