Small businesses often come with small space. At our BlueCore office, we can relate! But one thing we commit to – and encourage all our partners to consider – is a dedicated network closet for any onsite servers and network equipment.
It’s really not as complicated as you might think. A network closet is simply a small room with plenty of lighting and electric service that is used only to house servers, hardware and other technology. Obviously, power is critical to your technology infrastructure and a well-designed network closet will include an Uninterruptible Power Supply (also known as a UPS or a battery backup) that can keep the devices in the closet running for at least 30 minutes in the event of power failure.
While we’re on plugging in, it’s important to mention cable organization. Label the cables (hey, we’re poets!) and keep it simple, clean and systematic.
Your BlueCore team recommends that the room be used for nothing else other than your equipment. Doubling as a storage room for other items can make it difficult to navigate if there’s a problem.
Perhaps this goes without saying, but we also recommend limiting access to the network closet. Keeping it under lock and key can help prevent theft, vandalism and undocumented changes. A few years ago, a scam in the Nashville area had thieves dressed in official-looking uniforms of reputable, recognizable companies approach both large and small businesses trying to gain access to network closets.
Industry best practice is the equipment and information is accessible only on a need-to-know basis. If you’re not expecting a visitor to manage or evaluate your network, don’t give them access to your closet. Feel free to ask them to hang around while you verify their need to be in the network closet with their employer and your IT service provider, but don’t let them in without being confident in their need to be there. In fact, some industries like financial businesses and healthcare have strict stipulations in place for guarding your technology. Limiting access to your server room to just a few people decreases the chances of your equipment or your data going missing.
Be sure your network closet has temperature controls. If you’re able to have a separate heating and cooling unit for your server room, all the better. But if not, there are other options for providing proper ventilation to your network closet, and we can assist with finding the best solution for your space.
Your BlueCore team is always glad to help plan your tech needs, and we can help establish or maintain your network closet. Give your account rep a buzz or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.