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Published on March 19th, 2013 | by Keira Rose

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The Dangers of Servers

To the non informed, a server room can be an incredibly complex environment and for good reason! the maze of expensive looking monitor-less computers all attached by a multitude of wires can be confusing even to those who know what they are doing. However, they are a necessary complication, and the complexity goes beyond that of IT. Server rooms come with their own hazards and these must be taken into account if you are looking to build a data centre/server room for your company to avoid disaster!

The most important consideration to take into account when constructing a server room is that of heat. All of the servers in said server room act as an individual radiator. Much like your laptop, tv or desktop at home, each server creates heat. Add all of this heat together and consider the tight spaces into which servers are crammed and you have a potential break out of devastating fire. Losing anything to a fire is bad, but losing your server room could spell disaster due to the loss of crucial data – data that helps your company run! Thus a potential fire hazard in your server room should be taken very seriously indeed. When building your server room, make sure that there is a cooling system installed. The most obvious of which would be air conditioning, but this might not be adequate if the servers are situated too close together. There must be sufficient channels through which the air can flow and any excess heat transported away from the ‘danger area’. So when planning, designing or even building your data centre or server room, it is imperative to bear in mind that this excess heat must be dealt with by an efficient and effective cooling system. If unsure what should be done, it is often best to employ a third party such as Comms Room Services who can then advise on any safety issues during your server room build. Better to be safe than sorry!

Maintenance is maybe not what most would consider to be a ‘danger’ of server rooms. However, it is one of the key aspects of server rooms. When servers are not functioning properly and need some maintenance, this work often needs to be done with the utmost urgency. Many companies are unable to function if their servers are down so when they are not functioning it is of the utmost importance to rectify the problem. Thus, a data centre or server room must be organised and structure to allow quick access for any maintenance team. Wires must be accessible and clearly marked, whilst a blue print of the entire system should be kept so that any third party team can understand where everything is situated very quickly. Furthermore, there is no point having all the servers stacked very neatly against a wall if maintenance teams need to access the back of servers quickly. So make sure that either the stacks are movable or they have 360 degree access.

It is these sorts of considerations that are paramount for creating an efficient server room, but also to prevent any key issues arising (such as a fire or dysfunctional server) which could then translate to the company itself being unable to function for a period of time!

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