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Question In need of a suggestion of where to put my server and switch?!

ingeborgdot

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2005
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I'll try to explain this as good as I can.

I am helping a friend to setup some cameras in his big metal building. There is a camera setup already there, setup by a company that he is going to cancel his subscription with. We will be removing all of the equipment, and replacing it with his own equipment.

The server, switch, and UPS are all in a room under a staircase area. It is dirty, hot, and just not conducive to a computer and switch. But, this is where the company wired the 9 Ethernet cables and ports. If I were going to put the whole setup back in this room, I would have to clean, and find someway of keeping it a little cleaner, and cooler. I don't know if either of those is an easy thing to do considering what is going on outside the door to this room, and how it is setup.

One thing that may work, is that his office space is right across the wall. I could do several things.

1. I could take the server, and put it under a desk in the office, along with the UPS. Then run a cable from a switch on the office side, through the wall, and into the PoE switch on the other side. That would be an easy fix, considering it would only take 1 wire.

2. I could bring the server, UPS, AND switch into the office, and then find some type of system to put on the wall to run the cables that are in the other room across the wall, (from room to room if you may). This way, none of the equipment is under stress of heat, and dirt. I just don't know what I would use to run all the cables across the wall with. Something that would be kind of air tight etc. It would need to be able to support 9 cables right now, and up to possibly 24 total in the future. It is not a professional install by any means, but it will be 100 times more professional than the PROFESSIONAL group that installed it. I do like the idea of having everything in the controlled office space.

What are your thoughts on this? Any help or suggestions of what I could use to make #2 work would be great.

If you need anymore explanation, I'll try my best.

Thanks.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,138
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What's the reason can't keep the staircase area clean? Put everything on a rack or a small table. Enclose the area with a hinged triangle panel/door so you can open/close. Cut a hole and put a ventilation grille. Add dual large computer fans that blows out the heat if needed. It takes some effort but you don't have to make the other room ugly.
 

ingeborgdot

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2005
1,202
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The reason is that no one ever cleans it. All men, no women to care if it is clean or not. I guess I could do a monthly maintenance and clean it. I would tell him that I will do a monthly maintenance charge. ;)
Yeah, I'm beginning to see what you mean about making the other room ugly. It would be 100 times easier to keep it where it is, other than cleaning it up first. :)
 
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SamirD

Golden Member
Jun 12, 2019
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www.huntsvillecarscene.com
I think your first idea is best--the computer is the critical part anyways and having it accessible like that is also just asking for it to be stolen if there's an inside job. Locked in the office, this is much less likely.

As far as noise from the computer--you can change the computer or mod it to be quieter because it's not going to be working too hard anyways. Or just replace it with a stand-alone nvr that will be quiet.

Having the poe switch and a UPS under the stairs won't be taxing except on maybe the UPS as those don't like heat. But a simple box fan will actually help cool it more than enough to put it back into operating specs. I have several pieces of equipment that have seen 100F+ temps. You just need to be able to recognize when hot is too hot for this stuff and compensate.

As far as those 'professionals'--yeah, there's a lot of garbage installers and IT people out there for sure. There's very few I've ever met that I'd trust and they're usually doing large corporate infrastructure installations.
 

ingeborgdot

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2005
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I understand about security, but this place is secure as the door under the stairway is actually a closed in room that has a door that locks, so it is a secure as the main office is.
It is an office with he and his secretary much of the time, but he also has another guy that comes in and works right by the area I was thinking of putting the gear. He also has people that come in and talk business almost everyday, so you could say there is an office atmosphere that I don't want to mess up anymore than it is right now, with the equipment we have in there now.

But after looking over the situation, talking to other people, and weighing the pros and cons of all scenarios, I am going to keep the equipment in the storage under the stairway. It is a safe place overall. The door can be locked if necessary. I will clean up and try to find some way of keeping things neater and cleaner in there. I will probably talk to him about a monthly maintenance that I could do, or higher a cleaning lady. I will try to keep the dust out as much as possible.
If needed, I may look into a little spot cooler that could be vented to another area, if I feel the heat is too much, but after being in the room for an extended period, it was not as bad as anticipated. I think with the AC unit being in the same room, the duct work helps to cool the area better than I thought.

So, with that, I will begin to figure out how I want to arrange the room, and what I want to make for the system to sit on. But first, I need to CLEAN the dirty mess.
 

clockMaster

Junior Member
Aug 14, 2021
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www.lateralaccessdevice.com
Switches, UPSes and servers can tolerate hot and dry and dirty to a certain degree. The dirty part is likely the bigger factor due to dust clogging the vent holes and surfaces of the heat sinks. We all have this perception that it would be nice to have sparkling clean computer rooms. The reality is a little different. Typically computer equipment is kept in computer closets (at least that is how it has been for a long time).

My personal experience, I ran several servers with a switch and routers in a small room that was wedged between the bathroom and elevator shaft. It was convenient because the riser shaft was immediately adjacent. It was hot, stuffy and unpleasant, but not terribly dusty because whatever source of dust that was there was fairly static because of limited ventilation. Most of the ventilation was from the convection of air through the risers. The temperature was between 80-90 degrees and amazingly I didn’t have any failures of the equipment, and I think it was there several years. My concern at this location was not the heat or dirt, actually, but the proximity to the elevator due to my prior experience that elevators tend to generate power surges -- I had lost some equipment (motherboards and hard drives) at a previous location due to the elevators. At this one I was prepared and addressed it from the get-go.

In different circumstances where there was dust but not as much heat, I had limited HDD and power supply failures, primarily due to excessive accumulation of dust (however, those servers were old to begin with). The dust was constantly entering from above the ceiling panels. The failures did not happen overnight (2-3 years) and the failure rate was low.

You have to realize that carpet fibers and the dust from people (dead skin, hair, clothing, etc) is substantial in any office environment as it is, so if I were to choose between a dedicated space for the server room or an office, I would go with the server room, not the least because it wouldn’t be disturbed and the environment would be constant and predictable.

Batteries also prefer slightly warmer than cooler.

It would be better to keep the temperature no more than 85 degrees, with limited spikes. Hard drives would be the most susceptible to heat and then processors.

You did not ask, but there is another consideration. It just makes more sense to use computer chassis for switching/routing purposes, as opposed to dedicated switches. It is just cheaper to change a fan or power supply in a computer chassis, than be stuck with network down because of a dedicated switch you can’t repair with little to show in terms of advantages for the additional cost.
 

SamirD

Golden Member
Jun 12, 2019
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www.huntsvillecarscene.com
It just makes more sense to use computer chassis for switching/routing purposes, as opposed to dedicated switches. It is just cheaper to change a fan or power supply in a computer chassis, than be stuck with network down because of a dedicated switch you can’t repair with little to show in terms of advantages for the additional cost.
This is quite unusual. I don't understand how a computer chassis for switching would even be cost effective compared to the dedicated, mass produced unmanaged switches out there.
 

fkoehler

Member
Feb 29, 2008
136
79
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I'd say have your friend arrange to get it cleaned and a splash of paint rarely hurts anything.
Once clean, it should stay that way as it doesn't sound like it is general access.
Get a cheap AC that will work with your ducting and it should be fine.
 
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ingeborgdot

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2005
1,202
6
81
We ended up putting it up in the upstairs area. It is air conditioned, clean, and a lot of room to work. It will take a little more work to get everything up there, but it is a much better place for all of the equipment. Problem solved. ;)
 

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