Small businesses drive America's economy

on Monday, December 7, 2015 10:05:00 AM

We hear every day that small businesses drive America’s economy. We just had Small Business Saturday on November 28th. So let’s talk about small business networks.

Setting up a small business server room and bringing IT data storage management in-house can reduce or eliminate data security issues. You can avoid costly software server fees and decrease your overall network costs. It will also give you control over your data, and with the recent data breaches, protecting your information and equipment is crucial now more than ever. Therefore keeping your network local may make more sense.

But it can still be intimidating – especially given the recent focus on online services and the cloud. Additionally, most resources that are designed to help set up a server room tend to assume a medium-sized or enterprise installation. This won’t necessarily work well for setting up a small server room or even a network closet for a branch office or remote location. But Kendall Howard is here to help! Here are a few things to keep in mind while setting up the network for your small business.


For any size area, rackmount equipment makes sense to have. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to begin by stacking server hardware and network appliances on a LAN Station or shelf or even in a broom closet! But usually the pile of equipment quickly turns into a giant, unmanageable mess.

While rackmount equipment tends to be pricier than their non-rackmount equivalents, it’s arguable that being easier to manage far exceeds the cost premium. So rackmount equipment is a great way to go...but we still won't forget about the cost. We know budget can be an issue so it may be necessary to install rackmount drawers and shelves. Kendall Howard has tons to choose from!

And keep in mind that exposed equipment is subject to physical tampering and is a ticking time bomb for coffee spills, accumulated dust or even tripping hazards. So rackmount equipment does really make sense for any work environment, large or small.

The Right Server Rack

Now that you’ve decided on rackmount equipment, it’s time to choose the right server rack or cabinet. Selecting a server rack or cabinet can be intimidating…especially if you aren’t sure what you need. After all, there are dozens of options for every size business. Kendall Howard offers solutions that range from 6U to 42U and will work in any environment. When selecting a server cabinet, we suggest asking yourself the following:

  • Does the rack/cabinet need to lock?
  • Where will the rack/cabinet be installed?
  • What is going to be installed in the rack/cabinet?
  • Will the design of the rack/cabinet allow your network to grow as your company grows?

Once you answer those questions we can help you select the right wall mount rack or server cabinet. (Or LAN Station if necessary!)

Network Location

In most small businesses, space is at a premium and it’s hard to justify giving up valuable square footage for a network…but you should. The ideal choice is a server room – it doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be dedicated space for your network. Or if it can’t be an entire room, at least make sure adequate and sufficient space is given. Regardless of the size, considering the following:

  • Temperature: Does the installation area have adequate cooling and air flow? If not, you may need to add air conditioning or fans.
  • Noise: This issue is often overlooked. Remember that you are setting up a network and small business server room – a rack loaded with equipment will create noise that can cause distractions.
  • Security: Your network area holds all of your data. Think about who should have access to the equipment and how you need to protect it. Do you need additional equipment or features to up the security?

Finishing Touches

We’re almost done! Setting up a server rack/cabinet takes more than just getting a few screws securely in place. The equipment needs to be thought about and organized in a way that is easy to use and easy to access when necessary. By installing cable managers now you will eliminate problems later. Almost everything you install will have a power cable and/or Ethernet cable…so consider the cord! Install it once and install it right.

If you need help finding exactly what you need or if you have questions, contact us and we can help you pick the right product that fits your space and your budget! Whether you have a small startup company or have been in business for more than 20 years, we are here to help!