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A branch office is about to move to a new office with possibly zero enclosed storage space. The technology resources we need to relocate include:

  • Mid-tower server (file server)
  • 24 port switch
  • (2) small router/firewalls
  • wiring termination/patch panel
  • UPS

The main concerns are keeping this equipment out of sight for aesthetic reasons, noise and keeping the equipment cool enough to operate. Are there any freestanding cabinets that would fit this equipment and the requirements? The less expensive the better. Are there any other solutions that I am not be thinking of?

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In addition to what you've listed above, you should also take security of your hardware into consideration. Even if you don't think people will do anything malicious, you'd be surprised how many cables "accidentally" become unplugged when they're not locked up. –  DKNUCKLES Oct 10 '12 at 18:05

3 Answers 3

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For the server, anywhere with decent space, air circulation, and ambient HVAC/AC will do fine as far as temperature is concerned. I would also want this to be somewhere quiet and preferably with a locked door for physical security reasons.

For the network equipment, same thing applies but do not stack them on top of each other to allow heat to dissipate.

Your patch panel/wiring isn't going to be just anywhere, it's going to be where the cabling technicians have terminated it. They usually do this in a service closet or room where the telephone lines are typically and the location is chosen due to it's central location and length limitations of CAT5/6 cable.

This is where your switch needs to be and by nature, where your server ends up too.

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Rack. Simple. There are racks that are noise isolated and look like Office Equipment. They are not cheap, but hty, you get what you ask for ;)

They make thigns QUITE low noise - helps otherwise to make the Computers low noise. 24 port Switch= passive. Mid Tower Server = low noise to start - put in good Equipment (I had till 3 months ago 2 midi size Servers in the Office, both with8 discs each, not hearable), Routers and Firewalls are Zero noise to start with, too.

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See my answer at: Where do I put the server in a cramped office?

In summary:
The best arrangement when you don't have a dedicated server room/closet is to keep the server elevated with at least 1-2 feet of open space behind the rear of the chassis.

Wall-mount the patch panel and possibly the switch if you can. If your battery is a tower-unit, place it next to the server. Secure your power strips or keep them away from feet/accidental disablement.

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