back to article How to build a server room: Back to basics

Dave Cartwright, an IT operations manager for a telecom company, recently compiled a list of dos and don’t for IT infrastructure buyers for El Reg. The article was well received but… ”the writer obviously moves in better circles than I do”, says Reg reader Hatless Pemberty In response, Hatless - we can call him that, can't we …

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Power issue, what power issue?

If you need more power from the cleaner's hoover socket you simply plug in extra '6-way mains lead' things which supply more wobbly amps. And for super power security, there are 'mains adapter blocks' which indicate their functionality by glowing and giving off acrid exhaust fumes as they generate more current ... a 6 way with 6 three way blocks - that's 18 times the power!

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A good series...

...would be the stories behind each of these points. Clearly Hatless had his hat burnt/fall off whilst running out of a burning server room/lost without being able to retrive Indiana Jones style from under an unreinforced server room.


Re: A good series...

We all have to start somewhere.

I've also seen floors collapse because "the guys who did our office floor, you know, the one with the carpeted tiles, did such a good job they might as well do the computer room".

I guess the point I was trying to make is that building a proper Data Centre is easy beacuse they costs a chunk of money and often are designed from scratch so even the worst PHB can see the need to have proper project management, buy proper equipment and hire proper professionals. And so, all the points from the original arcticle (all very true) are less likely to be missed (YMMV)

The real problem is at the bottom end because the cost of the "extra stuff" can be disproportionate compared with the cost of the IT you want to buy (plus it is never budgeted for). Every university has some researcher that bought a couple of blade chassis only to discover they cannot plug the bloody things anywhere.

In these cases, hosting and/or collocation can be a better solution but these are the same people who cannot bear the thought of keeping their precious servers off-site, don't have the staff to manage things remotely and cannot work out that depreciation is a real expense. And so, the poor bastard with the root password has to make lemonade.

It shouldn't be like that but that's life.

P.S. My typing skills suck.


Floor loadings

I can testify with regard to floor loading problems. Even if it has an access floor already installed. Actually, especially if there is an access floor -- they come in different strength levels and add an appreciable amount of weight to a structure.

Decades ago, I was helping some friends of mine (different company) and our IBM field engineers install a new IBM 3033 mainframe. As we were pushing it into the computer room, we noticed that we seemed to be going "down hill" a bit. Caution ruled and we pushed it out on their loading dock while we investigated.

We opened up the suspended ceiling in the employee's cafeteria below and found chunks of concrete which had spalled from the deck. Imminent structural failure.

IBM had to take the machine back until they built a new data center (about two years later!).

Oooops. I wonder how much an IBM 3033 depreciates if it drops a floor? :-)


have atleast 1 fan for an exhaust for the winter to save on heating


Any cable management tools?

Just want to know when do we need a cable management tool? Like the patch panel, or cable ties. Do you guys connect the cables directly to the switch or router?



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