The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Scalli » Sat, 13 Dec 1997 04:00:00



This might provide a bit of imaginative brainstorming:

I'm a Unix admin in a small high-tech marketing company that's growing like
wildfire. We're going to be buying a new building soon, and the company
president has invited us (the MIS dept.) to strain our brains to come up
with the ultimate, coolest-looking mis room/server room design that we can.
The emphasis here is on coolest-_looking_; we'll probably be buying a
biometrics security system (such as a retinal scanner), not for actual
security purposes, but for the look of the thing. And so on. The idea is to
really impress the clients.

Quite silly, I know, but I'd like your ideas on what might go into such a
room design. I'm envisioning a large MIS room, with a server/network room
next door that's viewed through a large window, with an elevated floor
(this is all a large step above what we've got now). But I've still got a
lot of decisions to make.

Which looks coolest, open racks or smoked-glass rack cabinets? What should
the floor in the main MIS room be, carpet or tile? And what color? What's
the most impressive-looking object(s) in your own server room, that catches
the eye as an obvious "cutting-edge technology" thing? What components have
you spotted in trade magazines recently that you've drooled over just
because of the look of the thing? Any other server-room design features
that you've seen in the past and admired?

We've got some money to burn here, obviously. I'm not about to rush out and
buy some giant multimillion dollar mainframes just because they look cool,
but otherwise, the possibilities are wide open. I'd appreciate any input
anyone has. Thanks!

B. Reynolds

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Timothy J. L » Sun, 14 Dec 1997 04:00:00


|
|Which looks coolest, open racks or smoked-glass rack cabinets?

Something which has good ventilation.  High end rack equipment has
slideout shelves which may be more convenient for working on the
computers in them.

|What should
|the floor in the main MIS room be, carpet or tile?

Something which minimizes static electricity.

|And what color?

A plain color that is easy to see dropped objects on.  A "cool"
pattern, or color similar to that of objects commonly dropped or
placed on the floor, is likely to be an annoyance while working
in the room.

|What's
|the most impressive-looking object(s) in your own server room, that catches
|the eye as an obvious "cutting-edge technology" thing?

What is in the server room should be what does the job well (both
in the present and anticipated future of the equipment lifetime,
and with, where possible, enough redundancy to handle an occasional
failure) without costing excessive amounts of money.  The servers
are not for display; they are to help people do their work.

The users will be more impressed with what works, not what looks
fancy.  For example, 100 Mbit wiring, switch, hub, and file server
upgrades to replace 10 Mbit hardware may not be visible, but do a
lot more for productivity than a visibly fancy server room.  Note
also that a visibly fancy server room can be a target of political
resentment if MIS service is not perfect.

MIS staff will be more impressed with what make their jobs in the
server room easy to do, not with what looks fancy.  Given a choice
between spending money for aethetics and such tools as slideout
racks and keyboard/monitor/mouse multiplexors, the latter will make
more of a difference in how well the MIS staffers do their jobs.

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The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by George D » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00



]|
]|Which looks coolest, open racks or smoked-glass rack cabinets?
]
]Something which has good ventilation.  High end rack equipment has
]slideout shelves which may be more convenient for working on the
]computers in them.

Also handy to be able to get at cables easily

]
]|What should
]|the floor in the main MIS room be, carpet or tile?
]
]Something which minimizes static electricity.

False floor with tiles you can lift up.

]
]|And what color?
]
]A plain color that is easy to see dropped objects on.  A "cool"
]pattern, or color similar to that of objects commonly dropped or
]placed on the floor, is likely to be an annoyance while working
]in the room.

What about pictures of small screws, jumpers etc all over the tiles?

]
]|What's
]|the most impressive-looking object(s) in your own server room, that catches
]|the eye as an obvious "cutting-edge technology" thing?
]
]What is in the server room should be what does the job well (both
]in the present and anticipated future of the equipment lifetime,
]and with, where possible, enough redundancy to handle an occasional
]failure) without costing excessive amounts of money.  The servers
]are not for display; they are to help people do their work.
]
]The users will be more impressed with what works, not what looks
]fancy.  For example, 100 Mbit wiring, switch, hub, and file server
]upgrades to replace 10 Mbit hardware may not be visible, but do a
]lot more for productivity than a visibly fancy server room.  Note
]also that a visibly fancy server room can be a target of political
]resentment if MIS service is not perfect.
]
]MIS staff will be more impressed with what make their jobs in the
]server room easy to do, not with what looks fancy.  Given a choice
]between spending money for aethetics and such tools as slideout
]racks and keyboard/monitor/mouse multiplexors, the latter will make
]more of a difference in how well the MIS staffers do their jobs.

