Let's Get Physical; part 1 - Page 2

 By Drew Bird
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If servers can't be secured by lockable racks they should be password protected. Some server and network administrators have objections to password-protected screensavers as they prefer to be able to see the server screens and any possible error messages. A safer and more efficient approach is to have remote monitoring and remote notification in place. Removal of keyboards and mice are also reasonable options, though this can present a level of inconvenience that many server and network administrators are reluctant to explore.

Moving away from the security of individual equipment and looking at the server room as a whole, there are many more physical security factors to consider. For example, depending on your physical location and your degree of paranoia, windows should also get plenty of attention. If you server room is on the first floor, security bars are a must, as are blinds or reflective film to stop prying eyes. For a further degree of protection, consider using a film such as BurglarGard from Shattergard (www.shattergard.com) that can serve both purposes.

If your server room is higher up within the building, the chances of someone gaining entry are lessened, but windows should still be considered, particularly in settings such as a downtown tower block where people from other buildings may be able to look into the server room. How much information could be gained by 'peeping toms' may be debatable, but for the sake of a small investment in window blinds or reflective film it's not a risk worth taking. If another justification were needed for the use of blinds or reflective film, consider the benefits to cooling in the server room. Blocking the sun will stop the room heating up and allow air conditioning units to work less. Ideally of course, server rooms will have no windows at all, but placement considerations don't always allow an internal room to be used, a point that has more of a bearing than just windows.

In the conclusion to this article, we will look at server room placement within the phsical plant.

Drew Bird (MCT, MCNI) is a freelance instructor and technical writer. He has been working in the IT industry for 12 years and currently lives in Kelowna, BC., Canada..

This article was originally published on Jul 25, 2001
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