Proper planning is essential for server rack installation, and it will pay significant long-term rewards. If you want to get the most out of your data center, it’s essential to take the time to properly plan whenever you are adding server rack enclosures or any other new equipment.
With the growing importance of issues such as energy consumption, thermal management, and floor space utilization, it’s important to maximize the performance of every item.
There are a number of details involved with any new installation, whether you’re starting a new center or adding servers to existing rack mounting. Here are 7 Action Items to consider for every installation or update to your setup:
- Maintain a detailed diagram of your data center. Whether you have one or two or thousands or racks, make sure anyone can find the right units when they need to, and update your diagram with each modification.
- Take a current inventory and include near-term additions. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is simply adding items to any empty slots or spaces. Think through what units you will be updating or replacing, as well as future additions to your equipment.
- Keep an install kit handy. Time is money, and you know how often you’ve wasted time looking for the right rack screw or cage nut. Also, keep the basic tools in your kit, such as the flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers you always need, plus any cage nut wrenches, flashlights, tape measure, and a level. You may also consider a pad of paper, pencils, a soft-headed hammer, and whatever is unique to your site.
- Measure and re-measure. Like the old carpenter’s rule of measure twice and cut once, you want to carefully measure your rack spaces before you fasten in all the shelves and start installing units. Make sure you take all the issues of thermal management and needed connections into consideration.
- Review your plans with any consultant or team member that is involved with the specific unit or configuration. If you are installing new servers or other items, make sure you have reviewed the provided technical information and/or spoken with the right support personnel for any unique requirements.
- Double-check the thermal management plan for your server rack enclosures. Make sure you are getting the design performance from any rack mounting fans, vented panels, and other cooling equipment.
- Don’t forget about storage. It’s always handy to leave some extra room for rack drawers that can hold spare hardware, CDs and DVDs, and maintenance records.
If you invest a little bit of time in planning, you’ll avoid many of the hassles that result from poor data center installations.