Work-life really has changed in the past year; with many of us having to adapt to working from home. The idea of this at first sounded great who wouldn’t want to be able to work from wherever you like in the house (even in bed!) and have access to endless snacks without the fear of people judging you for eating your body weight in biscuits. However, it’s just not as easy as it first seemed, is it? From lack of motivation and routine to poor WIFI signal and not having access to all the equipment we would usually have in the workplace. Something that some people have decided to do, is to build a home server room, to combat these issues. For those who aren’t aware, a server room is a room (usually air-conditioned) that is devoted to the continuous operation of computer servers.
What to Buy?
While there are so many variations of possible components when building a server, there are some basic requirements that everyone will have: Chassis, Motherboard, CPU, RAM, Hard Drive. It may be hard work, but it will be worth it in the long run when you have your very own, successful home server room, perfect for working from home. Other things include a computer, a broadband network connection, a network router, a monitor and keyboard, and a CD/DVD drive/burner will be handy if you plan to use the server for media.
Determine appropriate room size
Firstly, it is a good idea to access what space you have available before cracking on with building your server room. You will need to be realistic in determining how much space you actually need to be able to build a well-functioning server room at home. You need to take into account that you not only need space for the servers themselves but also wires, cables, and possibly other equipment. Making sure that the room is big enough, means that you can use and monitor it easier and with more comfort, without it being cramped.
Keep the room cool
Server rooms often require an air conditioning unit, preferably one that is wall-mounted to prevent it from getting in the way or interfering with any of the equipment. The reason that it is so important for the room to remain cool is so that the equipment would overheat if the room was too warm; the equipment itself produces a lot of heat, therefore the room must be cool and dry to keep everything running smoothly and safely. This also relates to the space you build your server room, if it is a small room with lots of equipment then it will heat up quicker than a big spacious room. You can thermometer and humidifier in the room to ensure that it is cool at all times and can notice any signs of overheating before it is too late.
Be ready to invest
Of course, there are ways of building a home server room slightly more money efficiently, however, you need to be ready to spend quite a lot of money in order for it to be good quality, safe and worthwhile. You need to expect to spend at least $1000, anything less and I’d say the equipment is not sufficient enough to be used in a well-functioning server room. It is crucial to choose durable equipment as it will be running for hours a day. While you may not think you are saving yourself money at the time, by buying a server that is good quality, you will not need to replace them. It would also be a good idea to pay for a vps to make sure that everything runs at very high performance, including speed, privacy, hosting control, management, the ability to upgrade at will, and several other amazing benefits for your domain.
In an ideal world, we all want to have a super-fast internet connection. However, the connection you need will depend on what you need to use it for. Usually, any sort of connection will do, unless you intend to be streaming videos to loads of users. If you have a fairly stable connection already, you can continue to use it as normal; just keep your server connected to the router. Your choice of providers will vary depending on your area. If you have a choice, pick a provider that offers good, reliable speeds. The server’s also going to need an Ethernet card (also known as a network interface card, or NIC), and one that works with your chosen operating system. Make sure you research this first to see what is right for you.
Monitor and Keyboard
If you have an old monitor and keyboard then that is perfect! You can keep moving your laptop back and forth if you wish, but it would be much better for practicality if you have a monitor and keyboard that you are able to use solely for your server room. It is possible (depending on your job) that you’ll only need these while you get your server up and running. However, it is handy to have a monitor and keyboard to hand for any future debugging and server upgrading.
If you make the correct choices, building your own server room can be very satisfying and worthwhile, especially for those who are having to work from home. By following these steps, you are more likely to be successful in creating a server room that is useful to you and is well maintained.