JNS consultants have worked in a wide array of data centers and server rooms, each with its own unique flavor. Some are immaculate, with cables exactingly cut and tied to create a stunning visual presentation. More often, however, we see cabinets with a rats nest of cables, the result of overworked or irresponsible datacenter technicians. Below are some observations related to organization within the datacenter. Give JNS a call if your server room needs a facelift.
Proper Organization Will Save You Time and Money – Organizing your data center resources allows your data center technicians to work more effectively. Proper organization is a front-loaded task, but the time you spend upfront will save time during a crisis with faster diagnosis.
Increased Availability – An organized server room will increase system availability. Clutter and disorder cause data center operations staff to make errors, its as simple as that.
Don’t Overdo It – We’ve all seen the marketing photos of the perfect server room; with pristine cabling, identical servers, and attractive blue LEDs blinking in harmony. I’m a firm believer in a clean cabinet, but like most things the sweet spot is in moderation. The goal of organizing a server room is to create an environment that assists the operators in maintaining and troubleshooting within the environment. Attempting to achieve perfection is a costly endeavor with diminishing business returns.
The Layout Should be Intuitive – Simple and intuitive design reduces human error. Regardless of what documentation might say, people will often make assumptions even if it contradicts documentation. For example, lets assume you have two cabinets each with a single PDU. Above each cabinet is a power receptacle. But rather than having the PDU plug into the receptacle directly above the cabinet it is in, it plugs into the one above the neighboring cabinet. This is an extreme and unlikely scenario, but it illustrates how a technician could cause an outage by making incorrect assumptions in a non-intuitive environment.
The Layout Should be Consistent – In a high availability, live-site environment, consistency is critical to maintaining a stable environment.