You and your server have a very special relationship. Depending on your business, you may rely on your server for the bulk of your business, so the care and maintenance of your equipment needs to be a high priority.

What are 5 ways to make setting up your server room go smoother?

Have a plan

Too often you recognize your need to upgrade your existing system, and are overwhelmed by the pressing need for the integration of your new system. In the hurry to respond to the urgent need, you haphazardly buy and install your equipment without the necessary thought to how careful organization will benefit you in the future.

Collect the technical data and physical specifications of the equipment you intend to install.  Servers, switches, power supplies, KVM switches, power distribution units and storage devices. Assess the available space in your server rack and map out each device’s location. Map out cable runs to reduce cable usage. Additionally, consider the weight of the devices, so you may keep the heaviest devices near to the floor.

Consider your ventilation

Proper ventilation for your server room is a must. Your devices, especially the power supplies, will be moving a high volume of air to stay cool and functional. How you regulate that air flow to maintain an optimal temperature is unique to each situation. Removing the warm air could be as simple as removing your ceiling tiles or opening a door. It could also be as complicated as installing a specific air handling system or diverting the existing air handling for the building you are in. The latter could involve the direction of your building’s engineer or your facility manager.

Keep it clean

A part of proper ventilation is how clean the air is. Imagine breathing through a wool blanket or layers of wool blankets. The cooling systems on electronic devices require easy breathing, and high volumes of cool, dry air. Keeping that air cool and dry requires well-maintained filtration and desiccant systems. The smaller your system, the more likely it is you can maintain it; the larger your system, the more likely you will have to have either a contractor or specific employees. If you are in a manufacturing environment, VOC removal is important in order to stem the corrosion associated with certain chemicals.

Plan for outages

Having consistent power and access to your servers can be critical. Having emergency power with outage switching capabilities will allow your system to function during power grid interruption. Outage access to your server can be arranged by out-of-band access. By using cellular 4G or LTE services, you can maintain access during critical periods and have remote control via off-site access points.

Security and safety

To maintain the security of your data and for the physical security of your equipment, install proper locks and control the number of keys. Limit access to only those who really need it. Installation of IP cameras will allow you to have a record of who enters and exits your room. Keep track of and log who is doing what and when with the system. Also, keep fire extinguishers and maintenance equipment nearby in case of emergency.

If you prepare to fail instead of fail to prepare, your server setup will go will go super smooth!

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.

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