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Optimize Your Office Server Room Or Else

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Tired of hosting sensitive data off-site? Do you want to have hands-on access with your data? Adding a server room to an office is a bit more complicated than throwing all of your servers into the spare closet and calling it good. You get a lot of benefits from having all of your servers at the office, but there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind when setting up a server room. Here are four of them.

1. Space

The first consideration is the most straightforward of them all. How much space do you need to physically fit all of your private servers? You don't want to cram in the servers, network cables and cooling system in as tightly as possible. You need some room for proper air ventilation and to provide space for the IT department to have easy access for troubleshooting and maintenance. Also, keep in mind green practices when setting up your room, which we detail in a previous post here. Not only do you have immediate benefits such as creating an eco-friendly and progressive space in your office, the City of Seattle found making offices greener has an effect on reducing the number of sick days your employees take. Since you're building everything from the beginning, it makes sense to keep the server room as green as possible. Consider using a portable air conditioner for cooling, and contain and exhaust hot air before it permeates the space.

2. Hardware Requirements

The joy of having a server room on-site is that you can pick whatever server hardware you want. The downfall is that you need to know your business' server requirements so you purchase enough servers to keep up with demand. You can base initial estimates off the type of server hardware you use with your virtual private server hosting provider, and identify areas you'd like to change. Maybe you'd like more memory in the servers or a different hardware vendor. Match your server needs to your software requirements. You also don't need to get quite as many physical servers as you are using through a web hosting company, if you choose to use virtualization. Another hardware consideration is your cooling system. All of those servers in one room are going to be hot, and climate control is essential to keeping everything in good working order.

3. Software Requirements

Some hardware vendors bundle your servers with operating systems and common business and enterprise applications. However, in many cases you're responsible for the cost of software licenses for your servers. Make a list of all applications you're currently using, and ensure the server technology you purchase is compatible with your mission critical software.

4. Security

One of the most important considerations for your server room is security. Your data is essential to your business, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information, such as customer orders. You don't want just anyone having access to the physical server hardware, any more than you'd allow hackers to run rampant on your network. Requiring key card use, monitoring servers with videos, and employing security guards are all measures you can use to keep an on-site server room safe and secure.

Are you considering creating a server room for your office? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

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By: James Osgood

Office Space , Office Space Design

Houston Office Space Market Update

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The fourth most populous city in the U.S., Houston, Texas, is home to over 2.1 million people.  Initially the commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton, Houston was pivotal in the development of the Texas petroleum industry upon the discovery of oil in 1901.  In the 1970’s, Houston experienced a population boom due to the numerous employment opportunities offered by the petroleum industry.  The 1990’s recession led to a more diversified economy, focusing less on petroleum and more on aerospace and health care.  Today, Houston is known for its energy industry, with renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, growing.

Houston is a multi-cultural city with the heart of its business sector being located in the downtown district.  Downtown Houston is home to several Fortune 500 companies, such as Chevron, JPMorgan and Shell, with a workforce of over 150,000.  In the first quarter of 2013, Houston’s CBD office market experienced the majority of activity with over 558,000 sq ft of occupancy and overall Class A asking rents averaging $36.86 sq ft.

But the good news doesn’t stop there.  Houston’s office space market is made up of several core submarkets which are experiencing solid growth as well.  The 2013 office market outlook for Houston’s most in-demand submarkets is positive, with expected gains in absorption and increases in rental rates.  From a Tenant perspective, those willing to look outside the core submarkets are expected to see lower rental rates and more favorable concessions from landlords.  Overall, inside the core submarkets, Houston is expected to retain its landlord favorable conditions until new developments come to market.

Market

Vacancy

Net Absorption

Rental Rates

Downtown

9.8%

-291,698

$36.38

FM 1960

30.2%

1,508

$24.68

Katy Freeway

3.8%

157,085

$29.92

Northwest

11.3%

20,049

$22.80

South

0.00%

0

$25.63

Southwest

18.2%

-30,085

$17.01

Woodlands

2.3%

21,669

$31.49

*1Q 2013 - CoStar Property

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By: James Osgood

Houston Office Space

Get Away from the Kids by Trying a Summer Rental of Office Space

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So summer is here, and the “livin’ is easy,” right? Not really. Unfortunately, the living is only easy if you’re not trying to work out of your home office in the midst of a house full of kids on summer vacation. While the idea of starting a business in your home was a great idea in the silence of winter, the distractions are many and your ability to concentrate is evaporating as fast as your patience in the summer heat.

What can you do? We suggest that you try out the rental of office space for the summer. Fortunately for you, there are an increasing number of small office alternatives out there, and we can help find the right one for you.

