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Tips For Taming Cabinet Chaos

February 20, 2009
By Christian Perry, processor.com

If your server cabinets make a dense Peruvian jungle look neat and tidy, you’re not alone. Mired within the constant loop of adding and removing components, many data centers eventually grow careless with cabinet organization, in turn creating environments that are frightfully unfavorable for their equipment. If this situation describes your data center, these tips can get you back on track.

Don’t Restart From Scratch

As cabinets grow more unruly over time, data center personnel might be tempted to perform complete cabinet reorganizations to get things back on track. But experts recommend avoiding that tactic, as it could cause far more problems than it could potentially solve.

"Cabinet strategy should not occur randomly and in a vacuum," says Tom Deaderick, director of business development for OnePartner. "Cabinets are one of many components that make up the data center environment. Affecting any one component introduces the risk of impact to others, or even the entire environment. All facets of the data center, including cabinets, should be incorporated into the design and only modified if a technology shift makes that action unavoidable."

Create guidelines

According to Tom Deaderick, director of business development for OnePartner, it's a good idea to create guidelines that data center personnel can follow when it's time to integrate new cabinet equipment. He recommends that managers cover multiple areas in the guidelines, including a schedule for deployment and decommissioning, quality-assurance planning, staging and acclamation areas, a prework checklist, electrical considerations, thermal dynamic impact, and access for maintenance and servicing.