How to Design and Maintain a Healthy Server Room Environment

Healthy Server Room Environment

Server high availability is crucial for your medical practice or small business. That’s why it’s so important to maintain high standards for your server environment.

In fact, a healthy server room environment will minimize downtime, and maximize potential revenue. That’s why we compiled the following list to help you increase the longevity and reliability of your server room hardware.

Temperature and Humidity

Install mission-critical servers and network equipment in a room set aside solely for that purpose. This is typically a room in your office where you can carefully control temperature and humidity. That’s because servers perform best between sixty to seventy degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a common misconception that a coat closet or office is suitable for servers and network hardware. On the contrary. For example, on long summer weekends, air conditioning is usually turned off. During this time, enclosed servers cabinets without supplemental cooling create an oven effect. This will eventually result in component failure. The most common server component failures are motherboards, hard drives, and power supplies. In fact, these parts will inevitably fail when temperatures rise above 80 degrees.

Dust and Contaminants

Protect servers and other equipment from dust and contaminants whenever possible. You should remove internal and external dust with an air can periodically. Dust and other contaminants can block airflow or damage fans, thereby causing components to overheat.



Power Considerations

Planning for power outages, like any disaster-recovery planning, is best done long before you anticipate outages, and it involves identifying the resources that are most critical to the operation of the company. When possible, provide power from at least two different circuits to the computer room and divide redundant power supplies between the energy sources. Consider a backup power supply for use in the event of a power failure in your server room. Also, minimize short outages can with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units. Longer duration outages can be handled using standby generators. Include network equipment, such as routers, when reviewing equipment that requires backup power during an outage.

Cable Maintenance

Prevent physical damage to cables in the computer room by making sure cables are neat and orderly, either with a wire management system or tie wraps. Cables should never be loose in a cabinet, where they can be mistakenly disconnected. Make sure all cables are securely attached at both ends where possible and make sure pull-out, rack-mounted equipment has enough slack in the wires, and that the cables do not bind and are not pinched or scraped. Set up proper pathways for redundant sets of wires.

Neglected Server Room Cabling

Neglected Cabling

Server Cabling

Our Latest Server Room Project



Physical Security

For servers that must maintain high availability, restrict physical access for all but designated individuals. Also, consider the extent to which you need to restrict physical access to network hardware. The details of how you implement this depend on your physical facilities and your organization’s structure and policies. When reviewing the security in place for the computer room, also consider your methods for restricting access to the remote administration of servers. Make sure that only designated individuals have remote access to your configuration information and your management tools.

Summary

Contractors and architects frequently overlook a healthy server room environment during new construction. That’s why you need a Managed IT Services Providers (MSP) to advise them during the design and construction phase. So, if you’re in the process of designing and constructing a new server room give us a call. We can assist you during each step of the process and maintain your server room environment afterward. Or, we can also help you migrate your current server environment offsite to one of our data centers.

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About Innovative Computer Systems

Innovative Computer Systems is a Managed Services Provider specializing in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) and Corporate Business Technology. We work closely with our clients to understand their daily workflow requirements. Some of our clients include leaders in Ophthalmology, Facility Maintenance, Pediatrics, Law, Urology, Dermatology, Commercial Real Estate, Internal Medicine and Ambulatory Surgery.