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How to Choose a “Server Room in a Box” for Educational Facilities

How to Choose a “Server Room in a Box” for Educational Facilities

Guest blog by Debbie Dailey, Business Development Specialist, Schneider Electric

Solutions that act as a “server room in a box,” such as NetShelter CX, fill a need that is only growing in importance, especially in the educational arena.   This type of solution is intended to house IT and networking gear that must live in a relatively small space, such as an office environment, classroom, library or lab facilities where there is no dedicated space or where space is a commodity for such equipment.  They are popular because they do that simple job extremely well. And it’s a perfect fit for a single small independent school or large University Campus given these facilities are typically pretty tight on space.  All their IT gear can fit in the box and they can put a printer or whatever they like on top, making for an efficient use of space.

Look for the following attributes in your “server in a box” solution to help you meet your goals:

  • Quiet – the solution should muffle about 90% of the sound from the equipment they house, so you can work without disturbance.
  • Attractive – if the solution looks like a piece of furniture, it will blend in with the environment.
  • Self-cooled – Choose unit that are fan-cooled, so you don’t need any special air conditioning or venting. In the end, this will save you money on energy costs. 
  • Secure – The solution needs to be completely lockable so your equipment is secure. If you require even more security, look for a solution that replaces the key lock with an HID reader with programmable cards so that you will be able to track who is coming and going into the cabinet.  Most employees don’t really know or care what that server humming away in the corner is all about, so who knows what may happen to it. Keeping it safe and sound in an enclosure is simply good business.
  • Transportable – In a small space, you might need to move things around often. Choose a unit that is easy to install and is on castor wheels, in case your plans change and you need to move it.
  • Size options – Also look for a solution that has a variety of sizes, such as from 12U to 38U to suit your particular needs. The 12U is perfect for very small SMB’s and the other sizes are suitable for a wide variety of offices, clinics, or medical facilities. 

The NetShelter CX has been installed in small private schools, libraries, multi media rooms, labs, and large University Campus.   Since it is on wheels,  is secure and quiet, it allows IT to be shared between departments and classes.

You no longer have to let your IT equipment sit in a storage closet at your remote locations and simply hope for the best. With a “server in a box” solution,” you can help to ensure the equipment is safe and secure. Add a managed UPS, such as SmartUPS, and you can even manage it all remotely.


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