No matter what business you are in, you’re probably finding that it is more based in the electronic world than ever before. There was a day that records, and accounting, and personnel files, and all of the tidbits that kept a business afloat were managed on paper. Those days are gone. Now, any data that your business uses to operate is kept on a server somewhere, either in the cloud, or on an physical hard drive on premises. Whether you use the cloud or your own infrastructure to manage your data, you probably have a server room (or desperately need one).
If you are setting up a server room, pay attention to our list of tips for doing it right.
Three Critical Tips for Setting Up a Successful Server Room
- Invest in a network switch cooling solution.
Your server room doesn’t need to be fancy to be functional, but you do need a good network switch cooling solution.
Electronics create heat, and at the same time, they are also very sensitive to heat. As your business expands and your server room gets packed with more and more server racks, you’re going to find that the room gets hot. In order to protect the electronics you manage in your server room, you want to keep the room between 68 and 71 degrees. If the room hits 82 degrees (which is super possible if you don’t have a network switch cooling solution in place), you’re looking at a full-blown meltdown. This is why it is important to invest in a good network switch cooling solution, even if you keep everything else in your server room simple.
- Electronics racks pay for themselves quickly.
As a small business owner, you might wonder why you’d want to shell out the dough for data racks, when you have a book shelf or a desk that is going unused. It seems easier and cheaper to reduce, reuse, recycle than to go and buy fancy data cabinets that do the same thing. However, your whole business rides on the servers you keep in your data center. It’s important to give them an environment to function and thrive as they should.
Using real IT racks offers several benefits that make them worth the cost:
- IT racks are designed to provide the ideal environment for electronics. Storing your servers in an old desk or a cabinet doesn’t provide the airflow or the temperature needed to run efficiently. The low cost of an IT rack is like an insurance policy that helps your server get the greatest lifespan.
- When you use non-IT storage solutions, you’re far more at risk of the critical equipment falling or not being protected from spills or other (super avoidable) accidents. You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you save a few bucks on a server rack and then spend thousands to replace the equipment that broke because they weren’t stored properly.
- Server racks help you manage and organize your equipment. Your desk-converted-into-an-equipment-storage-unit might work when you have one or two servers, but as you build onto that, your server room will turn into a chaotic nightmare of equipment and wires. This is impossible to manage and is far less efficient than if you do it right from day one.
- Keep it simple and do it right.
The best way to organize a giant mess of a server room that can’t be managed is to never let it turn into chaos to begin with. Whenever you’re making a decision about the build or management of your server room, ask yourself what the simplest solution is. This will help keep your server room low-maintenance and easy to manage.
And we’ll throw this in for free: label everything! Label servers as you add them, label wires that connect your network components together, and maintain a map of your server room. The more you document, the easier it is to manage and to make changes to. Doing a little work upfront will help you keep your server room organized and efficient and successful!
There are two kinds of businesses in the world: the ones who have a server room and the ones who need to setup their server room. If your business falls into one of those categories, you should use our tips to build it.