What is a server room?


A server room or datacentre is a special technological room, designed to house servers and other equipment in an air-conditioned environment, with a high quality and fast connection to the Internet and backed-up power supply. The aim is to ensure uninterrupted operation.

What is the purpose of such a server room and why is it necessary? In this day and age of e-shops and online transactions, it is unthinkable that some WWW sites on the Internet have outages. You assume that, for example. your internet banking will run day and night, you’ll be able to use your credit card whenever you book a flight or reserve a seat at a sporting event. Behind all this are servers (specialized computers) that must be running continuously, nothing must disturb them from their work and they must be “in the mood”.

At first glance, it may seem simple. We buy a server, plug it into an electrical outlet, plug it into the Internet and that’s it. But that’s not nearly enough, continuous trouble-free operation is a science.

What must a quality server room contain?

  1. A clean, dust-free environment – any dirt is bad for the servers, it gets clogged up (check your home computer to see how much dust you have). Impurities significantly reduce the life of the equipment.
  2. Power supply – you must not mind a power cut from the power station. So you need UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) that start supplying backup power less than a millisecond after an outage, but can’t supply backup power for very long (usually tens of minutes). That’s why you have to have diesel gensets (generators), which take a little longer to start up and start supplying power (on the order of minutes), but as long as they have a supply of diesel, they can run continuously. And of course, you need to have a sufficient connection from the power plant (datacenters consume a lot of energy), quality wiring, appropriate powerful and reliable circuit breakers, etc.
  3. Quality Internet connection. This connection must be very fast. It also needs to be of the highest quality (shortest possible response time to the rest of the Internet), for which ADSL or cable TV connection is not enough. The connection must also be redundant, i.e. you must take into account the possibility of a failure and have at least one other backup connection that must be switched over immediately if the first connection fails. You also have to take into account the failure of network devices – you must also have them preferably in pairs.
  4. Air conditioning. Servers and other equipment convert significant amounts of electricity into heat. There is a lot of it and you have to get rid of it, otherwise the temperature in the server room will rise by units or tens of degrees Celsius in a few minutes and then the death of all devices will occur. So you need to have air conditioners, properly using them to remove warm air from the room and return cold air to it.
  5. Double floor. It is necessary to run hundreds or thousands of cables (power supply, computer network, etc.) through the server room. They certainly can’t roll around on the ground. That is why the server rooms are used for so-called. a double floor, in the bowels of which (easily accessed by lifting the floorboard) all the wiring is located. Cables can be organized using different cable grids and rails.
  6. Firefighting. When a fire breaks out in a server room, it’s a disaster. Surprisingly, the biggest damage is not the destruction of the devices, but the loss of the data stored on them. Don’t just expect ordinary hand-held fire extinguishers here, there’s a different way to go about it. You must use the so-called. Stable fire extinguishing equipment – large pressure vessels containing special extinguishing gas and pipes leading from them throughout the data centre. In the event of a fire, the space is filled with extinguishing gas, which smothers all flames without damaging the equipment.
  7. Security of the building. No strangers are allowed in your server room. You must arrange physical security of the building, surveillance cameras, access systems, registration of arrivals and departures of people, etc.

What if I don’t have the money for my own server room?

Of course, a server room is not a cheap affair. Prepare millions to hundreds of millions to build it. It doesn’t stop there – you have to pay for electricity (one of the most expensive items), qualified staff, maintenance, inspections. repairs as well.

If you have one server and want to connect it to the Internet, you don’t have to start building your own server room right away. Datacentres also operate on a commercial basis – in some server rooms you rent a place for your computer, they connect it to the electricity network, to the Internet and ensure the quality of the environment.

Other server rooms are private – e.g. Companies like Microsoft and Google have dozens of giant datacentres all over the world just for their own use and no outsiders will ever get into them.