Steps for Setting up a Server Room

Server Naming Conventions
and Best Practices
March 19, 2019

Small businesses, especially any that hasn’t opted for cloud services yet. The fact that security issues have become a major threat to small businesses has made them take more measures to protect their data. One solution for this is to set up a server room right within the premises where the business operates. However, the server room can only serve its purpose if it’s set up at the first time of asking. In this article, you will learn how to do that!

What steps should you follow to set up the server room for your small business?

Set the Server Rack up with a Plan

Nothing is more important than a plan in setting up the server room and rack. Have a plan and make sure that you stick to it from start to finish. It’s worth stating that an improperly set up or deployed server rack would be as useful – or useless – as a metal shelf. It will serve no purpose whatsoever in the sever room. For this reason, start the set up only once you are ready with a solid plan.

Secondly, a plan helps you to avoid some of the problems that often emerge later in the day. Prolonged and disruptive downtime is one of the most common problems associated with an improperly set up or installed server room. Therefore, be ready with a list of all the tools and equipment needed in the server room. Additionally, you will need several other lists that include the following:

  • Servers
  • Network patches
  • UPS
  • KVM, which refers to the combination of keyboard, video and mouse
  • Switches
  • PDUs or Power Distribution Units
  • Storage/security appliances

When planning, make sure that the room has adequate space for all the equipment listed above. On top of that, you also need to set aside the location for each device or piece of equipment. Also, it would be great to know where to place the rack and determine where each piece of equipment will be on the rack. Typically, heavy stuff go at the bottom of the rack. Moreover, don’t forget to get more stuff than what you need.

Avoid skimping on power

The server room will be full of computers and any other component or piece of equipment it needs to run smoothly. For this reason, it will need plenty of power. Therefore, your task is to ensure that the room you designate or set aside for this purpose has plenty of power. You can reduce the amount of power on other rooms except this one. In fact, many small business owners prefer hooking the room to a dedicated circuit breaker to avoid tripping the servers.

In addition to all this, it’s advisable to invest in:

  • UPSs
  • PDUs

SERVER ROOM

Invest in Out-of-Band Access

The out-of-band access is crucial for one main reason – remote access. In many cases, you may need to access the server room remotely. Normally, you would be able to do that courtesy of a stable Internet link. However, the link could prove unreliable due to downtime or any other reason. In such instances, you may need a different alternative. The out-of-band access gives you all that and more. Here, your options could include:

  • Mobile wireless connection (3G or 4G LTE)
  • Dedicated Internet connection (regardless of its speed)
  • Software agents such as LogMeIn or TeamViewer

Securing the Server Rack

It’s also important to ensure that the server rack enjoys unmatched security. The rack inside the server room should be secure at all times. To do this, you would need to invest in excellent security systems. Get the right keys and cameras too. Lock-and-key security systems are just as effective as they have always been. For this reason, be ready to pay whatever your small business can afford to get such systems in place.

Most importantly, keep the server room off-limits to all unauthorized parties. In addition to that, keep the doors locked at all times, as previously indicated. Where possible, it would also be great to set the KVM console with a password. IP cameras would be an excellent addition too as a way of monitoring all the expensive equipment in the server room. All these security systems are cheaper in comparison to the equipment inside the server room.

As you may have noticed, setting up a server room isn’t an issue that should trouble a small business for eons. The key or secret to setting it up lies in proper planning. Set the room up using a plan that you created early enough. Once this is done, you can now buy all the equipment you need for the setup. While at it, you should be careful to calculate space and ensure that the room has ample power to avoid tripping up the equipment.

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