When it comes to the handling and storage of information, specifically digital information, the one word an organization really wants to hear is efficiency and achieving that means having an efficient server system.
As any IT professional working in-house for an organization will tell you they tend to spend a lot of time in the server room so the first priority is to have a server room spacious enough for the IT team to work comfortably in. As the server room is where IT staff do a lot of troubleshooting and routine maintenance it needs to be readily accessible. The issue of accessibility is key because IT professionals need to be able to move swiftly between the server room itself and the rest of the organization, especially those areas and workspaces where IT issues have arisen. The server room must also be a safe area.
If you were to draw up a list of the key elements to be included in the development of an efficient server system the list would include the following:
- Sound-isolated walls, doors and ceilings
- No windows: this is for sound isolation purposes and for security reasons
- A floor finish that is anti-static
- Adequate cooling: a raised floor is one option; the installation of cooler units is another
- Air conditioning to suit the room specifications, with humidity control included
- Computer racks manufactured to standards that include adequate clearance, proper grounding and seismic bracing
- Separate and dedicated power panels for the ventilation and air conditioning and for the computer equipment itself
- Cabling that is compliant with fire codes and other health and safety regulations
- A proper fire-suppression system.
A server room has to be designed with security of access in mind because the data stored in the server system has to be protected. One solution is to restrict key access to those individuals with permission to enter the sever room. If a budget stretches to it, another option is to invest in a system that uses handprint recognition technology.
A server room build has to fit in with the precise needs of an organization so using a contractor that can provide a custom-fit build along with detailed guidance and planning for each step of the build is to be recommended. What will suit one organization will be completely inadequate for another so any business looking to develop a server system has to consider the physical layout of its premises first. Will the server room be a room within a room or will it be completely separate? Another issue to bear in mind is future-proofing and any server system design should leave sufficient room for developing future IT needs.
In any organization, continuity of systems is key. If there is any level of disruption of systems, and IT systems in particular, it can have serious repercussions for the organization and its relationship with such external stakeholders as customers. Therefore, having an efficient and properly functional server system is essential to organizational continuity.