In our modern era, the most important part of a company’s infrastructure is its communications network. The advent of globalization is but a dim memory – communicating with people across the world in real time is now the norm. Furthermore, colleagues can interact – and their computers can interact – from remote locations, working on shared documents or systems at the same time. For a company this is incredibly useful, but it does present certain issues for the tech teams.

Server rooms have now become the beating hearts of many companies. These rooms facilitate the storage and transfer of data – the lifeblood of companies in this particular metaphor!  It is these hidden rooms that house very complicated pieces of equipment, countless wires and require more design and planning than one might originally have contemplated. Factors such as flooring, power supply, access, security and cooling systems are constantly assessed throughout a server room design and subsequent build. So what happens when your server room requires some maintenance or indeed a refurbishment? To carry on with our little metaphor, this refurbishment might occur when the owner of said heart develops a serious cardiac issue and needs a new heart. The surgeons must keep the body functioning and alive whilst the old heart is replaced with a new one. This is the issue that faces IT teams of companies when the business must be able to function as normal whilst the server room is replaced.

So what is there to do?

As with most refurbishments, either you do it all at once or it will take a much longer time (and possibly never get done) if you try to refurbish in pieces.  You might replace the ceiling but then have to wait years before the power supply issues are addressed.  Much better to solve all problems in one foul swoop.  Now many of the larger companies will have a dedicated IT and Operations team that will be able to work in tandem to try either move or refurbish their current data centre or server room whilst maintaining normal working practices!  Complicated stuff.  Anybody who has ever tried to use a printer will know that if you don’t fully understand the intricacies of whatever hardware and software you are trying to use then you’re in for a tough time.  That is where it can be much less of a headache to hire a third party.  There are companies that specialise in designing, building, and transferring server rooms and data centres.  Thus, company’s are able to employ the services of third parties such as . Which in turn produces an almighty sigh of relief for the IT team.  These third parties are able to transfer or refurb in a ‘live environment’ which is incredibly beneficial for companies.  As a general rule, it is usually less hassle and cheaper to get a specialist in to do a particular job than to train or hire new people to get the job done.  That  is why companies use consultancies, accountants, investment banks when they want to IPO, etc.

If you do decide to go ahead and let your own IT team take charge of moving or refurbishing your server room, make sure that they make provision for expansion and allow space for extra servers.  Furthermore, the cooling system must be effective and wiring must be incredibly organised.  Remember that although having your wiring cleanly routed underneath the floor is great as long as you can still get to the wires.  Your floor or ceiling must be easily accessible/removable so that maintenance work can be carried out as we all know that things do not last forever!

Server rooms can cause some very large headaches and sleepless nights for various individuals and teams.  It can vary from small companies with a couple of server stacks to huge blue chips with whole buildings utilised as data centres!  However, the importance of these mysterious rooms does not diminish as the company grows.  The servers remain the heart of a technology driven companies.

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