IT checklist for deploying server hardware

Last updated: 28 August 2022

This checklist if for deploying new hardware (server, storage, appliance) into a data centre, comms room, broom closet.

Related checklists


  • Ensure sufficient cooling in place, either ventilation of air conditioning. Consider the immediate hardware location (there may need to be gaps directly above/ below) and the overall room cooling (adding “one more server” may change overall room temperature)
  • Dust free
  • Rack power distribution with free outlet and compatible plug type
  • Overall room power within capacity
  • Overall rack/ room UPS within capacity and outage runtime acceptable

Rack preparation

  • Rack and location within rack identified
  • Validate width and depth of rack is suitable
  • Validate hardware installation via rails or other method

TIP: if using installation rails, ensure the cabling to the front/ back has sufficient slack that the hardware can be extended out on the rails.

Explainer: What are rails?
Rails provide a means to slide hardware in and out of a rack.

Network preparation

  • Switch ports in the rack identified
  • Switch ports correctly configured (correct vlan, 802.1x port security)
  • IP address/s allocated
  • Certificates generated if required for authentication
  • Cross connect cabling (fibre or copper with correct connectors) to other rack locations
  • Patch cables sufficient length, correct type (fibre or copper with correct connectors) to reach new hardware
  • Firewall rules
  • Internet access, authenticated or not, SSL inspection or not, for licences, patches, activation


  • Initial equipment connection; console cable, crossover cable, default IP, default username/ password.
  • Configure initial authentication; domain joined, local accounts, LDAP, SSH keys.
  • Configure out-of-band management (Dell iDRAC, HP iLO, etc).

– If connecting with a crossover cable remember to get the default IP of the hardware, and remember to manually match your computer IP, subnet mask and default gateway.
– Don’t forget to remove or change default username/ password access.

Installation logistics

  • Heavy equipment may need more than one person to install.

Monitoring and alerting

  • Onboard for monitoring and alerting for hardware issues (lost power, key component failures, overheating).

Patch cables

  • How many
  • What colour
  • What length/s
  • What type
  • Labelling approach
  • Cable management approach (zip ties, velcro ties)

Information for support teams

  • Accounts created along with account owner, password details and in particular password expiry dates
  • Hardware details required for support; serials numbers, make/ model, MAC address, support entitlement (response time/ resolution time/ support expiry date)
  • Location of configuration documentation

Ongoing access

  • Are there new people (vendors) who need ongoing access to the hardware, either directly (in which case what are the induction/ access processes) or via local “hands and feet”

Application readiness

  • Monitoring and alerting
  • Service accounts required by the hardware
  • group policies

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