The Design and Organization of Data Centers/Wiring

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Keeping your wiring organized is a never-ending struggle. Make sure to make it as easy as possible.

fire safety considerations[edit]

types of cable:

Under Floor Organization[edit]

Place your major power lines in metal conduit.

Put all under-floor fiber connections in plenum-certified conduit, such as the orange crinkle tube.

If using electrical whips underneath floors, make sure the socket boxes are physically restrained in place and marked with the location on both ends.

Run all conduits and wires square to the floor panels to allow for easier under-floor organization.

When placing electrical power whips underneath the floor, take the time to make sure they are cut very close to length, as extra loops of this cable can take up a lot of space under the floor.

Rack to Rack Connections[edit]

Consider whether you want to use network switches and hubs in each rack and connect those to a central location, or use patch panels that go from rack to rack.

Use patch panels and other techniques to minimize how often you have to go into the floor. You should not need to lift floor panels to install a new computer.


Keyboard Video Mouse Switches[edit]

Consider using your KVM connections sparingly, using only one or two per rack and moving them when necessary for maintenance.

Buy a high-quality KVM, as quality counts, and go with an on-screen menu that allows you to label the computers.

Make sure your KVM allows for keyboard switching.

Compare against serial terminal servers if you have Unix boxes.

Use true KVM cables. Cables that you zip-tie together are harder to remove later. Also, the video connection that uses screws is shorter than the PS/2 connections, to reduce cable pull out.


Cable Management[edit]

Many products for rack cable management.

Velcro zipties are reusable.

Use Ethernet cables of many color and lengths. Consider color coding by length. Use only booted cables as they won't get caught up when being moved around.

Consider putting a unique serial number on both ends of every single cable going into your data center.

Use the shortest power cables possible. Put serial numbers on the power cables and consider using black and beige colored cables to show side-to-side redundancy.

Pre-plan location of power outlets on rack systems.

Planning for Expansion[edit]

Plan for extra analog phone jacks during construction, as they are often used for modems on equipment. Consider making them 56K leased-line capable.

References[edit]