These days, cyber security threats to businesses are more widespread and damaging than ever. You may not have had to worry about this all that much when you were in your earliest stages, but now that your business is starting to grow and expand, you may want to replace your cloud tech with an in-house solution in order to mitigate security issues. While data centers can be a great resource for small businesses, they don’t get set up over night! Here are some practical steps for setting up your data center.
Plan for Rack-Mount Equipment from the Start
It’s fairly common for a lot of small businesses to start their data infrastructure off by stacking all their network appliances and server hardware on a desk, or in some unused cabinet. While there’s a distinct advantage in this being relatively low-cost, stacking hardware in such a way will inevitably get in the way as your company continues to grow. Having it out in the open like this also means that it will be exposed to physical tampering and damage, such as coffee spills, dust, or even your employees tripping over the mess of wires. Rack-mount equipment, on the other hand, is designed specifically for this kind of hardware. True, they tend to be pricier, but the physical convenience is worth it in the long run.
Isolate Servers to Mitigate the Noise
The largest, multinational firms in the world will generally have a room separate from the main office space, dedicated to housing their servers. Seen as you’re on this blog, I think it’s safe to assume you’re not so fortunate! Without a dedicated server room, you’ll need to consider noise management, and minimising the distraction caused by the servers’ constant whirring. If it’s at all possible, find a small space separated from the bulk of your workforce where you can house the company servers. However, if you don’t have any other option but to keep it on the office floor, be sure to choose racks with sound-dampening features. This won’t be as effective as a separate space, but will certainly mitigate the noise pollution somewhat. Noise is often overlooked in the data centre building process. Plan for it though, and you’ll thank yourself later!
Beat the Heat
Thinking about cooling and AC is a given for a lot of business’s server building processes. If all you’re planning on using is two or three network switches and a five-bay network attached storage system, then you may not have to worry about cooling at all. However, if you’re going to use more servers, a larger NAS, and an uninterruptible power supply, then the heat of operating it will start to build up quickly. Without a good cooling system in place, you could risk frequent outages and crashes, not to mention some seriously costly damage to your servers. You may want to compare the thermal output of your hardware with the thermal load of the rack, but usually a more straightforward approach of measuring the rack temperature is sufficient.