How to Set Up a Server Farm
By Jason Knabl
Setting up a server farm enhances your data network and allows you to execute computing tasks more efficiently. While using individual computers works fine for a small company, a large organization can streamline its network by maintaining a central server farm. Setting up a server farm requires planning, technical expertise and various pieces of hardware. With the right tools and a bit of hard work, your server farm will be up and running in no time.
Gather a team of knowledgeable, reliable and hard-working IT professionals to manage your server farm. The success of a server farm depends on the skill of the people maintaining it.
Calculate the number of servers needed to achieve your goals. Base your calculation on your server specifications. For example, if you anticipate that users will use 7 gigabytes of RAM at peak times, you need servers that collectively deliver this amount of temporary memory.
Consult with a professional electrician to determine the power requirements of your server farm. For each dollar spent on hardware, you will spend 50 cents on power consumption, technology analysts and other necessities. An electrician can help you lower your energy requirements and protect your power system, helping you to minimize costs.
Connect each server to a power source and link your hardware as needed.
Update the hardware drivers and software applications on each server. This can usually be done using auto-update programs already included with your hardware.
Install a temperature control system in your server room. Server performance depends on equipment temperature. Since your server farm needs to operate 24/7, your equipment will heat up quickly, degrading network performance. Install fans, heat sinks and air conditioning as needed.
Don't forget to physically guard your server farm. Your clients will have sensitive data stored on your servers that criminals may want to access. Assign at least one security guard to monitor the premises at all times.
- Ensure that all power bars in your server farm have surge protection.
- Maintain backup power generators in case of an electrical grid failure.
- Never turn off a piece of hardware while updating hardware chips. Doing so could permanently damage the hardware.
Jason Knabl began writing professionally in 2006. He writes mainly for the gaming and entertainment niches and has contributed to numerous websites, including Holdem Strategy World and Dial-A-Dealer. Bloom holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Toronto.