By Helen Brogan, Sales Account Manager, Continu Ltd.

The ideal setup for a server room is not usually top of the list for most SMEs. But consider how important IT is to the running of your business.  Whether you are office based, a manufacturer or a retailer, IT infrastructure is often the backbone to your success. It helps you communicate with clients and potential customers, keeps equipment running efficiently and safeguards transactions. IT is mission critical for most of our businesses.

While the majority of companies take time to protect data through cloud based backups and software updates, many neglect to protect physical infrastructure. It is this physical infrastructure that keeps equipment running at optimal performance and reduces downtime and data lost if things go wrong, therefore it is essential to protect it effectively. Here are our top five tips to set up and maintain your server room:

1. Make sure you have a UPS

We often hear businesses say, “we don’t need a UPS because all our data is safely backed up in the cloud.” This is a typical misconception of small business owners. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) sits between mains electricity and your sensitive IT equipment. The UPS will protect your IT equipment from the many and varied power issues that are supplied into your building from the grid. Not having one can lead to loss of data and damage to your computer hard-drive.  Why take the risk?

2. Maintain your UPS

Once your UPS is installed, maintaining it is a bit like owning a car which requires routine checks. Like any equipment that has moving parts, a UPS also needs periodic maintenance. This simply means having a trained UPS engineer visit a couple of time a year to conduct a visual examination and replace fans, capacitors or filters as needed.

If your UPS protects critical IT systems, you will need a proactive maintenance plan, in addition to these routine checks. For more information on creating a suitable service support plan for your business contact us.

3. Conduct regular temperature checks

Assess the temperature and air circulation of the room where your UPS is housed. Is it constant or are there times when the temperature fluctuates? Large fluctuations can play havoc with your IT equipment and affect the lifespan of your UPS batteries. Is the area clean? Dust and other debris can also cause problems to your I.T. equipment and shorten the lifespan of moving parts.

4. Ensure your sever room is ergonomically friendly!

Is the physical layout of your server area as efficient as it could be? It is best to have full access to your data equipment and UPS’s so you can get to the route of a problem as quickly as possible. Consider raising equipment off the floor with specialised racking and cable management systems for better control. Check out some great examples here.

5. Team Work

Ensure those responsible for facilities management and IT work together and are well trained to safely and quickly respond to events that threaten safety, security or system availability. Have a plan in place, however simple, to ensure if there are power problems you can minimise the panic! Keep your list of emergency numbers handy and remember, if the lights do go out, our team is always here to help.