If you are a small business owner, you must be knowing how intimidating it could be to being IT in-house and have a dedicated room to the server. Most of the resources are designed keeping in mind the medium or enterprise level installation. And they don’t sit well with a closet for your branch office or small server room even.
However, Server Room Setup for your small business isn’t a herculean or mysterious task. Here, I have some tips for you that will help you in the setup.
Go For Rack Mount Equipments
Usually, small businesses stack the hardware of the servers and the network appliances on the shelf or the desk for beginning the operation. This method is inexpensive, but it ends into an unmanageable mess as your company grows. Also, the equipment is more prone to tampering and damages if they stay in the open.
Go for rack mount equipment for the best Server Room Setup. Rack-mount equipment is made especially for housing this kind of hardware properly. Although these are a little expensive, it makes managing these servers very easy. You can also get drawers and shelves to mount on the server rack and make the rack workable for the non-mounting appliances as well.
Know Your Server Rack
Not every rack is meant for every Server Room Setup. You must know and understand their fundamental characteristic. You can measure the server racks in the rack unit denoted as RU or simply U. One rack unit is 1.75 inches high.
The compliant equipment is measured in the multiples of U. Generally, the network switches range from 1U- 2U, servers range from 1U-4U and blade servers range over 5U
The common measurement of the width 19 inches of these server racks is, and the depth ranges from 600mm to 1,000mm. Some of them also have adjustable rear brackets and most come with the adjustable mounting kit. These kit can be used if there’s sufficient depth for the servers.
The most preferred server rack today is the four-post rack. It is designed for 19 inches wide servers and appliances. And the usual rack measures 42U in its full height. Other racks like the desktop ones have the height varying from 5U to 20U, and none of them is the external dimension. You can also have castor wheels that come optional with them for adding a little mobility.
Open frame racks and small wall-mounted cabinets are two options for the locations that have the space crunch. However, open frame racks might have some special mounting needs like bolting to the floor. But the wall mounted racks aren’t good for heavy loads in Server Room Setup.
Reduce The Noise By isolating The Servers
If you do not have a dedicated room for your servers, you might have to do something about the noise reduction. If you can’t spare a room for your servers, consider making a partition. This will eliminate the server noise that often spas the productivity. And, along with that, it will also secure the servers from theft and accidental damages.
In the lack of space, you might have to put the servers in your IT room. In that case, put them in a corner on the racks that have sound-dampening properties. These racks are measured by their properties of noise-reduction since air vents make it impossible to curb all the noise they make. Hence, their work depends on how much noise your equipment makes and how well can these racks reduce the noise.
Get AC Units
You don’t have to worry about cooling if all you have is a few network switches and a five-bay NAS. However, if you add to it a few more servers, a larger NAS, and uninterruptible power supply, you will feel the heat building up instantly. And we all know that heat reduces the lifespan of the equipment.
You can compare the heat generated by your equipment to that of the thermal load the rack can hold. You can’t separate reducing the temperature of your equipment from the heat dissipation capabilities of the rack holding your server. The ambient temperature outside the rack also impacts the heat in the Server Room Setup. Hence, it is recommended to install AC in the server room.
And if the server remains open even after the office hours, you must separate the AC unit for the server room. Make sure they are not tied to the central unit which you often turn off after the office hours. For redundancy, you must install a separate circuit breaker and two standalone units in the server room. Thus, you can spare one for servicing while the other works.
Manage The Cables
The Server Room Setup is more than just fixing the racks and placing the equipment on them. Managing the cables is equally essential. There will be so many wires and ethernet cables running around the equipment and your office rooms from there as well.
To manage the cables terminate cable runs for Ethernet LAN points through the RJ45 patch panel. These patches occupy 1U space and you get up to 24 ports. However, it may need some extra work like stripping a cable and putting it in the panel along with testing the connectivity with the tools. You can use the cable ties for keeping the stray wires in place.
Labeling always comes in handy. It might be evident to you, but your new IT guy might find it a little confusing. Labeling, apart from saving time, also protects you from catastrophic mistakes like restarting one server mistaking it for another. Use a label printer and put on the relevant information on them. Stick them to the equipment they are suitable for.
These simple things can make your Server Room Setup easy and organized. And it will also save you a considerable sum of expenses that accidents and many other reasons might cause. You can easily set up a server room even for your small business with these tricks.