Small server rooms and branch offices are typically unorganized, unsecure, hot, unmonitored, and space constrained. These conditions can lead to system downtime or, at the very least, lead to “close calls” that get management’s attention. Practical experience with these problems reveals a short list of effective methods to improve the availability of IT operations within small server rooms and branch offices. This paper discusses making realistic improvements to power, cooling, racks, physical security, monitoring, and lighting. The focus of this paper is on small server rooms and branch offices with up to 10kW of IT load.
IT deployments for small businesses or branch offices are typically relegated to small confined rooms, closets, or even on the office floor. A common explanation for this, whether from a small business owner or branch office manager, is that “we only had a few pieces of IT equipment so we just put them in here”. This reasoning is often justified when there is little criticality to the larger business if that IT equipment goes down. However, as businesses grow, their reliance and dependence on IT increases which makes them much more sensitive to IT downtime.
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