IT Infrastructure refers to all the related equipment that is used to support the information technology needs and services of an organization.
This article will detail the necessary equipment needed in a server room to allow users the ability to develop and test smoothly without issue. Ideally, we want the lab to be a transparent component to these end users.
What is needed for a computer lab?
Setting up or outfitting a new computer lab is a large task and much planning will be required by the IT team. In a previous article I wrote about the IT Infrastructure Plan, Design and Deploy process. Refer to that guide for those steps.
This article will focus more on the actualities of moving in and setting up the new lab space.
Common server rooms have raised floors, a Computer Room A/C (CRAC) Unit, return plenums back to the CRAC unit and cable trays along the ceiling. Not to mention electrical runs under the floor tiles of either 110v or 220v(208v).
How to build a computer lab step by step
So now you have a fresh clean computer lab space, servers ready to install, racks, network gear, cables galore. Let’s get started.
Hot Aisle, Cold Aisle:
Place perforated floor tiles on the rows in front of where the server racks will be placed. If you have return plenums or ceiling perforated tiles you would place those behind the server racks.
You can imagine cold air coming from the CRAC unit under the floor, up through those perforated tiles. The servers will pull in that cold air and exhaust heated air out the back, which will go up into the plenum or ceiling to be returned back to the CRAC unit.
Server Rack Space:
- Place the server racks in their designated locations. These should be side by side in rows as shown in the diagram above.
- Next, install the servers themselves with the larger heavier ones at the bottom. If you ordered network switches for these racks, install them at the top or possibly along the sides if space has been allocated there.
- Most likely you will have power distribution units(PDU) also installed in these racks. Connect the power from the servers here and the PDU to the under floor electrical cable run.
- Connect the network cables to the network switches, then connect these switches back to the lab’s router or main lab switch; whichever is appropriate in your setting.
- If using a keyboard, video(KVM) tray, connect it up as needed. Frequently these days administrators remotely connect to the lab’s equipment.
Building your lab network should have been thought out and designed in the initial Plan, Design, Deploy stage.
Namely, this point is either a lab router or main switch. The connection from the main switch or router will connect back to the site’s network gear, which should be handled by the site’s personnel.
Complete Cabling Connectivity:
- Check the network connections from each server to the switch.
- Make sure each server has been connected to the electrical PDU and double check the power requirements placed on each PDU.
- You don’t want to overload and place to much demand on each electrical supply run.
Utilize Lenovo’s Capacity Planner tool. This tool helps IT admins. calculate the power consumption of different server setups. It allows you to configure racks, servers and other equipment, then compute the total power this particular setup will use.
Knowing this information before deployment can increase efficiency of both lab space but also in location of rack installations.
This is a very useful tool to use. Find it here: Lenovo Capacity Planner
What’s the takeaway?