Room for Improvement: What Your Server Needs

In small offices, server rooms are often forgotten. They may become dusty, seldom-visited recesses, where components are stacked on top of each other, connected by a tangle of wires. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is the idiom that best describes some small-business feelings about server rooms. But even if your current server is working just fine, you should evaluate whether it could be working better.

Getting Organized

The equipment in a server room generates a lot of heat, so stacking it isn’t the best way to store it. A server rack keeps components separate, and there are racks that have a locking mechanism, so you can keep people from tinkering with equipment.

To organize components, you may need to move some wires, too. Get wires off the floor, and label each end and corresponding ports.

Keeping Cool

Here’s a problem some small businesses face: They lease space in an office building and have no control over environmental heating and cooling. When you rely on an office building’s air conditioning system to keep your server cool, don’t be surprised if your server fails or is sluggish at night, or on weekends.

The air conditioning that keeps workers comfortable is not designed to cool machines, nor is it designed to regulate server room humidity. A server room should have its own environmental controls.

There are cooling units made for server rooms, and some racks may have built-in cooling functions. Ideally, server rooms should be windowless, with no air leaks, so no cooling power is lost.

If temperature control is an ongoing problem, one solution may be to move some or all of your servers to another location entirely.

Moving Servers

Moving a server can be a daunting task. You’ve got to find a good location, set up appropriate telecom service and account for the downtime that will occur. But if the end result is a big increase in efficiency, it’s worth the effort. In some cases, businesses may decide to house servers at multiple sites, because geographic location does affect data speed. Netflix, for example, has servers at 20 different peering locations, so members enjoy higher-quality streaming video.

Instead of outfitting a new location to house servers, many businesses choose to put their servers in colocation data centers. Colocation buildings have specialized climate control for servers, as well as separate areas for office space.

Lifeline Data Centers colocation tenants enjoy a mix of services and have the ability to lease more or less space, as their business needs change. Lifeline also has security systems that small businesses might be otherwise unable to afford. If your server room isn’t the best location for your equipment, find out what Lifeline has to offer. Schedule a tour today.

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Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional
Rich Banta