NOTE: This story was originally published in September 2013 and updated in April 2017.
Bringing IT in-house and setting up dedicated on-premises servers can be intimidating for a small business, especially given the recent focus on online services. Moreover, resources designed to help tend to assume a medium-sized or enterprise installation, which may not necessarily work well for setting up a small server room or even a closet for a branch office.
With some understanding of the basics, though, setting up your own server room for your small business network need not be an arcane process. Here are some tips for getting started.
Rack-mount equipment makes sense
It’s not uncommon for small businesses to begin operation by stacking server hardware and network appliances on a desk or shelf. Though such a deployment is inexpensive, the pile of equipment invariably expands into an unmanageable mess with the growth of the company. Exposed equipment is also completely open to physical tampering and is a ticking time bomb for accidents such as coffee spills, dust or even workers tripping over wires.