Important Things To Consider When Planning a Server Room

A server room, also known as a data room, equipment room, network room, telecommunications room or even telecommunications space (if you follow the BICSI guidelines) is where your internal and external communication equipment meet. This is where the cables that connect servers, computers, telephones, printers, wireless, safety and security equipment all come together. It’s a room that single-handedly takes care of all your communication needs and so, it requires significant planning and attention for optimal functionality.

A well-planned server room should provide you with the following advantages:

  1.  A dedicated space for data and voice equipment
  2. Sufficient space and ideal temperature for optimal equipment operation.
  3. Sufficient and efficient workspace for completing moves, alterations and even troubleshooting.
  4. Easy adaptation for growth and expansion needs in the future.
  5. An extra layer of security for equipment that’s vital.

The location and number of server or telecommunication rooms that a company needs depends on the size of the building, quantity and type of equipment being installed as well as the number of floors. The size of the area is ideally based on floor space as well as function.

Cable Management and Termination

Equipment rooms ought to be planned and laid out in a manner that current needs are met and also ensure that they are expandable to cater for future needs. The bigger the installation, the more crucial it is to manage the cables in a clean and more efficient manner. To provide efficiency with adds, moves and changes, it’s important to terminate horizontal ethernet cables on patch panels.

Cabinets, Racks & Enclosures

There’s no denying that every company wants a server room that is organised and neat. To achieve this, you’re going to need a well-thought-out plan for your cables and equipment. When you are planning for equipment mounting solutions, it is imperative to consider the quantity and size of the servers, switches, patch panels, air flow as well as any equipment that supports these items like keyboards, power strips, monitors and uninterrupted power supply or UPS.

Power & Lighting Considerations

There are numerous standards that revolve planning for power in a new server room. Here are a few essential ones to keep in mind:

  1. The data and telecommunication rooms need to have a dedicated power panel.
  2. At least two dedicated alternating currents (AC) duplex outlets are recommended and each has to be on its own branch circuit. The Amperage and Voltage of these outlets are based on the requirements of the equipment manufacturer.
  3. When installing the duplex outlets, they should be position no more than 6 inches apart.
  4. The power outlets should not be controlled by a wall switch in the data room. That’s because someone might see the switch and assume it is in the wrong position, which leads to an entire network shutdown.

Due to the vital nature of server rooms, it is imperative to have backup power available just in case of a power failure. A UPS is also a must and to determine the size required for a UPS, you should first know the power used by your server room equipment.

Temperature Control

We cannot stress enough how vital the ability to control the humidity and temperature of your data and phone equipment is. Overheating is never a good thing in the server room as it could lead to a complete shutdown or even worse, a fire outbreak.

As such, you should check the manufacturer’s requirements for humidity and temperature and tweak your plan to support those requirements. Much of the planning is going to be dictated by the heat output of the equipment as well as the size of the server room.

Access

When most individuals think about protecting their equipment, they tend to only consider threats like viruses and malware. However, anyone who walks into the building could be a potential threat to the network. As such, it’s important to have a door to the server room that is always locked and only accessible to those allowed.

If you need advice or guidance when it comes to planning your server room, why not contact Source UPS and get their expert advice.

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