One cost effective option is coworking. In this scenario, the office setting is generally sparse and functional, and the focus is on community and collaboration. While there will sometimes be conversations going on around you, it’s easier to listen to music on your headphones and tune them out when none of them is tugging on your sleeve to get your attention as your children are while you’re trying to read this blog. You might discover, like many who use this type of setting, that the positive working energy of the people around you can help focus your own endeavors. You can arrange to try it out for a couple of months without making a long term commitment, in order to see what this low cost option has to offer. You could well discover that you’re even more productive in this setting than you would be on your own at home, even in the silence of winter.

If you fear you would still be distracted by the conversations and coworkers around you, you can always try an executive suite for the summer. These are individual offices with shared utilities, receptionist and meeting space. In this scenario you would have a room to yourself, allowing you all the privacy and silence you need to get your work done. Again, it’s perfectly possible to negotiate a few months’ trial period, which would get you through the summer months of chaos at home.

If you are ready to find out more about these appealing options, contact us today to discuss your particular needs, and we’ll find you a place where the work space, if not the living, is indeed easy.

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By: James Osgood

Coworking office space , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Office Rental

Denver Office Space Market Update

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Denver, The Mile-High City, is home to more than 600,000 people, making it the 23rd most populous city in the United States.  Founded as a mining town during the Gold Rush, Denver has developed into one of the top 10 markets to watch, according to PricewaterhouseCooper.

Due to its location and desirable climate, Denver is an attractive city to both industry and citizens seeking “green” initiatives and “clean” living conditions.   From its proximity to transportation, its walkability, its bikeability, cultural life, sports teams, and burgeoning restaurant community, the city, as a whole, offers a little something for everyone.

Overall, Denver’s office market continued to grow in the first quarter of 2013. Vacancy rates fell to 16.9%, down from 17.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Quarterly absorption of 149,494 square feet was posted for the Class A sector. There are currently five development projects in process, consisting of 635,643 square feet of new space.

The Denver office market is made up of several submarkets.  Quarterly absorption was moderate in all submarkets, with the exception of Southeast Suburban (SES). SES posted first quarter absorption of 293,473 square feet, with vacancy rates of 15.7%.  See the chart below.

Submarket

Class

Vacancy

Absorption

Rental Rate

Aurora

A

B

19.39%

28.78%

0

-32,661

$16.85

$15.00

CBD

A

B

13.97%

15.15%

23,575

-8,580

$30.25

$23.00

Midtown

A

B

13.65%

12.40%

6,791

27,167

$24.60

$18.25

Northeast

A

B

18.80%

13.33%

23,964

14,596

$25.00

$16.30

Northwest

A

B

17.64%

23.44%

34,833

-39,547

$23.50

$17.00

Southeast

A

B

19.89%

25.51%

-7,211

3,607

$19.00

$15.30

Southeast Suburban

A

B

13.5%

17.84%

103,413

188,319

$24.25

$17.90

Southwest

A

B

11.24%

19.08%

4,653

6,436

$20.50

$17.00

West

A

B

13.32%

23.11%

-40,524

-16,188

$19.50

$17.00

 

The outlook for 2013 is positive for the Denver market and is expected to be a year of expansion.  Positive absorption is projected for all submarkets, as well as continued rental rate increases projected for the Central Business District.

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By: James Osgood

To buy or Rent Office Space-Which is Better?

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Business owners face an important decision when determining whether the purchase or rental of office space is best.  When making this determination, a number of things need to be taken into consideration in order to make precisely the right choice.

One of the biggest factors to consider is the amount of cash that can be put out up front. Entrepreneurs must usually put out more money in the beginning whenever they are buying office space rather than leasing it. That’s because they must generally pay for appraisals and building inspections in addition to providing a down payment. Since young businesses could be struggling to come up with operating cash, many of them elect to rent office space until they have become better established.

A disadvantage to renting rather than buying is that it is easier to develop a long-term budget when buying. That’s because monthly mortgage payments tend to stay the same over the life of the loan, whereas rental costs can increase from time to time. Rent is typically based on current changes in the market, so the amount of fluctuation in a given area should be considered carefully when choosing whether to rent or buy.

Renting gives business owners greater flexibility when it comes to moving their establishment. Those who purchase office space could find themselves being unable to relocate until they are able to sell their current building. When buying commercial property, it’s important to think about the future needs of a company. That way, business owners can make sure there is ample room for expansion at their current location so that moving the establishment later is less likely to be necessary.

At Office Finder, we understand the dilemma business owners face when choosing whether to rent or buy property.  We currently serve over 550 markets, and offer office space for rent or for purchase. Contact us today to find office space located in your area.

For more detailed information visit our lease vs buy page and/or click on the Lease vs Buy link below which will take you to more blog posts.

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By: James Osgood

Buying Office Space , Lease vs Buy , Office Space