6 Tips for Setting up a Server Room for Your Small Business
There are many factors to consider when running a business. Not only do you have to focus on your customers and business processes, but there is a long to-do list of things that must be taken care of behind the scenes. In most businesses, securely storing and accessing data is crucial to long-term success. In a world where data loss can seriously jeopardize the future health of your organization, it’s important to ensure you properly set up and maintain your server room or in-house data center.
Setting up a Server Room the Right Way
The task of setting up a server room probably isn’t on your list of fun things to do; however, it’s necessary to pay attention to the finer details of this process. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Get the basics down. Starting with the appropriate foundation is absolutely critical. This generally comes down to three aspects: size, location and growth. How big of a room do you need? Where should it ideally be located for practical accessibility and security? How do you expect your company to grow in the future? It usually takes more than a 30-minute meeting to determine the answers to these questions, so it’s important to prepare well in advance. In a data center enclosure it is very important that the air flow strategy is determined by both the cold air coming in and the hot air that is being pushed out. It needs to work together in order for it to be effective. In order to determine your best air flow strategy, you should have input vents and return ducts available to the enclosure. Most data center enclosure layouts are modified to work with existing duct work.
- Temperature matters. Improper air flow management can spell disaster for servers in a data center. Beyond investing in an air conditioning unit and return vents for proper air flow management, you will need to consider which type of enclosure is right for your setup. Enclosures are created with a series of panel systems—with options available in softwall and rigid designs. Wall panels and doors are used to control airflow, as well as seal and partition air containment areas such as data center aisles.
- Invest in server cabinets and rack mounting. When you are on a budget, it’s easy to justify making less than optimal decisions to save money. However, there are some areas where you can’t afford to take shortcuts. Instead of placing your server hardware on tables, desks and whatever else you can find, invest in specially designed racks to mount your equipment in a safe, tidy manner.
- Clearly label. Clearly labeling and identifying each area of your server room is important. It may sound rather precautious, but you can never be too careful when it comes to the safety and security of your business. By clearly identifying each server and system, you can determine the best way to position the equipment in server aisles. Organizing your server layout improves power efficiency and provides ease in maintenance. A good server layout strategy helps to contain and control cooled air and provide a clean, dust-free data center enclosure.
- Prepare for the Unexpected. Data center enclosures not only create energy efficiencies, they help to control the temperatures necessary for cooling servers to avoid overheating. Lanyard drop panels provide protection from fires. Having a good protection plan for equipment and employees in place not only gives you peace of mind, but can save your company from downtime and the potential for data loss which can harm your business.
- Create an Effective & Efficient Layout. Having a good aisle containment strategy before you begin will not only save you money in the long run, but will also allow for expansion if the data center needs to grow. Settling on a good design and layout, based on well informed equipment and maintenance managers will give you the server performance you require, but will also create cost efficiencies that is so important in business today.