--
 ,-,_|\   George Dau,                                             __
/    * \  Unix (Solaris, DEC Unix, Linux), NT, Oracle, Internet. (OO)

      v   WWW:  http://pobox.com/~gedau                          W--W

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The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Jeff Fish » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00


On Mon, 15 Dec 1997 00:46:32 GMT, George Dau



> ]|
> ]|Which looks coolest, open racks or smoked-glass rack cabinets?
> ]
> ]Something which has good ventilation.  High end rack equipment has
> ]slideout shelves which may be more convenient for working on the
> ]computers in them.

> Also handy to be able to get at cables easily

I think racks with open fronts and backs are best here.
HP's racks generally have removeable front covers, opening
back doors, and slideable rack mounts.  Very nice.
Their racks also have ventilation fans and power strips built
in to the racks themselves.

Clear fronts are a help here, so that you can see if some
dweeb has unplugged your server.

Quote:

> ]
> ]|What should
> ]|the floor in the main MIS room be, carpet or tile?
> ]
> ]Something which minimizes static electricity.

> False floor with tiles you can lift up.

A definite must.... Cables laying on the floor are way too easy
for someone to trip over / unplug.  There are also shelving
units available with cable trays for routing cables.  I would
recommend one of these if you're going to be putting in shelving.

Definitely not carpeting.

Quote:> ]
> ]|What's
> ]|the most impressive-looking object(s) in your own server room, that catches
> ]|the eye as an obvious "cutting-edge technology" thing?

Umm... Nothing.  If you want to impress people, go buy some peice of hardware
to put in the lobby.  I for one, don't want random people tracking through
the machine room.  That's certainly not it's function.

If you must, though, point at the ups / air conditioner and tell them it
is the next big server that (insert company name) is coming out with.

--
Jeff Fisher                       | ...I want to be on the side of the many.
UNIX Sys Admin - IES Industries   | Therefore, I take great pains to explain
http://opus.ies-energy.com/jeff/  | to as many people as possible.
                                  |                      - Johannes Kepler

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by James Youngma » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00


  Scallion> I'm a Unix admin in a small high-tech marketing company
  Scallion> that's growing like wildfire. We're going to be buying a
  Scallion> new building soon, and the company president has invited
  Scallion> us (the MIS dept.) to strain our brains to come up with
  Scallion> the ultimate, coolest-looking mis room/server room design
  Scallion> that we can.  The emphasis here is on coolest-_looking_;
  Scallion> we'll probably be buying a biometrics security system
  Scallion> (such as a retinal scanner), not for actual security
  Scallion> purposes, but for the look of the thing. And so on. The
  Scallion> idea is to really impress the clients.

How about:

Inside: flock wallpaper, deep pile carepet, open fire, piano, etc.
Outside: Large steel door with big locks on it.
Guide: "No, sorry, that's a high-security area, you can't go in
        there".

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Mark Land » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00



says...

Quote:

>This might provide a bit of imaginative brainstorming:

>I'm a Unix admin in a small high-tech marketing company that's growing like
>wildfire. We're going to be buying a new building soon, and the company
>president has invited us (the MIS dept.) to strain our brains to come up
>with the ultimate, coolest-looking mis room/server room design that we can.
>The emphasis here is on coolest-_looking_; we'll probably be buying a
>biometrics security system (such as a retinal scanner), not for actual
>security purposes, but for the look of the thing. And so on. The idea is to
>really impress the clients.

Thanks for insulting my intelligence. But I guess this is the same attitude
that brought us Windows NT....

Quote:>Which looks coolest, open racks or smoked-glass rack cabinets? What should
>the floor in the main MIS room be, carpet or tile?

Carpet, definitely. Clients naive enough to be fooled by the appearance of your
machine room won't realize how inappropriate carpeting is for an area which
must minimize static electricity.

Quote:>What's
>the most impressive-looking object(s) in your own server room, that catches
>the eye as an obvious "cutting-edge technology" thing?

The fact that hardly anyone is ever in there, because all our technology works
without constant human intervention.

In that case, why even make this your actual computer room? Build a bunch of
boxes with blinking lights and Star Trek touch-panels and put all the *
computers that actually do the work somewhere else.

I think that was how the Great and Powerful Oz did it....

--
Mark Landin
T. D. Williamson, Inc.
UNIX Sys. Admin (but an MPE-er too!)
"If you take the smooth, you gotta take the rough" -- Rob Halford

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Mark Land » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

>How about:

>Inside: flock wallpaper, deep pile carepet, open fire, piano, etc.
>Outside: Large steel door with big locks on it.
>Guide: "No, sorry, that's a high-security area, you can't go in
>        there".

The guide should be dressed as Goofy, Mickey, or other Walt-Disney character.

