Requirements and components of a server room

A server room is a space in an organization that is dedicated to housing the computer server and major networking devices. It is a critical room for any organization that has computerized its operations since that is where its data and processes reside.

The main component in the room is a computer server that stores, processes and manage data, users, and applications for the organization. Other components include routers, racks, cabinets, network switches, and UPS among others for effective operations.

To establish a server room you will need to consider room size, security, power supply of the room, temperate, and fire control among other factors we discuss in the article.

Components of server room

  1. Computer servers: this is where the room gets its name and it is the main component. The room can have one or more server computers depending on the organization’s requirements and capacity.
  2. Routers and networking switches: networking devices are the other core components that help connect the server computer to all other devices in the organization. Mostly, you will find that the internet from the provider goes into a router in the room then it is distributed from there.
  3. Power backup and uninterruptible power supply (UPS): being a critical data point of the organization the room should have a power back or UPS to reduce server downtime. Remember if the server is hosting service access over the internet then it should at least have over 99% uptime.
  4. Air conditioning and cooling system: all these other components generate a lot of heat and so they will need a cooling system. It can have an air conditioning system that monitors temperature and humidity at the same time.
  5. Racks and cabinets: these are used to store and organize components within the room. They are used to position servers and other networking components.
  6. Fire fighting equipment: the room should have fire equipment just in case of a fire breakout.

Server room requirements

There are several requirements that a server room should meet in order to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of the servers and other equipment. If your organization is planning to establish a big data center that meets international standards you can use ISO standard ISO/IEC 22237-1:2021 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures

In this article, we will discuss the basic requirement for a normal business functional server room. These requirements include:

The physical location of the server room and the size

The area and room selected should be in an area that has minimal traffic from staff. If possible it should not be in a location that can flood. Most probably it should not be positioned on the ground floor. The size of the server room should be enough to accommodate all the components that will be needed and leave space for later expansion.

Server power supply

A server room and its components utilize more power hence the need to have a stable power supply. It should have a UPS or automatic generator to ensure the devices don’t go OFF. The amount of power required will depend on the number of servers and other components that are in use.

Air conditioning for the server room

As we have said the devices generate a lot of heat and they require cooling and temperature control. Ensure the room doesn’t get too hot or cold since either extreme will affect the components. This can be achieved by using an automatic air conditioner that can control both temperature and humidity. You can still supplement that with having fans on the rack and cabinets and ensuring the room is well-ventilated.

Room security and access control

A server room is a secure space that should only be accessed by authorized personnel only. If possible the room should be located away from a lot of human traffic to reduce cases of accidental access to the room. The room can be locked using secure locks and if the organization can afford it should implement biometric authentication.

It should have CCTV monitoring both inside and outside at the entrance of the room. If it has windows they should be reinforced by having grills for extra security. Windows are not recommended in a server room.

Cable management

This is the process for organizing and securing the cables in the server room. To effectively manage the room and keep it clean and organized the cables should be managed from the beginning. Power cables should be in trunking where possible and insulated at all times.

For networking cables, they should be on their trunking. You can also use cable ties to secure them where trunking is not possible.

Fire prevention system

A server room should have an automated fire extinguisher to protect the server and other equipment from damage in case of a fire outbreak. In addition to an automatic fire extinguisher, we can also have an appropriate manual one.