3 Steps for Setting Up a Server Room

Server racks and cabinets

If you’re a small or mid-sized business, you may have enough data to require significant storage—but the budget to pay for neither outsourcing of data storage nor a large construction project for onsite storage. For most businesses, a small server room can bridge the gap nicely. A server room is simply an area that houses small groups of servers (larger arrangements of servers are usually housed in what are called data centers). Here are three steps you’ll want to consider when getting started:

Choose a Room
There are two advantages to using a separate room for your servers. The first is sound: Equipment noise can lower productivity for anyone working near it, so either use an existing room or partition and soundproof a space as best you can. The secondary advantage of having a dedicated space is that it offers the ability to secure your server rack enclosures (we’ll get to that in a minute). This prevents the theft of either valuable equipment or sensitive data.

Choose a Server Rack
If you’re setting up a server room, don’t just pile your equipment on the shelves. Server racks, which are specifically designed for this purpose, increase efficiency by organizing your server room. Server enclosures can come in a variety of sizes, but the standard size is 19 inches in width and 600 to 1,000mm in depth. Keep in mind when choosing racks for your space that some styles may require specific mounts. Some also come with handy casters so they can be rolled.

Choose a Cooling System
Server rack enclosures are also vital because they are designed to dissipate the heat electronics generate. The heat buildup caused by putting multiple pieces of computer equipment together in a small room can lead to degradation and crashes, so it’s important to also install extra air conditioning in a server room. Climate will strongly affect the energy consumption—and therefore electricity costs—of your servers, so be sure to factor that in so the bill doesn’t surprise you. Somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees should be a safe range for your equipment.

Have you set up an in-house server room for a small business? What are your recommendations? Share in the comments. More.

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