Small and medium-sized businesses are likely to depend on a wide array of IT devices. From network servers to networked storage, this equipment often serves as the hub for a company’s intelligence, storing crucial company information and keeping workers connected and productive throughout the day.
Server rooms are the typical location for such equipment. Whether it’s a modest closet-sized space or a large dedicated room, server rooms allow companies to keep crucial equipment in a dedicated space that can be properly maintained by IT professionals.
As with any office space that has a specific purpose, server rooms must be carefully attended to. Not only do servers and their related infrastructure require regular maintenance and care, but they must also be situated in a safe and secure location. Without a proper server room setup, companies risk exposing their data to unexpected failure and damage.
Tips to set up a safe & secure server room
Whether you’re setting up a brand new space or looking to improve an existing setup, here are some basic server room standards that small and medium-sized businesses should meet:
Server racks and connected hardware can generate significant amounts of heat. In order to remain in optimal condition, server rooms must have adequate environmental controls to keep the room at acceptable levels of temperature and humidity.
Proper ventilation and airflow can help keep devices from overheating. Server equipment should be arranged to eliminate hotspots and keep air circulating.
Any space housing server equipment must have proper fire control equipment, including a functional fire alarm system and manual fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishing systems should not be water-based to prevent water damage to equipment. The room should also not be treated as extra storage space because loose papers or files can compound the damage from a small electrical fire.
Server rooms need proper waterproofing to prevent electronic equipment from getting wet. Ideally, space should be in a dedicated watertight room away from outside-facing windows and be situated to avoid water-carrying infrastructure above or below the room.
If given the chance, insects and rodents can wreak havoc on cables and equipment. Server rooms should be properly and regularly maintained to keep critters at bay.
It’s important to keep a well-maintained server room free of loose wires and cables to prevent accidents. When possible, wires should be run through the ceiling or floor to keep them out of the way.
Uninterruptible, Redundant Power
An unexpected power loss can cause significant damage to equipment and data. In an ideal setting, equipment should be powered by its own dedicated circuit separate from other electrical systems. An uninterruptible power supply should be in place to provide emergency power in the event of an outage, and if completely powering down is unacceptable, be sure to have a generator on site.
Backup, Recovery, and Redundancy
Any server room should be prepared for the unexpected, including failures that could jeopardize crucial data. Be sure to deploy disaster recovery solutions throughout the space, including regular and immediate backups that can be called upon at a moment’s notice.
Because utilities will likely need to access data, power, and other critical infrastructure connections, it’s more efficient to establish a single demarcation (DMARC) point of access. Server rooms should be situated in a spot for all of the outcoming signals from telecom and power companies for clear, efficient maintenance and operation.
Restricting physical access to a server room can prevent unauthorized users from accessing or tampering with equipment. The server room should be equipped with appropriate locks or physical security mechanisms, as well as video surveillance to oversee the infrastructure.
If you’re looking to create or improve an existing server room, DWD Technology Group offers a wide range of end-to-end IT solutions. For a free hardware or network support consultation, contact us today!