--
Mark Landin
T. D. Williamson, Inc.
UNIX Sys. Admin (but an MPE-er too!)
"If you take the smooth, you gotta take the rough" -- Rob Halford

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Stephen Boon » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00


To: B. Reynolds

I am jealous!!!! I would love to mount all of my Suns into racks. A
really cool idea is to fabracate nameplates for the top of the racks
with the company logo on them - sharp!!!! We did that at my last job and
it looked sweet!!!!!! If you have Suns, this company called Artecon (or
something like that) have mount brackets for Suns - the only drawback is
that they hide the front of the machine.

Have Fun!!!

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Christian Trembla » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00




>   Scallion> I'm a Unix admin in a small high-tech marketing company
>   Scallion> that's growing like wildfire. We're going to be buying a
>   Scallion> new building soon, and the company president has invited
>   Scallion> us (the MIS dept.) to strain our brains to come up with
>   Scallion> the ultimate, coolest-looking mis room/server room design
>   Scallion> that we can.  The emphasis here is on coolest-_looking_;
>   Scallion> we'll probably be buying a biometrics security system
>   Scallion> (such as a retinal scanner), not for actual security
>   Scallion> purposes, but for the look of the thing. And so on. The
>   Scallion> idea is to really impress the clients.

What was the name of that guy's company? So that I make sure not to buy
stock in a company where the president is so stupid as to make business
decisions based on the "coolest-looking mis room/server room design"

Chris

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Gordon Baldw » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00






>>   Scallion> I'm a Unix admin in a small high-tech marketing company
>>   Scallion> that's growing like wildfire. We're going to be buying a
>>   Scallion> new building soon, and the company president has invited
>>   Scallion> us (the MIS dept.) to strain our brains to come up with
>>   Scallion> the ultimate, coolest-looking mis room/server room design
>>   Scallion> that we can.  The emphasis here is on coolest-_looking_;
>>   Scallion> we'll probably be buying a biometrics security system
>>   Scallion> (such as a retinal scanner), not for actual security
>>   Scallion> purposes, but for the look of the thing. And so on. The
>>   Scallion> idea is to really impress the clients.

>What was the name of that guy's company? So that I make sure not to buy
>stock in a company where the president is so stupid as to make business
>decisions based on the "coolest-looking mis room/server room design"

We just went throught a "beautification" project on our computer room.
The thing to remember is not to forget that functionality is first on
the list. Dressing up to the point of losing functionality can be a
problem.

Our computer room is a show piece. If you are trying to win clients,
a snappy looking computer room is a big asset. You want them to say "my
data will be happy here". Our clients regularly get a tour that stops
at the window to the computer room.

We put up a console system with a star-trek like wraparound console. Two
levels of monitors behind smoked glass. It looks cool and the operators
have found it to be a very nice place to work. No more wandering around
to check out things.
--

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Key fingerprint =  BD B5 D6 83 01 64 9C 1A  EB 3D BD 29 09 7B EA FD

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Cheng-Jih Ch » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00




>We put up a console system with a star-trek like wraparound console. Two
>levels of monitors behind smoked glass. It looks cool and the operators
>have found it to be a very nice place to work. No more wandering around
>to check out things.

I just had this image of Homer Simpson sitting at his console at the
Power Plant.

--

"Look, he sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He
knows when you've been bad or good. And he's got a list with the name
of every child in the world!  Tell me that's not suspicious."

 
 
 

The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Roger Boo » Thu, 18 Dec 1997 04:00:00



: says...
: >
: >What's
: >the most impressive-looking object(s) in your own server room, that catches
: >the eye as an obvious "cutting-edge technology" thing?

: The fact that hardly anyone is ever in there, because all our technology
: works without constant human intervention.

The most impressive looking object in our server room is an IBM mainframe.
Think your boss will go for that? :)

Roger (He didn't say the most worthwhile, just the most impressive).
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The ultimate, coolest-looking server room?

Post by Lars Josephse » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00





> >We put up a console system with a star-trek like wraparound console. Two
> >levels of monitors behind smoked glass. It looks cool and the operators
> >have found it to be a very nice place to work. No more wandering around
> >to check out things.

> I just had this image of Homer Simpson sitting at his console at the
> Power Plant.

This is no joking matter: The PHB at my last job actually put up a
console
just like the one described above. Except we had three levels of
monitors,
a total of 15 monitors for 5 servers! He then bought VGA splitters, so
each
server fed 2 or 4 monitors and those were cheap old monitors that could
not
go above VGA (640x480). The first time we tried them we had the computer
set
for SVGA (800x600) which naturally burned out 2 monitors. These monitors
were not replaced. Oh, and the first batch of monitors bought for the
console were broken, they were bought for display only.

This was an ISP run by a clueless guy (PHB), who treated the technical
staff
so badly that we all left in disgust.

Two months later they went bankrupt.

How is that for a real world story with a good morale :-)

Sincerely,

Lars
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