New Construction Home Server Room

crm

n00b
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4
I've been a lurker here for quite some time, especially looking at the home server setups. About 7 years ago, I built a server room in our home for all my toys. It had a dedicated A/C system, plenty of power outlets and storage.

We have just sold our home and will be designing and building a custom home over the next year or so. I definitely want to put a new server room in the new one and would like to know any recommendations the community has for it.

All my servers are in a 4 post open rack. I already have enough UPS capacity for my servers. I have 2 Cisco/Linksys gigabit switches, a Cisco router, and patch panels for all the cabling. I'm not really looking for new equipment in the rack, but outside the rack. Things like cooling equipment (I live in Texas, it gets hot and we don't have basements). What about a management station for all the rack equipment?

I'm planning on running 2-3 cables to each room in conduit for future maintenance / upgrades. Some rooms will have more drops as needed.

Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks!
 

Brak710

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
1,424
Get a generator with an ATS for at least the server room, but also the whole house if you can afford it. You will not regret the decision.
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
IF you have a 2 story house, do your self a favor, run a conduit from the attic to the crawl space, and one in the middle of the house.. Sure wish my house had this :(

Other than that, sounds like you have everything.
 

rotherad

n00b
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Messages
19
If you are building from scratch I can't speak highly enough of running Cat6 to everywhere and multiple points in each room, you will regret it later if you don't.
 

crm

n00b
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4
Thanks for all the feedback.

@rotherad - Yes, all the cables will be Cat6... I actually ran Cat6 7 years ago in my old server room.
@dashpuppy - Will be primarily 1 story, but might have some space upstairs. Will definitely run conduit.
@Bark710 - A Generator is on my wishlist. Not sure it is in the budget though. Thanks!
 

crm

n00b
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4
In the past, I've found network cable bundled together. Most of the stuff I see today is a combo cable with Cat5e, Coax, and possibly fiber. I seem to recall finding a bundle of 4 or 6 Cat5's at one time but I can't locate them any longer.

Does anyone have a source for such a cable?

I don't think the Cat5 / Coax / Fiber makes sense, especially the fiber. Is there any reason to use this type of cable in some locations?
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
In the past, I've found network cable bundled together. Most of the stuff I see today is a combo cable with Cat5e, Coax, and possibly fiber. I seem to recall finding a bundle of 4 or 6 Cat5's at one time but I can't locate them any longer.

Does anyone have a source for such a cable?

I don't think the Cat5 / Coax / Fiber makes sense, especially the fiber. Is there any reason to use this type of cable in some locations?
cheaper to just run each line cat&coax, some of that *bundled type * of cable is very pricey.
 

PigLover

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
1,180
In the past, I've found network cable bundled together. Most of the stuff I see today is a combo cable with Cat5e, Coax, and possibly fiber. I seem to recall finding a bundle of 4 or 6 Cat5's at one time but I can't locate them any longer.

Does anyone have a source for such a cable?

I don't think the Cat5 / Coax / Fiber makes sense, especially the fiber. Is there any reason to use this type of cable in some locations?
The bundled cables make sense if you are doing a very large job using paid install crews where your cable costs pales compared to your labor cost. If these things are not true then individual cables are probably more effective (as in the OPs example of doing a single home during construction himself).
 

klank

Killer of Killer NIC Threadz
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
2,146
Bump. I would also like to see some more suggestions.

I currently have my server rack in my garage and want to build a server room that I can control the temperature with AC.
 

ChRoNo16

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
1,478
I feel your biggest concerns should be these:

1. cable the rooms (I would drop 6 cables per room/terminate what you need, leave the rest behind the wall plate.)

2. Measure your rack, and build the room so you can expand a little if needed, but make sure you have enough room to work without being cramped.

3. Decide on your air conditioning. I dont know the area you live well, but I would think a portable room air conditioner would be fine (If it needs an outside vent, I recommend using metal dryer pipe or something through the roof

4. Take your power usage into consideration, take whatever all your gear uses when its all powered on at first boot (Disks spinning up and all) and make sure your capacity allows for at least 10% above that usage.
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
I feel your biggest concerns should be these:

1. cable the rooms (I would drop 6 cables per room/terminate what you need, leave the rest behind the wall plate.)

2. Measure your rack, and build the room so you can expand a little if needed, but make sure you have enough room to work without being cramped.

3. Decide on your air conditioning. I dont know the area you live well, but I would think a portable room air conditioner would be fine (If it needs an outside vent, I recommend using metal dryer pipe or something through the roof

4. Take your power usage into consideration, take whatever all your gear uses when its all powered on at first boot (Disks spinning up and all) and make sure your capacity allows for at least 10% above that usage.

Great points sir ! well said...
 

ChRoNo16

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
1,478
I had a small moment of genius this morning when I got out of bed... now if I would take my own advice... my rack would be cleaner.
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
I had a small moment of genius this morning when I got out of bed... now if I would take my own advice... my rack would be cleaner.
Mines all cleaned :) however my desk >>

Looks like this >

yes that 5 firewalls sitting there :)

 

ChRoNo16

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
1,478
I have to re-cable mine, but I also have to re-cable the inside of my main box- so who knows when I will get around to it- May do a pfsense box soon- not sure yet.
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
I have to re-cable mine, but I also have to re-cable the inside of my main box- so who knows when I will get around to it- May do a pfsense box soon- not sure yet.
yeah, im thinking pfsense too!

