Monthly Archives: April 2014

Keep Your Eye on These Server Trends in 2014

Server Rack Trends 2014

by TechRack Systems

Each year brings new designs, innovations, and trends to the server industry and 2014 is no exception. As server equipment becomes more optimized and energy-efficient, the supporting server racks must be more versatile than ever before. That means the purchasing consideration process becomes more complex when evaluating your future data center and small office computer rack needs.

Here are four key words to guide you in your purchasing decisions: Disruption, Density, Integration, and Cloud. Let’s explore further…

1. Disruption: We’ve all heard of “disruptive innovation” when it comes to new technologies—they bring sudden changes in technology that force businesses to adapt or risk losing revenue or even their company altogether. With that, companies often fall into three categories: a preference to be risk-averse and stick to the mainstream; a tendency to take moderate risks to enhance their business; or the willingness to take big risks with the eye on the prize of bigger goals, expansion, and revenue. Which path you decide to take will depend on your company’s size, financial situation, and future plans. These characteristics also drive how well your data center will likely react to the change.

2. Density: As technologies advance, it’s becoming the norm to consolidate more servers and related computing equipment onto the same chassis. That’s good news for budgeting a server approach—it means you can fit more equipment onto the same racks and cabinets, and will likely save both money and space. And for small businesses, this means utilizing an approach that will maximize space and will keep server equipment in a contained area and organized efficiently. Examples of this are small 6U-18U computer racks and wall racks.

3. Integration: A server rack can have all the promise of improved efficiency and performance, but it won’t be very effective if it doesn’t integrate seamlessly into your current equipment and component setup. In other words, be sure that any integration plans for the future are complimentary to your existing server configuration. The fact that new technologies are available is not reason enough for the investment. Timing plays a factor in integration too—you may want to wait until existing technologies are in sync with your business goals like expansion, reallocating office space, or even a move to a new location.

4. Cloud: This could be the biggest game changer of the bunch. Big data is only getting “bigger” in nearly every industry, and the number of data centers specializing in cloud server and storage needs is increasing by leaps and bounds each year. In fact, a number of vendors are anticipating building servers that are designed specifically for cloud computing use. If you don’t have a plan in place to integrate cloud computing into your business model, now is the time to figure out if a strategy is needed for the future and how that will impact your purchasing decisions.

These four trends in technology—disruption, density requirements, system integration, and cloud requirements—will be important levers in your server rack buying strategies in 2014. Work with your server vendor to create the best plan to meet your data center or small office requirements. For more information, contact TechRack Systems, info@techrack.com, or view our Website.

Data Storage and Data Privacy Rules, What Do I Need to Know?

Computer Data Security

Know the Laws for Data Privacy Before Buying Server Racks

by TechRack Systems

Did you know that there are many privacy rules that impact the way that you can store your data? This is important when evaluating options for large server racks and even small computer cabinet purchases. Many large organizations have an IT infrastructure and measures in place to safeguard these privacy rules. However, smaller businesses and offices often don’t have an IT department, so they may not be aware of these security requirements. Whether it’s government-mandated HIPAA laws that protect medical information, laws that oversee the financial industry, or government regulations that affect military contractors, knowing the rules will not only safeguard data, it will shield you from violating any applicable laws.

As a starting point, across the board for both online and off-line businesses, installations that are subject to confidential data requirements must keep their server racks and cabinets in either a locked room with limited access or in an enclosed space, or under lock and key in an open area. For both situations, only authorized personnel should be able to access this private data. Though it may seem “overly protective” in a one-person office, these laws mandate this regardless of the size of a business (and imagine if someone broke in and stole the computers).

So What Information Needs to Be Protected?

  • Medical: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, protects individually identifiable health information from being released against a patient’s will. This means personal medical data needs to be secured at all times, whether in an individual doctor’s office or a large hospital complex.
  • Military Contractors: Just as the U.S. government has strict regulations on handling sensitive data and classified material, military contractors are subjected to the same stringent requirements as an extension of the government. From office equipment logs to personnel records to matters of national security, the data must be in a physically secure storage area. (On a similar note, delivering server racks to both military installations and their government contractors can mean cutting through more red tape than deliveries to traditional, commercial locations. See more here from TechRack’s previous post.)
  • Financial Records: Banking regulations, acts of congress, and FTC consumer protections require that financial information be stored securely. These laws apply to any company hosting personal financial information: banks, brokerage companies, retirement planners, insurance companies, and those that provide credit scores, to name a few. Data protection has come under more scrutiny in recent years given the increased frequency of data breaches coupled with the rise of hackers. It also underscores the importance of starting off with a strong foundation to secure the physical data.

In addition to these rules and regulations, follow these common sense, practical guidelines when hosting confidential information in data servers and cabinets:

  • Store private data in work areas that are protected against damage from physical hazards, including fires, floods, and earthquakes
  • Ensure that your computer inventory levels are carefully monitored on a regular basis (and that backup measures are in place should a disaster occur)
  • Authorize the minimal number of employee access to restricted, secure storage areas
  • Make sure that you use USB Port Locks
  • Consider Security Wire Racks

To find out more about secure data storage options, check out our locking server and cabinet selection.