Many of our friends who feel that they have outgrown shared hosting or a VPS service, often ask us whether they can setup a Dedicated Hosting Server in their own Home or Office to cut costs. Of course it is possible and has been done before by many companies, however, it may not always be a prudent option for a small or medium business and sometimes not a good idea for a large business too. This article explains what it entails to host your website or web apps from your own office or home.
While this may sound unnecessary, if you really want to do things professionally, you should have a dedicated server room which houses the server on which you are going to host your website or resources. This server room needs to have 24 x 7 facilities as given below. Many server hardware providers will not provide you with a warranty or may void the warranty if you do not have a dedicated server room with these facilities. The server room can be locked to ensure cleanliness and also for physical security of the infrastructure. Server Rooms need to have special ducting and cabling to accommodate all the physical connections to it. Servers are usually mounted in server racks, which house the network switches, cables and peripherals.
Every server room or server should have the adequate temperature controlled environment, to ensure stability and smooth running. An HVAC system is required to ensure that the temperature and ventilation is balanced and that extreme external climates don’t affect the server hardware. The HVAC system needs to be run 24×7 and should ideally be fully automated.
Usually live servers have a UPS and Battery backup to ensure that in the event of a grid failure or power line fault, automatically the UPS kicks in and keeps the server afloat. Diesel powered generators are also commonly used to ensure prolonged sustenance of power supply to the facility.
Security and fire-fighting mechanisms
Physical security of the server is most important. Proper security and surveillance needs to be setup to ensure a safe environment for the server and its data. Intrusion detection systems, alarm systems and even CCTV camera’s maybe installed to provide all round protection. Server rooms need special fire fighting equipment with clean fire fighting agents to ensure that in the event of a fire, the fire extinguishers cause less damage than the actual fire. The clean foam leaves no residue and ensures that the affected area can be cleaned off the foam. These foams are very expensive and an entire commercial fire safety system can cost much more as compared to household ones.
An important aspect of having a server which is live on the internet, is having a dedicated support team to troubleshoot it and to take corrective action in case of a fault. This means that you would need to employ minimum 2 people who have the relevant expertise, to work in 2 shifts round the clock. The technicians need to be well equipped with various testing and monitoring tools to enable them to keep the server up and running.
A wide array of spares need to be maintained at the site of the server, to ensure quick replacement of faulty hardware and also to ensure that the spares are available. Most server rooms have a standard of maintaining at least one additional redundant piece of hardware, for every set of hardware put into or used for the server. This applies to cables and cabling equipment as well. Server rooms keep miles of spare cable at hand, to ensure emergency patching and quick replacement of faulty cables. Since cables are relatively inexpensive, they are completely discarded upon failure and are completely replaced.
You don’t need to mandatorily have these facilities when setting up a server, but not having these facilities will definitely hamper the smooth running of the hosting server in the long term. If you are serious about hosting your own website, you should do it professionally.