As businesses continue to grow and expand, the need for a data center is becoming a high priority. Some organizations may run short on storage space and require a secure place to store and process data. Other organizations may want a secure channel to give out huge amounts of data to users who visit their website. No matter what the needs are, a data center improves efficiency and security.
A lot of planning is required to operate a data center to make sure everything runs smoothly today as well as in the future. Different equipment is used to run different types of data centers.
We put together a list of must-have data center equipment for small businesses.
The server rack is a configuration or a frame to accommodate multiple pieces of IT equipment. Things like servers, HUB, storage, and network switches. The server rack enhances the efficiency of data center operations and network management. As space and computing power required to run a data center increases, server racks achieve high density. Properly using server racks can stimulate the integration of several network equipment in a protected, organized, and efficient manner.
The types of server racks are:
Open Server Rack
Open server racks have mountain rails without doors or sides. It is an open-air architecture for expanding network equipment. Open server racks are used when there is no need for added airflow control and physical security.
A Server cabinet, also known as an enclosed rack, has side panels, front and rear doors with four adjustable vertical mounting rails. With the ability to lock side panels and doors, a server cabinet ensures the security of physical equipment at the rack level.
Wall Mount Rack
A wall mount rack is a savvy piece of architecture as it is attached to the wall. It saves floor space and can be accommodated in areas where other racks can’t fit well. It is intended for housing network equipment like switches and fiber patch panels.
Environmental Control Systems
Maintaining the right balance of environmental conditions ensures the proper functioning of a data center. The intense humidity and overheating conditions can cause system failures and damage hardware components. It is important to maintain optimal conditions and keep the facility air-conditioned through environmental control systems, such as:
A data center cannot function without air-cooling units in place. These units can be traditional water coolers or air conditioners. Air-cooling units ensure the proper temperature is maintained in a data center at all times.
Moreover, airflow is an important aspect which, if ignored, can lead to hot spots that can damage equipment. Not to mention, poor airflow can cause equipment to shut down and create massive problems for business operations. Airflow can be managed by using a cooling fan, fan trays, air pressure, etc.
To ensure proper system operation, the ideal humidity level is between 45% and 50%. As air conditioning units are deployed in a data center, a humidifier helps maintain the ideal level. A humidifier helps avoid potential rust problems and reduces the risk of static and electrostatic discharges.
The monitoring of environmental conditions is crucial as it helps increase the response time when failures occur. You can place sensors and even remotely monitor temperature and humidity readings allowing your system to react whenever necessary. Connecting an HDMI dummy plug, will allow you to monitor the environment remotely in 4k resolution without the need for an additional monitor at the site.
Computer network equipment consolidates business networks. Devices are connected through a network to share data smoothly. Different network equipment includes switches, hubs, routers, bridges, repeaters, multiplexers, gateways, firewalls, transceivers, etc.
Each computer network equipment serves a definite and particular purpose for a data center to function efficiently.
Redundant Power Supply
Backup capabilities are critical for the smooth management of a data center. If the primary electric supply source is compromised due to severe weather or power line damage, the downtime period can prove costly.
Therefore, a redundant power supply is a must. A dual-path power distribution system can be deployed to give power to dual-corded IT equipment through two separate paths. So, if one path fails, the other can pick up the load.
Most of the data centers use standby power generators to provide redundancy. If you’re using a power generator, make sure that you have properly synchronized it with the UPS system.
Some data centers use large battery backup systems. All the power flows through this battery backup. In case of any power failure, these batteries will supply electricity.
While much of the data center infrastructure can be remotely managed and controlled, physical items like cables require manual intervention for provisioning cross-connects. Data center cable management is a daunting task. If it is not properly managed, it can result in an unsafe environment.
Powering several fans with a 1 to 5 fan splitter fan hub can help reduce unnecessary cables and keep the area clear of obstacles.
Ensure pathways products like cable trays are placed to allow accommodation of data center trunk cables and cross-connect cables between racks and cabinets.
Horizontal and vertical wire managers ensure cabling pathways in and around the cabinet and or rack. Using a DCIM software can track every physical connection and provide real-time transparency of physical network capacity.
When you design a data center, each of the above-mentioned equipment should be at the top of your list. A proper data center management will maximize work efficiency and reduce the risks of downtime.