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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

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