Planning Your First Server Room – Location, Size and Security

As your business grows, so do your IT requirements. Oftentimes, business growth means more servers, which requires careful planning not only due to your technological requirements but also due to your business’s physical requirements. In other words, you need a place to safely store your servers, switches, racks and other network hardware. Because IT budgets are often tight, it’s important to properly plan your network environment in order to maximize IT dollars.

Probably the single best thing you can do for your IT environment is to set aside a dedicated room for your network hardware and servers–a server room. Things you should plan for include room size, location, security, energy consumption, proper cooling and noise dampening.

Location & Security

The server room should be located in a low-traffic area and properly secured so that only those who are authorized can access the room. This may mean using something as simple as a lock and key unique to the room or, if you need to track who enters the room, an electronic keypad or badge system. The server room should ideally be located in a central location in your office, which reduces the amount of (and cost of) wiring throughout the office.

Size

Your server room will also need the right amount of square footage. Depending on what form factor your servers are–towers, racks or blades–you’ll need to make sure it all fits in the room. After all, what’s the point of having a server room if it doesn’t house your servers? Also, plan ahead and allocate extra space for your server room. If your business and IT needs grow in the next year or two, you don’t want to remodel your office each time you add a new piece of server hardware.

While location, security and size are important planning considerations, there’s still more to consider. Join us next week when we go over more of the basics, such as energy consumption, proper cooling and noise dampening.

Minneapolis-based OAC Technology has been helping small- to medium-sized businesses plan and administer their IT environments for 10 years. We can help your technology meet your business needs while maximizing your IT dollars at the same time. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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