Saving in the Server Room

Once in a blue moon, IT professionals will find they have to set up a server room from scratch. Since this situation doesn’t occur often, many of these professionals lack a working knowledge of how to do it. But it pays to do it right the first time.

“[Setting up a server room is] not the kind of thing that you do every day. You only do it when you move into a new location, and then you don’t do that very often,” said Paul Holstein, co-founder and COO of “So you’re relearning every time.”

Instead of just winging it, IT pros can follow a number of commonsensical tips to start out on the right foot, leading to less wasted time and more reliability in the future, Holstein said.

First, use the same manufacturer whenever possible. This will make maintenance and troubleshooting easier down the road, since you will only have to call one help desk. And if you’re worried about costs in these tough economic times, you don’t necessarily have to go with top brands such as Cisco and 3Com. You can opt for others such as Netgear or D-Link, Holstein said.

The other top considerations are space, air-conditioning and fire protection.

In terms of space, Holstein said many people dedicate a tiny closet off in the corner for their server rooms, which is a mistake. Instead, he suggested they make sure it’s centrally located, which will facilitate effective cabling.


Meagan Polakowski


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