Designing Your Server Room

Server Support Services
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Organizations today rely on tight integration through their online tools. Real time monitoring, communication, CRM and sales all rely on databases and centralized computing power. All that is provided by your servers, which are at the heart of your business. But where should they be housed?

To keep servers running optimally and safely requires dedicated server space. Modern server equipment comes with vibration dampening and dust tolerance protection. However, prolonged exposure to such environments will affect their performance and longevity. It’s why most businesses choose to keep their servers safe in a dedicated server room.

Dedicated server rooms isolate your servers from day-to-day mishaps and are essential for data security.

Make sure you consult with an experienced server support services provider before you build your server room. Our team helps businesses build efficient server rooms, which minimizes footprint while maximizing security. Here are a few factors you should be mindful of when you design server rooms at your premises.

Server-Support-Services-in-Kitchener

Space equipped to handle server racks

If you have a single server rack today, you’ll be surprised how quickly your business expand into multiple racks as the organization grows. It’s why the space for the server room should be allocated with future needs in mind. The electrical supply too must be configured for this increased demand. Servers rooms will get hot if they are not adequately ventilated. Make sure your room has access to air conditioning inlets and exhausts.

The most important aspects when it comes to designing server space is incorporating redundancy.

Flooring

Believe it or not, servers can get heavy enough to damage the flooring. Thinking of using a plywood sheet to spread the load? Bad idea, plywood is soft and cannot bear the weight of a full server rack. The heaviest of servers can have a caster point load of nearly 500 kilograms. It’s why it is recommended that the flooring in your server room must be bolstered with hardwood such as tempered masonite or plyron.

Access control and intrusion alert

The strict access policy for the server room is a must. Make a list of personnel who has access to your servers. This must include:

  • Employee access
  • Vendor access
  • Server room conduct
  • Monitoring entry and exit
  • Regular visit audits

Use electronic access control methods with either two-factor or multiple personnel authentication to build-in redundancy. A system of key fobs and unique passwords can be used. Limited key access is essential to maintaining data security and tampering with servers.

Cooling and environmental controls

The more cooling you provide for your servers, the less they are to overheat. It is common for environmental controls in the server room to be distinct from other spaces in the building. When servers run at peak capacity, they can generate enormous amounts of heat. In such an event, your ventilation system should be able to expel the heat generated. Speak with your managed services solutions provider about water cooling your servers.

If the temperature or the humidity in the room is reaching dangerous levels, a system of warning your server support services provider should be in place.

Server maintenance best practices require your servers be monitored 24/7 and your server room checked regularly for intrusion and malfunctions.

Power supply

The quality of the electrical supply to the server room needs to be of a higher standard as compared to the rest of the building. Interference and voltage fluctuations can damage servers and cause premature failure. The power supply must be adequately shielded against surges and be able to handle the load of server equipment.

In the event of a power interruption, an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) must be installed. It will give you server support services the opportunity to safely shut down the servers, without data loss.

Cable management

One of the biggest threats to safe server operation is poor cable management. Badly managed cables can cause short circuits and breaks in wiring due to fatigue and heat damage. Even with a single server rack, many networking cables, power cables and other connecting wires can cause a great deal of clutter. Effective cable management relies on careful planning, adequate infrastructure and small business server support that follows a strict cable management policy.

Fire suppression

Water sprinklers are an effective means of suppressing fires in buildings; however, they can cause significant damage. In the case of electrical equipment, water can cause short circuits, which can propagate fires themselves. In order to minimize damage to equipment, your server room should have a waterless fire suppression system. These can be comprised of oil and gas systems which don’t cause short circuits and give your systems enough time to shut down safely.

Server support services in Kitchener

EMKAL works with many small to mid-size businesses in the Kitchener and surrounding areas for their server monitoring and maintenance needs. Our team integrates with your office to ensure seamless service delivery and ensuring server downtime is limited to off-hours. Speak to our small business server support team to find out how we can ensure the integrity of your server. Our support staff is responsive and available when you need it. Let us manage the entire process, contact us today.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Please note that EMKAL is categorized as an essential service and as such we are fully operational during the pandemic. Our staff are working remotely and continue to service our clients’ IT infrastructure and supporting work-from-home solutions. If your organization needs assistance with a remote work solution as part of your business continuity planning, please refer to our Routes Transport case study or contact us to see how we can help.