Since almost all businesses today are run via computers and the Internet, server rooms and server rack enclosures are a crucial aspect of safely storing information. Servers, essentially, are computers that store data. For best results, they're organized with server racks, which keep all the necessary parts neat and accessible without taking up an inordinate amount of floor or shelf space.
Some businesses choose to outsource their data management to offsite servers. But privacy or cost concerns can make setting up a small server room or closet somewhere on your company’s premises an attractive option. It’s possible to do so affordably, but there are still a few things you should keep in mind during the building or outfitting project. If you fall into one of these common pitfalls, you could end up losing both your data and your investment:
- Forgetting Physical Security
The whole point of an onsite server is electronic security. But often, businesses forget to protect their servers from people walking right in the front door. Keep the door locked, using an electronic keycard or combination lock if possible. This will make it easier to keep track of who goes in and out of the room. If your data is sensitive enough that you want to store it on site, rather than on the cloud, then it’s worth a small investment in new locks.
- Cheapening Climate Control
Computer equipment produces quite a bit of heat, and failing to manage that byproduct or protect equipment from the elements can lead to catastrophic failure. Maintaining an even temperature and humidity supports a reliable IT system. You should think about this on two levels. First, you should look at integrated server rack cooling systems. Second, you should make sure the room in general has sufficient air conditioning and heating. Many companies are keeping server rooms warmer than they used to in order to save a little money on utilities, but the general recommendation is to stay under 70 degrees.
- Leaving No Room for Growth
Server rack enclosures come in a variety of sizes, and the whole point of modular systems is that it’s easy to add on more hardware as your company grows (and therefore has more data to store). But some businesses spend quite a bit of money outfitting a server closet, only to find within a year that they need a complete server room. A larger space will help with heat control and organization, anyway, so it’s worth considering choosing a larger space from the start.
Do you have any other advice to share regarding setting up server rooms or choosing rack enclosures? Join the discussion in the comments.