A room where server hardware will be installed must meet certain criteria. This is due to the operating conditions of servers, their power consumption, and the operation of the cooling system. It is best to allocate a separate room for switching equipment, to which unauthorized persons will not have access.

If you wonder the question of “what is a server room used for”, this is the premise that serves as storage for switchgears and a large amount of active networking equipment. Distribution points and passive distribution devices (patch panels, cross-countries, junction boxes) can be placed in the server room.

How to Pick an Optimal Size of the Premises?

Before proceeding toplan the selection of equipment, you need to choose proper premises for accommodating server furniture and devices. Each data center is unique, but let’s define the general requirements:

  1. The presence of one double electrical outlet with grounding for every three linear meters of any wall. If there are more outlets, great. Don’t forget grounding. If the building is not new, it is advisable to change the electrical wiring in the server room, create your own ground loop, make sure that the protection against lightning discharges is good so that there are no problems with electricity.
  2. The floor must withstand a maximum distributed load of at least 12 kPa (approximately 1200 kg for the entire area), a maximum concentrated load of 4.4 kN (approximately 450 kg per sq. m.)
  3. Use halogen lamps to illuminate the room to reduce electrical noise. Modern economical LED lamps are also a good option. They not only save electricity but also emit less heat, which is especially important in summer.
  4. Prefer locations being away from sources of electromagnetic radiation.
  5. The minimum allowable size of the data center is 12 sq. m; less area is undesirable. It is desirable to leave extra space for future expansion.
  6. The air conditioning system must maintain a temperature of 21-24 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 30-55%.
  7. Proximity to the electrical switchboard will allow saving the power cable.
  8. The room of a rectangular shape, without niches, columns, and bends is preferable since it facilitates theequipment’s placement in it, creates favorable conditions for air conditioning, and is also convenient for the maintenance staff.
  9. Ceiling heights should not be lower than 3 m. since in most cases, the height of a standard telecommunications rack is 2100 mm, with the minimum required space above it for the removal of warm airflowbeing 500 mm.
  10. Since the main cross will also be located in the server room, it is desirable that suchpremises be equidistant from the opposite ends of the office space or building. For example, in a six-story building, it is best to place the server room in the center of the third floor.
  11. The server room should not have windows since this is a source of many dangers, starting from unauthorized access up to solar radiation, which will complicate air conditioning.
  12. It is important to carefully consider the load capacity of the floor and load-bearing structures. In particular, you will need to install UPS (uninterruptible power supplies), and they have considerable weight. An unloading platform may be required.
  13. Avoid any mains and branches of engineering systems, for example general utility sewerage, cold and hot water supply, general ventilation, and air conditioning.

What Type of Hardware is Stored in the Server Room?

In addition to answering the question of “what is the server room?”, let’s find out what kinds of devices are housed there. The following types of equipment are found in absolutely every data center.

Server Racks & Cabinets

So, having chosen suitable premises, let’s move on to installing network equipment in it. In order for the devices to be organized, server racks are needed – special constructions designed for convenient, compact, and safe placement of electrical and optical datum transmission equipment. Racks are intended for operation in ventilated closed premises of offices or businesses. Racks with walls and doors are, in fact, server cabinets. You can buy server racks on the sysracks.com. A wide variety of models is represented on the website.

A good cabinet is capable of passing at least three generations of active equipment through itself, with the involvement of minimal costs for improving the technical characteristics of the equipment built into it. The server cabinet means optimal accessibility, maximum use of space inside, durability, strength, thoughtful design, etc.

UPS and Power Supply

When you have one server, then one powerful UPS is enough. Modern servers are easy to order with two-input power supplies, so it’s easy to provide power backup even if there is no backup input. But the server room must be equipped with an uninterruptible power supply, and it is important to solve this issue at the design stage, not forgetting about impulse protectors, protection against lightning discharges, power failures in the city, and protective grounding.

Network Cabling

Hardware should be connected somehow. Thus, a great amount of cables are found in data centers. Patch panels, loops, rings, and other accessories are used to effectively manage cords.

Routers and Switches

These are devices that connect several nodes of the same or different computer network(s). Such nodes can connect both computers and other devices: printers, servers, and so on. The switch is capable of transmitting information from the sender to the recipient only within this local area network.

Additional Equipment

The data center needs to be protected from at least three more factors: unauthorized access, fire, and flooding. To provide security against unauthorized access, it is desirable to equip the door with a decent lock, perfectlywith an electronic one. It is better to provide access to the server room only to administrators.

A fire alarm system is an obligatory tool for every premises.

Flooding protection is implemented due to the use of special sensitive sensors that control the moisture level and react to the raise of the indicator in the environment.

When you know the answer to the question of “what does a server room do?”, selecting proper premises for data centers seems to be a complicated task. Many factors can damage or influence hardware functioning. Thus, too many conditions must be met. However, do not neglect this issue since the durability and performance of expensive equipment and the entire system depend on the rightly picked room for hardware accommodation. Taking into account the above-mentioned criteria and pieces of advice, you’ll cope with the task and find the best possible solution.