Many small business owners are reluctant to rely on a third-party service to store business data for various reasons – whether it is the cost involved or privacy concerns. The thought of setting up your own server room can be daunting; however this needn’t be the case. Here are our top tips for doing so without a glitch:
Secure your server room
One of the most important considerations when setting up your server room is its safety and security. A combination lock or card access to the door would be ideal, and a record should be kept of who knows the combination and who has card access. There needs to be a policy in place also to make sure the server room is always locked when not in use; it is easy for an unauthorised person to do enormous damage to your server room.
Invest in an Air Conditioning Unit
Keeping your server room at the right temperature is essential, so you should invest in at least one air conditioning unit to keep your server room cool. Even if your server room is currently on quite a small scale, it is likely that as time goes on you will gain more equipment and air conditioning will become necessary. High temperatures shorten the life of your equipment dramatically and reduce its performance, resulting in crashes. Whilst an air conditioning unit may seem expensive initially, it should more than pay for itself over time.
The space available in your server room is very important; not only do you have to consider what you will do if your business expands, but also make sure it is safe to manoeuvre around in and avoid over-heating and damage to equipment. You need to make ample space for a desk, printer etc, as well as a secure cabinet for storing tapes. There has to be a good amount of space available to access all cables and leads, without you crawling through small spaces and accidently causing damage. You could use clips to keep cables safely off the floor.
Whilst labelling may seem unnecessary to the experienced staff member setting up a server room, it is important to consider how confusing everything could get if your system is added to, or a new member of staff or a repair person needs to access the room. Investing a small amount of time to label and document everything during set-up stage could avoid catastrophic mistakes down the line. You can draw diagrams to show how everything should fit together, and label each item with its name and network address. Finally, make sure there are copies made of this and kept somewhere safe!
Often small businesses set up their server room with stacked server hardware and appliances on a desk, but this can quickly descend into a mess of wires that is open to gathering dust and spillages. You will need to invest a little more money for specially designed racks, but this will keep your equipment safe and tidy, as well as cooler.
Data Recovery Plan
Emily Bradbury is writing on behalf of BTI Computers, suppliers of server room control systems to keep your business running smoothly.