Creating a Server Room Plan? Consider These 5 Important Factors

Server roomThe connection between your organisation’s in-house equipment and the outside world occurs in the server room. Cables used to connect telephone, server, conference, security, computer, safety and wireless equipment all join together here. Referred to as the telecommunications space, under BICSI rules, it can also be referred to as a data, server, telecommunications, equipment or network room. This area needs to be properly planned regardless of how you refer to it.

Some of the main advantages of a well laid out server room include:

  1. A space committed to housing equipment related to data and voice.
  2. It accommodates additions, changes, moves and troubleshooting operations; server rooms should have enough space.
  3. It ensures that the equipment stored there survives through its entire useful life, the space should support the necessary temperature level and provide a sufficient amount of space.
  4. It accommodates any additions necessitated by growth in the future; the room should be easily adaptable.
  5. For mission-critical gear, the room should have an extra layer of protection.

The amount and type of equipment needed, number of floors, and building size play a huge role in determining the number and location of server rooms that are needed in a given organisation. The floor space and function determine the size of the server room.

Managing and Terminating Cables

When planning server rooms, any future requirements should be factored into the original room layout in addition to meeting current requirements. The need to manage cables in a neat and efficient manner becomes even more important as the size of the installation grows. Horizontal Ethernet cables should be terminated on patch panels in order to facilitate efficient adjustments, additions and relocations.

Controlling the Temperature

When it comes to data and telecommunications equipment, proper management of humidity and temperature is essential. The reset process for equipment that does not overheat is simple; however, sensitive equipment might stop functioning or even lead to a fire if it overheats.

Come up with a plan that ensures that you meet the humidity and temperature requirements set by the manufacturers of each piece of equipment installed in the data room(s). Ensure you consider cold aisle vs. hot aisle containment in this plan. The amount of heat coming from the equipment as well as the size of the space will influence the planning process.

Housing Your Equipment

If you want to organise your server room, leaving it neat instead of messy, you need to come up with a proper plan on how to house all the cabling and gear; some of your options include enclosures, cabinets and racks.

The equipment in the containment including; keyboards, uninterruptible power supply units, power strips, servers, switches, patch panels and even airflow should all be considered when choosing the most suitable equipment housing solutions to be used.

Powering and Lighting-up Server Rooms

When it comes to the creation of an efficient power layout for the telecommunications room, there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind. Some of the things to remember include:

• The inclusion of a dedicated power panel for server rooms.

• It is recommended that you also get for every separate branch circuit a minimum of two dedicated AC duplex outlets.

• The distance between separate quadruplex and duple outlets should not exceed six feet.

• A plug socket should not be used to control data room power outlets. The risk of having the entire network switched off, just because power switches were inappropriately positioned, where they may be mistaken for any other type of switch, increases exponentially.

In the event of a power failure, backup power should be available due to the critical nature of server rooms. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units must be included in the set up. You need to have a clear idea of the power requirements of the equipment in use to identify the right UPS to use.

Physical Access

It is normal for people to only think about virus and malware when it comes to safeguarding their digital assets against external threats; however, your network may also be in danger from individuals within the building. The data room should have a locked door that restricts physical access to authorised personnel only.

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