Protecting Your Server Room From Environmental Threats

Protecting Your Server Room From Environmental Threats

Your server equipment is key to your business – keeping your services online is down to having functional hardware that performs reliably 24/7, 365 days a year. The environment in your server room is therefore of critical importance – you need to maintain the right temperature, keep the room dry, and prevent any natural disasters from affecting equipment inside. Follow these five tips to keep environmental threats at bay.

Remove sources of vibration and motion

Though you would have gone to some lengths to securely fix your equipment to racks, vibration caused by footsteps or the local environment over time can cause connections to loosen and damage spinning hard drives. A vibration sensor can alert you to any problems, while you should consider anti-vibration racks if there is a constant flow of people going past your server equipment.

Keep humidity and moisture at bay

Moisture can lead to hardware failure, so it is important that you keep your server room dry. An Andrews dehumidifier will prevent any chance of invisible water build-up inside your equipment; something that is easily missed and can lead to a system suddenly going down without any warning.

Maintain a constant temperature

Hardware reliability can be significantly affected by ambient temperature. The amount of heat generated by computer equipment is often underestimated, and it is not unknown for the cooling systems involved in a server room to use enormous amounts of power. Don’t underestimate the cooling needs of your server room, especially if you are packing a lot of computing equipment into a small space. Find out what the ideal operating temperature of each piece of equipment is, and keep your server room well within this range.

Intentional destruction

For whatever reason, you may face a scenario where an employee, customer, or competitor wishes to physically destroy equipment. To prevent this, invest in top level security and access control, and regularly audit who is able to access your server room. Though the likelihood of criminal damage is not high, it is not unheard of for an unhappy or disgruntled employee to express their anger by physically destroying equipment.

Protecting against natural disasters

Some regions in the world are prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes or catastrophic flooding. Try to mitigate the risks by hosting your server equipment well away from the ground floor, while investing in a seismic isolation system for your most important equipment. Crucially, make sure that you are able to recover in some way in the event that your entire server room is destroyed: have contingency plans in place to activate a hosting solution in another location.

The next step once you’ve secured your server room and made the necessary adjustments to get the server room environment just right, is to create a plan that helps you regularly review the conditions in your server room. At regular intervals, check that the temperature, humidity, and vibration levels are within a sensible range. Factors which were set at correct levels in the past can drift over time, so regular checks are essential.