HomeLab: Server Room Build – PT 1 – Lets get to it!

Having realised I’m running out of time quickly to get my Server room up and running before I head over to Japan at the end of the year. I decided to re-prioritise other things and make a decent start on it. I Sat down a few months back and went over plans on paper a few more times to confirm this was what I Wanted to go for. To enable me to “see” the plans, I spent some time drawing it up on SketchUp.

Due to slight limitations of the room sizing, I will need to do something slightly dodgy around the comms cabinet to keep the Hot Aisle sealed + ensure the hardware in the Comms cabinet doesn’t cook (there is only a cisco 24 port 10/100 POE switch in there anyway so I’m not too worried about it getting a bit warm), However, Luckily the side panels of it come off so it’ll just be a matter of blowing cold aisle air from the right side of the cabinet and sealing the front door and left side panel with a compression seal (and extracting air through the top of the cabinet).


The Server Room!
Server Room - SketchUP Drawing of the Room Design

A Hot/Cold isle setup is what I’m am going for, allowing me to keep minimal space in front of the Rack cooled reducing my overall cooling costs dramatically. I will also be rigging up a temp triggered switch that Will turn off the Air con and turn on a decent sized fan on the Door vent once the outside temp drops below 20C. Providing testing goes well this should reduce the cost to run again quite dramatically.


I found a local builder who had plenty of treated pine for a good price. 6AM start on Tuesday morning, it was dropped off to me.

Server Room - Stack of wood for Hot/Cold isle build


Intending on keeping the original store room ceiling and I cut out a section for the extraction fans to go. This allowed me to install a piece of MDF with fans installed. The size of the cutout meant I could drop this sheet and access the roof space.

Server Room - Old Extraction fan Idea

However, after a long thought about it. I decided that it would make more sense to remove it and start fresh!
This would allow me to build everything nice and solid. Allowing me to separate the Store room roof space from the remainder of the house. Allowing a reduce of noise entering the roof space.


I got onto removing the old ceiling panels So I could make a start on the room this weekend coming.
Unfortunately the comms rack is in production with one of my old PfSense routers and the Camera POE switch. It’s going to have to stay put. It got a bit dusty during the tear down, but it’ll be fine!

Server Room - Roof Space


As keeping the Server Room free from dust is my highest priority & being an external room, It needed some attention.
Finally, The door sealed up perfectly using a solid foam/Rubber compound adhesive strip.


Before and after GIF of the Light showing through the gaps

Server Room - Showing Sealed Door AnimationYes the light in the room is still on as noticeable around the bottom of the door as I haven’t installed the weatherproof seal yet!

All good things must come to an end, Will try and keep this build blog updated as much as possible.


Bonus Pic, looking into the Server Room. One of my many money pits!

Server Room - Looking In

Posted by Brendan

An IT system Administrator from Australia, technology guru and Automotive enthusiast/wanna be mechanic.

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