As more and more businesses rely on computers for the day to day success of their business, businesses are packing more computers in to offices, so that each member of staff has a PC and is truly efficient.
This is excellent, as the businesses are investing in the Technology, but eventually these businesses will discover they computers begin to run slow, then stop! The reason being, most organizations, do not invest in the actual computer room, this is the room dedicated to accommodating the servers and where the network infrastructure is terminated. It’s just the same as having a Formula 1 car and putting standard unleaded fuel in it, it will run but the performance will be no were near what it should be.
An independent survey illustrated this, by poling 50 top UK manufacturers, only 16 had a dedicated Computer Room, that had the relevant security in place to protect their investment, 3 used what you would call a cupboard to house the main server. 1 in particular stored the server in a room 3 feet x 4 feet, with the monitor balanced on the server while the keyboard was on the floor and this was a leading Global manufacturer worth over $5 billion!
To build the ideal Computer Room, you will need;
1. An access control solution. This can be a simple keypad entry system set a 4 digit access code and press the digits to gain access, or a more complete swipe card system, that logs each entry in to the room and sends an email to the Network administrator when someone tries to gain access when they don’t have the necessary privileges.
2. A false floor or suspended ceiling, either one of these are necessary for both structured cabling that runs the army of computers in the offices and air conditioning for cooling of the servers, to ensure the servers don’t crash.
3. KVM switches, these are the devices that can be used to monitor banks of servers from a single monitor and keyboard. KVM stands for Keyboard, video and mouse. The switches can be daisy chained together so that they can control and manage up to 345 servers per monitor, keyboard and mouse. These switches have a fantastic ROI, as they save money on the monitor, keyboards and mice that the business would purchase, as well as the extra expense of increased air conditioning to reduce the heat from the monitors and most importantly save a huge amount of space.
4. Storage of the servers. There are 2 types of storage, rack mount cabinets for rack mount servers and open LAN racking units that store free standing servers, monitors and keyboards etc. These units can be arranged, so they store 20 free standing servers with 1 monitor, KVM switch and keyboard controlling them, they are modular and more flexible for the ever expanding computer room and most importantly the most cost effective solution.
5. Air conditioning: If you have ever been in a computer room when 40 servers have been running for 2 hours, you will know how much cooling they require and this is paramount!
6. Structured cabling: These are the cables that connect each computer and if you were to trace each cable, they would run back to the computer room and to the server. These are normally classified as Category 5e or Category 6 data cabling and there are many Global manufactures of data cabling solutions.