Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Trips to the server room can mean extended periods away from the comforts of home, or at least your desk. Especially if it is an off-site hosting facility.

What should you take with you, apart from a warm sweater for places with good air-conditioning?

share

locked by Chris S Jan 27 '12 at 4:20

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

1  
Things is, a decent server room temperature is around 23 degree Celsius - which should be comfortable enough... but many configurations have inadequate cooling which means they're cooling the room to freezing just to get a decent temperature inside the racks instead :/ –  Oskar Duveborn May 1 '09 at 15:26
1  
In my experience, anything left in a data center that won't actively trip an alarm when removed, will be gone within a year. Some stuff will be accidentally borrowed and some maliciously stolen, but gone none the less. –  jj33 Mar 2 '10 at 17:30
1  
+1 :( However, in this case, our cage is locked tight, and I don't think anyone's going to do some ninja stuff to steal my tools. –  Bill Weiss Mar 2 '10 at 17:47

37 Answers 37

A PC with a floppy disk drive and a DVD burner, and a stock of floppy disks and writable CDs/DVDs.

A time will come when you will need to flash that firmware...

share
1  
Floppy Disk! The number of times I've been saved by that long-obsolete technology... –  Mark Henderson Jan 12 '10 at 22:20

TOOLS!

Keep them locked away in the server room so they don't go walk about...

share

A desk, so you can go in there and work when the "outside" world gets to be too much. Also a fold-up bed/cot, for those times when things get so bad you're too tired to drive home afterwards. Oh yeah, and a beer fridge won't go astray either.

Personally, I've found one of the most valuable items to be a rechargeable torch (flashlight), mounted just inside the door. Non-rechargeable types have a habit of always being flat just when you need them most.

share

A small tool box to keep small tools mentioned above.

share

Anywhere I go in the building I take an iPhone and a headset.

In my grab bag I've got

  • An IDC punchdown tool
  • Side cutters
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Philips #1 and #2 (proper screwdrivers)
  • Magic marker and CD pen
  • Gaffer tape
  • Jewellers screwdriver set (a good one with Torx and a nice handle)
  • Multi-socket screwdriver and assorted bits
  • 1 GB Memory Stick
  • 120 GB HDD
  • Spirit Level (for servers and shelves if your rack isn't labelled into U's)
  • 2M CAT 5
  • 2M CAT 5 Crossover (RED so I don't accidentally use it)
  • Phone headset adapter (there's a wired phone in the server room)
  • USB-IDE converter for 2.5" laptop drives
  • USB cable (dual power for the above)
  • Neodymium magnets out of hard drive (handy for sticking notes to rack panels)
  • Wi-Fi access point for when the wired connections just aren't long enough or are obscured)
  • Cisco console cable
  • USB - P/S2 adapters for keyboards and mice
  • USB wireless keyboard/mouse combo (made for media centre). I need to replace this as it's a bit dodgy, doesn't register all keypresses if you are typing rapido.
  • Mini wired USB mouse
  • Nylon cable ties
  • 3G USB dongle
  • Twisty ties
  • Spare IEC mains lead.
  • Extension cable and power strip.

I obviously bring a laptop as well (actually mightn't be that obvious). At present it's a Dell X-1, small, light, good battery life with the extended battery.

I have to note, it's all well and good having this stuff in your kit bag, but make sure it works before it's an emergency at 3 a.m. on a public holiday weekend when nowhere is open.

share

A small pry bar (I use a Stanley Wonder Bar II) has come in handy a number of times -- trying to get a tight server out of the rack; replacing swollen batteries out of a UPS. But it gets its most use when I have to shift everything in the rack up a couple of mm because the server I'm inserting is just a hair taller than whatever it was I just took out. (Lossen a higher machine, lift it 'til it's tight against the one above it, tighten screws, repeat down the line).

If you weren't in a colocation centre, I'd also suggest a crash cart with a serial terminal, and a lift cart (for those times when your management won't give you a maintenance window, and you really, really need to move that server; it also comes in handy when you don't have enough people to safely unrack that ancient 8U UPS, but can extend it far enough to get a lift under it).

share

I work for a colocation centre company and in our cages we have:

  • Label maker (One of the most important things)
  • Table
  • Chair
  • Monitor, keyboard and mouse (with 20 ft cable extenders to reach way in the back of the rack)
  • Crash cart (monitor mounted like in a hospital)
  • Spare PDU
  • Lots of spare copper and fiber cables
  • Sometime old servers for spare parts
  • Spare disk drives
  • Drill
  • Screw driver with lots of bits
  • Velcro and zip Ties (for cable management - very important)
  • Exacto knife to cut zipties
  • Probably some other tools, see others answers for a better tool list
  • Tool bag to carry the tools
  • Headlamp
  • Pen and paper
  • Rack rails, screws, and mounting hardware
  • Power cables
  • Cable tester
  • Plastic bins (to organize the above)
share

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.