Cabling is one of the most critical elements of a data center. A number of different stumbling blocks can get in the way of your planning and management - from poor physical installation conditions to the wrong cable type – and they cause the all too inconvenient downtime.
Follow these 7 steps to get your cabling right and set your data center up for success:
Design the cabling for your data center in advance
When it comes to cabling components, there is a lot to consider. Should you use copper or fibre cabling? Is patching better for you or switching? Questions about your server requirements, port density, and cabling quantity need to be asked well in advance to ensure you can plan effectively. This is critical. You might benefit from using Data Center Infrastructure Management Software to enable real-time transparency at each cabinet.
Document ALL new patch cabling installations
It may not seem important to document patch cabling, but it is a must. Without effective documentation, you are looking at challenges arising from provisioning or maintaining new equipment, and even troubleshooting connectivity problems.
Decide the length of cable that you need
Next, you need to figure out the length of cable that you need. With accurate measurements, you avoid your data center being filled with loose cable. You also end up reducing waste and, consequently, keeping your costs down.
Manually measuring your cables with a tape can be tedious, so use software to do this work for you automatically. Effective tools can help you to measure both horizontal and vertical distances quickly and accurately, making sure that your cabling is perfect for your data center. No downtime or rework. Keep in mind - this also helps you eradicate copper waste, making your data center more eco-friendly.
Put together accurate instructions for cabling installation
Typically, one team handles the design of the data center, and another deals with the installation. Insufficient instructions on the build sheet from the design team can cause faulty connections and poor installations. This is where software helps – to create correct work orders and document accurate instructions. It would help to also print the work orders for the installation team. Think about putting a procedure in place, should the build team have any queries.
Validate the connections
When installing cabling for a data center, the distances between the termination and starting points, and the quantity of cabling, may be your first areas of focus. However, the compatibility of the physical connectors is just as critical.
If you are to provision new equipment to the rack, you need to check that the patch panel or switch has compatible ports. Software would help you ensure that any cabinets that do not have enough compatible connectors are not included during the planning process, improving efficiency and productivity considerably.
Track your connectivity capacity
These days, many companies utilize big data to make more intelligent decisions about data center management. However, you need to know which connectivity metrics to track. Your legacy tools can get you actionable insights into your data, and the scope and the nature of your cabling project will dictate the route you go down.
Always plan for the future, not just the here-and-now
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to any sort of business project is failing to think about the future. While the here-and-now is imperative, you also need to make sure that your data center is designed in a manner that is scalable, and conducive to your future operations. This does not mean that you should simply add extra features for the sake of it. Be thoughtful - consider what your business is going to need in the future and what your goals are.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to cabling for your business’ data center today. If you have any questions about cabling or data center management, or if you would like an expert to handle the process for you, get in touch with us today.
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