Budgets and deadlines are in danger when it comes to data center improvements, but so are the network cables and other equipment.
Renovations create myriad challenges, especially if the data center remains operational during the retrofits. But they're necessary to deploy important new technologies in data centers and are good opportunities to ensure that fundamentals are sound.
How do you prevent network cable damage during data center retrofits and upgrades, and even during normal operations?
Data center network advances
ToR switches simplify data centers
Yay or nay for shielded cables?
40 GbE speeds await adoption
There is no substitute for simple awareness. Data center contractors must have a clear understanding of cabling -- network, power and other infrastructure cabling -- layouts before starting any kind of retrofit or facility upgrade. Provide contractors with clear and accurate cable documentation, take them on a thorough walkthrough and review the existing cabling layouts before work begins.
For basic network cable management, ensure that cabling is off the floor so it cannot be stepped on; away from any pipes such as those for chilled water, clear of major electromagnetic sources like chiller compressors; and away from heat sources that might trigger a fire. Local building and electrical codes will provide additional guidelines for routing and interconnecting cabling.
If retrofit or upgrade plans will jeopardize cabling (e.g., cables traverse a wall that is coming down), reroute the cabling out of harm's way first. This is often a small project, but consider running new cabling to support faster Ethernet speeds in protected conduits, marking it clearly for future reference.
Network cable management can improve thanks to a data center renovation project. For example, a data center could have cabling and piping scattered beneath raised floors. During renovations, workers can reroute network cabling into protective conduits running along the ceiling, using vertical drops into individual racks. This enhances cable protection by avoiding any water leaks under the false floor.
Dig Deeper on SDN and other network strategies
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Full virtualization and paravirtualization both enable hardware resource abstraction, but the two technologies differ when it comes to isolation ... Continue Reading
Organizations can cap their hyper-converged infrastructure costs when they deploy the Azure Stack HCI platform, but once they plug into the cloud, ... Continue Reading
You can implement ESXi on ARM -- or other RISC processors -- in micro and nano data centers. A nano data center is more specialized but also more ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.