If you’re running a business of a certain size, and you don’t want the insecurity that comes with outsourcing your storage to a cloud provider, then you’ll need to consider building a dedicated, centralised place to serve the storage needs of your premises. Modern PCB connectors and wireless capability have made server technology more powerful than ever before, but it’ll also improve your productivity.
You might suppose that a server room should be located fairly centrally, so as to minimise the length of cable required. But a far more pressing consideration is airflow. Your space should, ideally, not be next to an external wall, or anywhere with windows. Moreover, you’ll need space for air to circulate around the reams of equipment you’ll be installing.
How Big will it be?
The room will need to be able to accommodate everything with room to spare. But much of this room should be at the top, which will allow heat to rise to the ceiling and be vented away rather than becoming trapped there. If you have sufficient room, you might also consider lifting the floor to allow for easy cable management.
What does it Need?
Your servers will be installed into standard 19” racks. These come in various heights, which are described in ‘U’ units. You can think of these as horizontal slices, each coming with three holes for screwing.
Next, we have the servers themselves. You’ll need enough space in the rack to accommodate them all, as well as space for monitors and other supplementary equipment, so you can check the state of your hardware at a glance.
Routers & Switches
The larger the server room, the more likely it is to require a dedicated router. Moreover, businesses of a certain size, which depend on reliable access to the network, might opt for dual connections.
To connect your server room, you’ll need a great deal of cabling. Different sorts of cabling are rated differently according to their maximum speed: the better the shielding, the faster the signal can be without noise becoming a problem.
Your server room will need something called a UPS, or Uninterruptable Power Supply. You can think of this device as being something like a giant battery: when there’s a break in power, it’ll allow your servers to draw upon a reserve for long enough for them to properly shut down. This can help to guard against catastrophic data loss.