Server room design services tutorial

The server room design services you offer to customers must balance location with hardware elements that will ultimately determine the server room design.

Server room design services must involve choosing the proper location and server room infrastructure elements, which can be a long and tedious task that challenges even the most experienced resellers, systems integrators and service providers. Some of the most important considerations need to be made before the first server is ordered or the first piece of cable is laid. Check out this design services tutorial and get some advice from people who have done it, successfully, before.

Become a trusted SMB storage advisor
Take the time to understand customer requirements rather than show them the lowest cost product on a line card. Unless you are looking to compete with other low-cost providers, taking time to present options and explaining why those options have merit to your customers brings value. As a trusted advisor, you can help them navigate various technology options and vendor differences. Be prepared to step outside the box, so to speak, to propose an alternative technology you are comfortable using that will also help address specific issues; you may want to help ease day-to-day management, improve availability or enable future growth without adding complexity or cost.

Furthermore, many large storage vendors, including EMC and NetApp, are creating new channel-focused business models outside of their traditional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and reseller networks. This ultimately allows the channel to bring alternative solutions to customers that are easy to use, easy to install, easy to acquire and affordable -- so they can differentiate themselves from competitors while addressing customer pain points.

Customers sometimes may not realize that different locations offer different, specific challenges to operating and maintaining a server room. VARs can act as trusted advisers to educate customers about the potential pitfalls that may be waiting. By educating the customer about the potential problems that lay ahead, VARs will be less likely to clash with the company over certain issues. For example, a customer may ask why an entire floor needs to be rewired to accommodate a data center in an older building. Having this knowledge at your disposal will help mitigate any future confrontation and make the project go more smoothly.

Rules for designing the urban data center
Not all server room design happens on a sprawling campus outside of a major city. VARs need to be prepared to redesign, build and support server rooms that exist in urban environments too. That's a different set of challenges for a VAR that will need to be explained to the customer before the build even begins to take place.

Server room planning: Location, space, setup and environmental considerations
Before planning or redesigning a server room, VARs need to take into account the different aspects that will all be competing for space: hardware, components and interconnects. By laying the proper foundation, on-going maintenance will be less difficult than it otherwise might be.

Things to consider when planning a data center move to an older building
Planning a server room move can be an exhausting task full of heating, cooling and security considerations -- just to name a few. It's important to know what you and your customer are getting yourselves into. Expect a challenge in completing this project, but make it run more smoothly by getting the advice of someone who has already been there.

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