Running an Efficient Data Center with Structured Cabling

Posted by Instor on May 22, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In the data center ecosystem, cabling plays the role of providing the backbone for communication. However, the lack of proper planning and design can jeopardize the functionality and scalability of your data center. This means it’s vitally important to pay attention to your cabling design from the start. Structured cabling systems can provide the discipline necessary to build and grow your data center.

AdobeStock_189345433

Image: Adobe

Don't Let 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind' Happen in Your Data Center

A Look at Traditional Cabling

Most data centers start with point-to-point cabling. Operators use cables to connect switches, storage devices, and servers as necessary. This approach can provide faster results in the short-term but lead to long-term problems. For example, operators might connect cables for a number of Ubuntu servers and call them “Ubuntu, Group 1.” In a few years or even a few months, the locations of the servers might change and create a confusing situation.

Poor planning can also lead to other problems. The cables might obstruct pathways and airflows as the data center starts to grow. A tangled mess of cables can decrease the efficiency while making the data center a hazardous place to work. Data centers often end up reorganizing when the environment becomes unmanageable.

Before the 1990s, commercial enterprises were cabling their systems in this haphazard way, so there was a need for a standard. The Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) created the TIA/EIA-568 which defines the structured cabling standards for commercial buildings. The TIA-942 provides additional standards for cabling specific to data centers.

Benefits of Structured Cabling in Data Centers

Regardless of your data center's size, structured cabling can make it easier to maintain. It helps you organize and operate your data center efficiently. Here are the key reasons you should consider structured cabling for your data center:

Future Expandability

With proper design and planning, structured cabling can easily support your equipment for a decade or longer. As your data center expands, you always have to revisit and update. However, if you start without a design, you will have to invest in multiple rounds of redoing your cables. With structured cabling, you will be better prepared to add new equipment as demands increase.

Cost Effective

Structured cabling can both decrease your power and maintenance costs. For example, if you are using traditional point-to-point cabling, you can end up with inefficient connections. When you use a structured design, you have a better understanding of where you can optimize. It improves your power usage. Furthermore, when you have a problem with the network, your CAD design documentation, labels and color coding make it easier to upgrade or repair the system. And this will save you money on maintenance.

Higher Availability

Trouble-shooting a well-planned structured cable network is a breeze. You can pinpoint problems areas and resolve issues faster, thus improving your data center uptime dramatically.

Do you need help to figure out structured cabling for your data center? Check out Instor’s Structured Cabling Design & Consulting Service. Our experts have years of experience from working with data centers of all shapes and sizes. We can help you design and implement a future-proof data center that will  can will serve you for years. Contact us today.