Your First Server Room: Tips For A Smooth Set-Up

While cloud services can be very convenient for a small business’s storage and networking needs, they’ll only get you so far. More and more small businesses are deciding to set up their own in-house server rooms in order to get around various security and practical concerns. If you’re taking your first steps into the large and often complex world of dedicated server rooms, here’s a little advice for hitting it on the head.

With Server Racks, have a Plan and Stick to It


Image from Wikimedia

Compared to a jumbled stack of It hardware in the corner of an office, a rack setup has a lot of advantages when setting up a server. However, if you set a server rack up improperly, or without taking the time to plan it out, then it’s going to be little more than a large and expensive shelving unit! To start with, you need to have a complete list of all the equipment you’re going to be mounting on the rack. This needs to include the servers themselves, network switches, an uninterruptable power supply, and any additional storage or security components. Setting up a server rack during the work day will only cause disruptions, so plan who’s going to be taking part in this after-hours work well in advance so you don’t screw up workflow too much.

Don’t Cheap-Out on Power


Image from Wikimedia

Keeping power flowing to your servers is extremely important, and if this isn’t considered thoroughly you’ll only run yourself into all kinds of problems. Though it may be expensive, some offices can benefit from connecting their server room to a separate circuit breaker. This will save you from the kitchen microwave tripping up the servers, or any kind of routine changes or upgrades resulting in expensive downtime. Even if your office has brilliant power supplies, you’re going to need an uninterruptable power supply, as localised power failures can happen at a moment’s notice. This is the one sure place where you can’t scrimp, so limit your search to reputable vendors and brands like Riello UPS. While shopping around, make sure you’re referring back to the list you started with, and checking that the UPS you settle on has enough places to plug-in all the appliances on the server rack.

Lock Up


Image from Wikimedia

A lot of business owners will switch over to a server room solution having had some kind of security breach through cloud solutions in the past. Having made the switch, they figure that they’re completely safe from any kind of security threats. This is totally false, and you need to make sure your server is protected from any damaging breaches. As soon as it’s operational, the server room should be strictly out of bounds to people outside of the IT department. Make sure that the door is closed and locked at all times, and put a password on the KVM console if at all possible. You can also make your servers a little more secure by installing IP cameras, which can be used to keep an eye on any equipment in the room.

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