A lot goes into building a server room, from practical considerations like the building structural load limitations for that room, to cooling the space, powering the equipment, and selecting the technology. When it comes to the technology needed to store, protect and monitor your equipment and data, however, Netshield makes it simple.

“Building a server room begins with an analysis of current and projected computing needs, to determine the scope and size of the IT equipment required. This will inform other requirements such as: physical space; number and type of cabinets; cooling system; environmental monitoring system; and power, from supply to distribution, surge protection, backup and monitoring, among other things,” says Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO at Netshield South Africa.

Dependent on a company’s needs, it might get lucky and be able to take advantage of a product like Netshield’s IP54 rated Data Centre in a Box (DCIB) – a completely self-contained, standalone server room that can be wheeled in and deployed within minutes.

Equipped with access control keypad, electronic locking, central SNMP management and control device with dashboard, temperature monitor, flooding detection, an application specific air conditioner and UPS as well as optional humidity monitor, smoke and fire detectors and extinguishers. It is a complete movable asset for a company.

When the needs are greater than what a DCIB can supply, Netshield has other solutions to fulfill those needs, starting with server room cabinets to house equipment. The company offers these in heights ranging from 4U to 47U. Depths of 600, 800, 1000 or 1200mm and are available for the floor standing type and 450, 550 or 650mm for the wall-mounted type. Other variations include indoor/outdoor rating, and front and rear door types, and there is a complete range of accessories to complement these products.

As mentioned previously, apart from just needing power supply to the server room, it’s important to manage that power supply. Power distribution units (PDUs) like Netshield’s range of “Zero-U” smart PDUs play a critical role in delivering effective power distribution, power protection and power management in the cabinet.

These units provide Class 1 metering, which allows the user to take advantage of energy metering and to optimise cabinet utilisation in their data centre. The units also offer the option to add temperature, humidity and fluid monitoring sensors and as a result of being network ready can form part of an overall Internet of Things (IoT) business environment.

“Environmental monitoring is one of the most critical functions in a server room. You must know at all times that the optimal temperature and humidity are being maintained, that the power remains on, and if there are unwanted smoke, gas or human intrusions into the room. On top of that, you must have remote access to this information so that if any of these anomalies take place after hours, you have the information needed to take the appropriate action,” says Dreckmeyr.

Netshield’s NVIROMON range of environmental monitoring products and solutions includes models that offer one, a combination of, and even all of these functions in a single device.

Monitoring power supply or temperature is an important job that is made simple and affordable via the Netshield Simple GSM Power Monitor PH1. The unit, which accepts a SIM card, plugs into a wall socket and in the event of a power failure or temperature fluctuation will automatically send SMS notifications to a preprogrammed cell number.

Finally, to mitigate the effects of lightning strikes and power surges, which are an all too frequent occurrence, Netshield offers its rack mountable NLEDU-PROCXX-1U Cabinet Lightning and Surge Arresters Class 1+11. These units protect sensitive IT equipment from the potentially damaging effects of voltage spikes.

“Building a server room from the ground up is a complex task that is best done properly the first time, because expensive equipment and mission critical operations and data are at stake. So when it comes to choosing the products to protect that server room and its valuable contents, it’s best to choose a well-known brand with a proven track record like ours.”

All Netshield products are locally manufactured and as such have been designed with the needs of South African businesses in mind.