Neatness Counts

In my time in IT I have seen many server rooms. I have been in large, white room, raised floor data centers. I have also been in closets under the stairs. No matter what type of server room it is critical to keep it clean. I bring this up because it seems to be one of the things that gets overlooked the most.

  • Primarily, it is a safety issue. Server rails, old servers and network cables left on he floor can be a serious trip hazard. More than once have I been carrying something into a server room and tripped over something. Fortunately I haven’t suffered serious injury, but if I had it would have become a workman’s compensation issue.
  • Manuals and miscellaneous stuff lying on and around server room equipment can block proper airflow which can reduce the performance and life of the equipment.
  • Cardboard shipping boxes and manuals can feed a fire should there be some type of failure that causes a spark or flame.
  • Small hardware items set on top of equipment have the potential to fall into a server during maintenance and the short circuit when power is applied.
  • Dust destroys data and reduces airflow. It will reduce the life of your equipment.
    Keep cables organized and color coded. It can save significant time and therefore significant consulting dollars while adding or replacing network equipment.
  • Keep those server rooms (closets, hobbit holes, etc.) clean and you will be doing yourself a huge favor.

    When should I apply patches and updates

    When it comes to MS Patches (or most any for that matter) I usually recommend waiting to apply them. If you have a test environment, you should test the patches there and then run any test cases you have to make sure they don’t have a negative impact. If you don’t have a test environment, I would suggest waiting till the following month to apply anything other than highly critical security patches for released exploits.

    Let the rest of the world be your test environment.