4 Ways to Upgrade the Server Room to Meet Today’s Demands

Organizations of all sizes are modernizing their IT environments with more advanced servers, storage, and networking gear. The latest IT equipment has the performance to support increasingly complex workloads and growing numbers of users and devices.

In their rush to modernize, however, many organizations overlook the server room itself. Older server room infrastructure may not meet the power, cooling, and structural requirements of new systems. Inadequate server room resources can cause unplanned downtime and shorten the expected lifespan of the equipment.

There are three options in this situation. Organizations can build out a new data center — an expensive proposition — or move their equipment offsite to a colocation facility. However, often the best approach is to undertake server room upgrades to improve reliability, flexibility, and power and cooling efficiency.

Developing a Server Room Upgrade Plan

To get the most value from a server room upgrade, it’s important to develop a plan of action. The first step is to identify any deficiencies in the current infrastructure. Is power being managed effectively? Are there hotspots in the server room that could spell trouble for high-performance equipment? Could changing the server room layout increase available space and simplify management? Is there enough backup power to meet current and future needs?

Next, consider the added value a server room upgrade could deliver. A well-planned upgrade can increase efficiency, reduce risk, and better prepare for future demands. Organizations can meet those objectives by focusing on four areas.

Power Distribution and Management

Ensure that power distribution units (PDUs) have the right number and type of outlets to support equipment without overloading. This is also an excellent time to evaluate network-connected PDUs that provide metering capabilities and switched outlets for remote power management. Zero footprint PDUs mount vertically in the back of a rack or cabinet to maximize the space available for IT equipment.

Cooling Systems

Evaluate whether the server room cooling system can handle the increased heat load of today’s equipment. If not, in-rack cooling systems can create the ideal environment while eliminating the need to replace the HVAC units. An aisle containment strategy, which isolates cold intake air from hot exhaust air, can also improve cooling efficiency.

Racks and Cabinets

Consider upgrading racks and cabinets to ensure proper support for heavy equipment. High-quality cabinets have locking front and rear doors and side panels for added security. Cabinets with sound-dampening features make it possible to expand the server room without concern for noise. Built-in cable management features help ensure that cords don’t block airflow or access to equipment.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Determine if existing UPS units are functioning properly and providing adequate power. UPS failure remains the No. 1 cause of data center outages. UPS units that use lithium-ion batteries cost a bit more but are smaller and lighter and require less maintenance. The battery should last the lifetime of the unit, creating significant cost savings.

Enconnex Solutions for Your Server Room Upgrade

Enconnex is your partner for server room upgrade projects. We offer an array of solutions that can modernize and optimize your server room without breaking your budget.

The Enconnex EdgeRack micro data center is a sound-reducing cabinet with an integrated rack-mount cooling unit for “plug-and-play” simplicity. Chilled air flows over the equipment, and hot exhaust air is pulled directly into the unit’s heat exchanger. The EdgeRack 5M comes in 42U, 45U, and 48U options and has a 2,998-pound (1,360kg) weight capacity. The EdgeRack 3P also includes a 3kVA UPS, power management, environmental sensors, remote monitoring, and intuitive controls.

In addition, Enconnex offers a variety of PDUs, a lithium-ion UPS, cabling and cable management, aisle containment, and much more. Contact one of our experts to discuss the options.

Posted by Robert Faulkner on October 5, 2021

Robert Faulkner is the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Enconnex. He comes from a strong background in product management with over 20 years in the IT industry. He currently holds an MSME and CDCD certification. He earned his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno.

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