Yet Another Reason To Move To Structured Cabling In The Data Center

Yet Another Reason To Move To Structured Cabling In The Data Center

The Sad and All-Too-Familiar Data Center Cabling Scenario

The article from InfoWorld laid out a scenario.  In the scenario, it starts with a newly built data center. It's clean, designed to your specs, and organized to the point of color codes... a real thing of beauty. Then life happens.  As changes occur over time the cables are no longer a thing of beauty. The color codes are out the window.  The early signs of cable spaghetti start to take shape.  Yeah, it's a pain in the neck, but you know your way around, so it's okay (says the overwhelmed IT pro in denial).

The article above goes on.  The IT pro working in this data center might be tasked with implementing a change. In fact, it might be quite simple.  However, you have to fight the growing cable mess.  So, you think "Hey, I'll just quickly tidy up these cables right here". It should just take a minute, right? Not so fast, my friend.

As much as your good intentions should be applauded, once you start pulling on the cables and playing around you may stumble into a series of unintended consequences that make your little mess a bigger problem the more you try to make it tidy.

Therefore, the article advises resisting the urge to start getting your hands into those cables.  Instead, it's recommended that you take some time to make a plan, then tackle the project at one time.

The Lessons

1. Good Habits Matter

This seems like a no-brainer.  Yet, if we kept with our good habits and best practices, the data center cabling messes probably wouldn't occur in most cases.

2. Handle the Small Matters Before They Become Big Problems

Many cultures have proverbs to pass on this bit of wisdom for a reason.   Cable spaghetti doesn't happen overnight.  It's a series of events. It's not addressing the small problems over time.  After a while, you have a great big problem. Then, it's too late.  Fixing a small problem may very well lead to more problems...which in turn lead to more problems.  You see where this is going. So, do yourself a favor, Daniel-san. Trim a weed before it grows into a tree.

3. A Structured Cabling Solution For The Data Center

If you want to avoid the messy cable scenario above and have well planned, organized, highly functional data center cables, a structured cabling solution is a way to go.  Here's why.

Unlike a point-to-point system where making changes can become increasingly cumbersome over time, a structured cabling system is designed to eliminate this frustration.  Instead of rerouting a patch cord all over, you make a quick, simple change.

It makes following the first 2 lessons quicker, easier, and more effective.  Not only is making changes easier with a structured cabling system, but it also allows you to better understand exactly what is going on with your cables.  This helps you avoid serious mistakes. Nobody likes that kind of stress.

With a structured cabling system, you don't have to resist the urge to touch the cable, as the above article suggests.  Everything is laid out logically and is easier to maintain.  Playing with a couple of cables won't lead to a frustrating mess that takes up your whole day.

Structured cabling is flexible and is scalable.  This may keep you from spending tons of times on regular changes. Furthermore, when it comes time for bigger changes, a structured cabling system will make your life easier again.

Seriously, Go With A Structured Cabling Solution For Your Data Center

Yes, it's worth repeating.  Time and space are the names of the game in the data center cable game.

Time is money, so you want to have a smart way to maintain your data center and accommodate future data center expansion.  You want to save time on small changes and big change. Plus, you don't want to spend time periodically having to do clean-ups of your point-to-point cabling. Your time can be better spent.

Space is important for 3 major reasons. The first reason is basic. You only have so much space.  It's limited.  Clutter is the enemy because it uses up so much space unnecessarily (but you know this). Second, you need to manage space so you have order in your data center. An orderly data center is key to high performance.  Third, proper space management is key for data center cooling issues.

Just remember to exercise good habits, take care of small matters before they become problems, and implement a structured cabling solution in your data center. Do this, and you'll be in good shape.