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Shoehorn in your servers

Tells you how to plan to install storage servers.

Shoehorn in your servers
Rick Cook

Storage administrators have to plan for a myriad of things...even space. This tip discusses some space considerations. We are looking for a variety of tips, and you probably have some from your own experience. Take a minute to follow this link to submit one of them.

RAID arrays and other storage devices take up room and to make the best use of them you need to plan where they are going to live. This usually isn't as elaborate as the raised floor computer rooms of mainframe days, but storage servers and other equipment benefit from some simple facilities planning, even if it's just figuring out what goes where in the former broom closet.

Although modern storage devices are compact and reliable, they still benefit from being kept cool. Electronic equipment in a confined space can easily build up heat to levels that will shorten the life of disks and other components. It also helps to make sure the space is big enough that disks, servers and other items can be repaired or swapped out without turning the service people into contortionists. Also keep in mind that working on servers often requires having a keyboard, monitor and mouse hooked to them. Even devices designed to be remotely maintained and managed can benefit from having a keyboard, monitor and mouse attached for troubleshooting. That in turn implies a desk space or shelf in the area.

Astrum software ( discusses facilities planning for servers in a white paper on its web site.

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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Related Book

Building Storage Networks, Second Edition
Author : Marc Farley
Publisher : Osborne
Published : May 2001
Develop and design successful storage systems using this in-depth resource, now in a completely revised second edition. Covering everything from basic fundamentals--such as I/O components and file systems to emerging topics such as i-SCSI and DAFS--this complete book delivers the background information and technical know-how to implement large-capacity, high-availability storage networks throughout your enterprise. Filled with diagrams and easy-to-understand explanations, you will be able to identify and apply network storage technology to best meet the needs of your organization.

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