Today’s world requires businesses and individuals alike to be digitally connected, and that means having the right IT equipment and supplies. However, most small businesses face a similar challenge: allocating a limited budget.
While getting servers and other pieces of equipment is a well-known requisite for startups, there’s still that financial hurdle small business owners must overcome. Fortunately, you don’t need to shell out too much cash as you might expect to have an optimal server setup. Just follow these five tips for setting up your servers on a budget:
1. Find a Location
If you have an available enclosed room in your startup, you can use that to house your servers. An enclosed room can provide your equipment with security and dampen the noise it makes as well.
If you don’t have an empty room at your disposal, it’s fine. As long as the location is secure, spacious enough, structurally sound, and far from water pipes, you can set up your servers there. Remember, when it comes to IT equipment, it’s all about how you set it up.
2. Cool Down Your Equipment
Machines tend to produce a great amount of heat, and IT equipment is no different. When it comes to cooling servers, the first thing you must consider is to place them in a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration. That way, you won’t need to invest in a powerful yet expensive cooling equipment.
Another thing you have to consider is getting the right cooling fan and an AC unit. Many server racks allow fan installation, so you might want to make the most of that advantage.
3. Install Your Servers Right
When you’re browsing the net for server racks, you may have come across server cabinets. So here’s a friendly advice: cabinets do offer better security against theft, but they cannot provide equipment with as much airflow as racks do. Server racks are also more affordable, so they’re perfect for small businesses.
If you’re willing to invest more in your server storage option, server cabinets are great too. Some high-quality server cabinets come with slots to allow optimal airflow. Plus, they come with locking doors for extra security, so you can rest assured that your expensive servers won’t get stolen.
Of course, no matter how much you’ve spent on your rack-mount equipment and server rack, all of these will just be a waste if you don’t install everything properly. That’s why you have to make sure that you’ve read the manufacturer’s manual thoroughly before installing your equipment.
4. Organize Your Cables
Messy cables aren’t only a pain to look at—they’re also extremely hazardous. We all understand how tedious organizing cables can be, but it is a must when you’re using servers and other pieces of equipment. Doing so can prevent trips and falls—hazards that not only harm people but also damage your equipment.
Apart from organizing them with the use of cable panels and ties, it’s best to label each of them. That way, you can avoid confusing one cable with another in the future, especially when you have to make adjustments or fix your equipment.
5. Power and Back Them All Up
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must have a compatible power supply and a backup power unit for your equipment. Regardless of how rare power outages are in your area, it doesn’t hurt to protect your equipment against damage or to prevent data loss in the event of a blackout. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It always makes sense to invest in a backup power supply unit.
To Sum It Up
If you’re still in the early stages of your business, you need to figure out what your priorities are in order to budget properly. This fact rings especially true when you’re investing in IT equipment and supplies. In other words, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on servers and equipment using the latest technology. It all boils down to setting up your equipment efficiently and investing in only what you need. Keep in mind that you can always buy more pieces of equipment and furniture as your business grows. If you’re planning to set up a new server room, read this helpful guide on how to set up a server room to get started.