On my bench i have :

Pfsense box
Sonicwall Tz210
untangle box
Cisco 1811
apple router

doing lots of experimenting & planning..
 

Nerdydave

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
135
For AC any idea what the total watts that room is going to draw? Take that number and multiply by 3.41 and that should tell you the amount of BTUs you will need to maintain temp. Use that to size your AC system. There are 3 types I seem to see I. Homes and small business one is a supply and return in the server room from there central unit and the thermal stat in that room. 2 a window shaker unit framed in an outside wall and 3 a small single room split system that only needs two 1/2" or so holes in the wall to connect the condenser to the evaporator coils.
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,698
This might seem like a silly question but what is the currnet power usage and how is the current A/C handling the room? I ask because you may very easily overlook the "obvious" things. I know when I walk through my house I foget the obvious things until I just sit down and think for a moment of some short comings, etc of an area.

As stated above I would run the power on a dedicated circuit. What about having a backup coax connection for the cable modem? My cable was on the fritz a while back and it would have been nice to be able to change the cable over to a back line.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
47
re. the AC, how easy is it over there to get split systems with wall mounted evaporators? Like one of these (only indoor unit shown). Very common in the UK, whereas few places have ducted or central air other than businessses etc.



Would allow you to maintain that room separately from the rest of the place, and cause far less vibration compared with a portable unit. Just set the temperature and leave it to itself.
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
re. the AC, how easy is it over there to get split systems with wall mounted evaporators? Like one of these (only indoor unit shown). Very common in the UK, whereas few places have ducted or central air other than businessses etc.



Would allow you to maintain that room separately from the rest of the place, and cause far less vibration compared with a portable unit. Just set the temperature and leave it to itself.
Seen lots of these in small server room's they work well.
 

ChRoNo16

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
1,478
Yes- I forget who the big brand of them was out here- they advertised only needing a small pipe to feed to the outside unit.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
47
Over here Daikin, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, errrr.... maybe some others are all big producers of them.

All you need is a 2-3" diameter hole in the wall for the refrigerant lines and condensate drain tube/wiring. Can get them in pretty big cooling capacties too, we have a pair that keep our 21 50" rear projection 3 x 7 row video wall (mouth full...), dual video processors and six HP workstations cool without issue, running 24/7. Each of those units is I think 1.5m long, 1.8 tops.

Single phase too for most of them I think.
 

Nerdydave

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
135
This might seem like a silly question but what is the currnet power usage and how is the current A/C handling the room? I ask because you may very easily overlook the "obvious" things. I know when I walk through my house I foget the obvious things until I just sit down and think for a moment of some short comings, etc of an area.

As stated above I would run the power on a dedicated circuit. What about having a backup coax connection for the cable modem? My cable was on the fritz a while back and it would have been nice to be able to change the cable over to a back line.
computers are like big resisters. all the watts you pull from the wall have to go some where and are released in the form of heat. if all your servers and equipment were pulling 1kw/h you would need 3,410 BTU/h of cooling to maintain room temp in the space.

i know my little router, server, wifi AP use about 400watts from the wall or about 1364BTU/h in the winter it is enough to keep my apartment just right and in the summer we run the AC all summer long lol.

wish i had the resources to build a server room like your doing :) i cant wait to see what it look like when done.
 

Nerdydave

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
135
re. the AC, how easy is it over there to get split systems with wall mounted evaporators? Like one of these (only indoor unit shown). Very common in the UK, whereas few places have ducted or central air other than businessses etc.



Would allow you to maintain that room separately from the rest of the place, and cause far less vibration compared with a portable unit. Just set the temperature and leave it to itself.
this is what i was talking about. i have installed tons of these for small businesses and home server rooms
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
computers are like big resisters. all the watts you pull from the wall have to go some where and are released in the form of heat. if all your servers and equipment were pulling 1kw/h you would need 3,410 BTU/h of cooling to maintain room temp in the space.

i know my little router, server, wifi AP use about 400watts from the wall or about 1364BTU/h in the winter it is enough to keep my apartment just right and in the summer we run the AC all summer long lol.

wish i had the resources to build a server room like your doing :) i cant wait to see what it look like when done.
400watts for that ? Really ? YOU must have a OLD power hog of a server then.

I have a Dell R415 with 32 gigs ram 2 x quad core AMD MAJOR HEAT CREATOR's
2 cisco switches
untangle Core2 duo firewall
2 desktop computers
laptop
APC
sonicwall TZ210 and a lcd all plugged into my apc, and im not even pulling that much. I'm at 347watts.
 

Jay_2

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
3,583
outch 400W!

I assume you are 110v?

if so that about 3.5 amps! Is it that server a dual CPU 280 Opti or P4?
 

crm

n00b
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4
These are great tips!

When I built my server room in the old house, I looked at those split systems. Apparently those are used more outside the US. My contractor looked into these, but we determined that I could get a relatively efficient 2-ton unit for less money. Also, because of the layout of the my house and location of the server room, I would have had to install a pump for the drain line so that It could tie into the other A/C system drains. This wasn't a problem with a traditional system since the air handling unit would be above the room.

As far as power, I was very conservative. I installed 3 separate circuits (not including ones for the A/C). I put in a 30 amp and 20 amp circuit for the outlets and a 15 amp circuit for the lighting.

I'm not sure how many watts or amps I currently pull. I bought a new server several months ago with lots of CPU and memory so that I could virtualize my older servers, but haven't made the transition yet. I would expect to get quite a bit of cost savings there as well.
 
Top