Pick your room
There are several factors to consider before settling on a dedicated space for your server equipment. First and foremost is size. Make sure that it’s not just large enough to accommodate your server but is also easily accessible to IT staff for maintenance, as well as being an area that receives adequate ventilation.
Speaking of airflow, all that heat put out by your server will shorten its lifespan dramatically if you don’t find ways of reducing it. Fit vents to the windows or outer walls to suck cool air in and allow hot air to be removed.
You’ll also need an active cooling system to force the hot air away from your equipment and out of the room – a simple commercial fan won’t be adequate for all but the smallest server setups. If you invest in AC racks, place them in front of the server rack to ensure cold air enters from the front and hot air exits from the rear. Bear this in mind when positioning your server rack too, so the rear is closest to any vents or open windows. If the server is operating 24-7, make sure that the AC is permanently switched on too.
One additional consideration: noise. Servers can make quite a racket, so if your server room is sited near to staff, invest in soundproofing to avoid irritating or distracting them.
Tidy those cables
A tidy server room doesn’t simply look professional, it has practical benefits too. Investing in proper cable management systems improves ventilation by improving airflow around hot components, plus it helps your IT staff work efficiently.
Think carefully about how this will work. Label all cables for easy identification – a label printer can help here. Identify each network cable by IP address and destination, plus invest in patch panels to group them all together. Finally, make the effort to tie cables together using Velcro rather than plastic ties to make them easier to swap out should the need arise.