A server room or network closet is an integral part of any business’s infrastructure. They ensure the smooth operation of your network and telecommunication equipment.
However, many businesses often fail to plan their server rooms and network closets the right way. If you do not plan your server rack installations from the start, it may cause problems in the long run.
Hence, we have come up with our guide for server rack installation. This guide will teach you how to plan your server room, its layout, and equipment placement to avoid problems later on.
Although our guide is detailed and will help you understand the particulars of planning, it is always best to consult experts like Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, for the best server racks, installations, and planning in Florida.
Guide for Server Rack Installation
Firstly, you must identify which racks and enclosures you want and how you want to configure them. To help you better understand your rack enclosure needs, refer to our guide titled “Things to Look for in a Rack Enclosure” here.
Knowing your rack and enclosure needs, along with your equipment needs will help you get started. These requirements vary depending on your business’s nature. Once these things are in order, you can refer to the following planning guide for their installation.
The Server Room
Naturally, your server room should have enough space for all the racks and enclosures that will contain your network and telecommunications equipment. However, you also need to think of the future and the room you choose as your server room should also have extra space for future growth.
Whether inside or outside your facility building, keep the server room away from heat sources when deciding on its location. Your equipment will produce heat, and you need to ensure the heat dissipates to avoid equipment failures and shutdowns.
There are many ways to cool down your server room. Whether you achieve cooling through ventilation ducts, heat dissipation through walls, dropped ceilings, raised floors, or dedicated computer room air conditioners, will depend on your cooling needs.
One big mistake many businesses make when planning server rooms is that they forget to account for server rack delivery. You need to ensure that the doors are tall enough to take delivery and fit your racks and enclosures through it to their destination inside.
Moreover, fully-equipped server racks weigh a ton, which is why your server room floors need to be sturdy enough to handle the weight of several racks, if needed. Next, you need to sort the power supply to your server room.
Make sure your server room provides adequate amperage and the precise voltage for your equipment. Lastly, you will need cable access to and from your server room and this needs to be planned as well.
Now that you have your server room planned, it is time to plan its layout. The layout involves the placement of your equipment-filled racks and enclosures inside the server room.
It is always better to create a blueprint so you have a visual representation, and there are no mistakes. You want to visually understand your server room and the placement of the racks and enclosures relative to the room, each other, and crucial elements like power source and cooling systems.
The layout of your racks and enclosures is important for effective and efficient cooling particularly.
You want to avoid heat circulating and intercepting the cold air supply. Arrange racks and enclosures in rows so that their backs (heat) are facing each other in one aisle and their fronts (cold) in another. This arrangement will create hot and cold aisles.
Such layouts can help reduce your energy consumption by up to 20 percent.
Another creative layout technique, known as “baying,” can help avoid hot and cold air interception by creating a barrier between racks. Create “bay” racks by connecting them side-to-side. With enclosures, you may find that some models incorporating baying hardware to link them with each other.
When it comes to racks and enclosures, the latter offers much more control in terms of heat dissipation and airflow.
Regardless of whether you have open racks or closed enclosures, or if you have just a few for maybe a single row, layout and arrangement still matter. You must ensure that heat from heat sources or equipment in one rack is not being passed to the equipment in another.
Apart from the server room and its layout, your equipment’s placement inside the racks and enclosures is also important. It will ensure that your servers and equipment perform their best, utilize the rack space efficiently, and provide easy access for troubleshooting, services, etc.
Create a well-thought-out plan for your equipment placement beforehand and consider your future expansion as well. Ensure your racks and enclosures have enough space to accommodate your servers and equipment for now and the future.
A few key practices include placing the heaviest equipment at the bottom and not overloading the racks beyond their rating. This placement will also help avoid damage and tipping of the racks if you plan to move them post-fitting.
Try placing your equipment in a way that balances the rack and doesn’t make it top-heavy or unbalanced. Moreover, always remember to push racks when you move them and never pull.
Lastly, you have to think of cable management within the racks and enclosures. Cable management is also important if you want to avoid cables blocking airflow and hinder cooling. Think of cable management to help you plan where to install your equipment.
If you plan to install a rack console or console KVM, you should also consider the placement of the monitor and keyboard. Try placing them at the optimum height for easy access and control. Also, think about spreading high-wattage, high-density loads between several racks and enclosures to avoid hot spots that may create problems later.
Server rack installation is crucial if you want to get the most out of your equipment and server room. The guide for server rack installation given above will help you in planning correctly from the start and avoid future problems with heat, access, mobility, etc.
However, if you want the best guidance on your server rooms, network closets, racks, and enclosures, we highly recommend consulting the experts at Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida.
If you want to learn more about our guide for server rack installations or the best guidance and equipment for your business in Jacksonville, Florida, Contact Us Today.