Which is better: layout in the middle or at the end of the line to …


Belden recently ran a LinkedIn Live event with Data Center Sales Director Chrissy Olsen, Technology Solutions Architect Henry Franc, StrategITcom Technical Director Carrie Goetz, Black Box Network Services Project Manager Chris Hillyer and I. -same. Together, we explored several fiber and data center topics that we will be covering in these blogs over the next few months.

As part of this discussion, we had a friendly debate about the Middle of Row (MoR) and End of Row (EoR) layout when it comes to creating fiber redundancy in the data center. The question arises: How do you choose a layout? What is the best layout?

While everyone had their favorite, we all agreed on one thing: it’s about preference. Some data center managers like MoR because it supports symmetrical layout and reduces inconsistencies and gaps. Others prefer the EoR because it requires less rack space. But there is no right or wrong answer here, as long as you keep certain factors in mind.

If you want to know more, watch the 30 minute session here. For a recap of some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a data center layout, read on …

1. Don’t create unnecessary complexity

We once worked with a client who decided to do an EoR design and set up rows of cabinets left to right, then right to left, alternating back and forth to maximize square footage. While this may be true, this approach also created a new challenge: a significant increase in physical complexity.

The lesson here? Before deciding on how to set up a data center, think about the goal of your redundancy: what are you trying to protect your data center from? If this customer was worried that a backhoe might go through their data center, this layout might have worked for them. Ultimately, however, their goals were more to reduce operational redundancy to ensure uninterrupted availability. In this case, there are easier ways to achieve these results.

Another example of weighing complexity is using color codes as part of a redundancy strategy. While color codes allow data center operators to visually see the redundancy built into the system (blue cables on one side and orange cables on the other, for example), color codes can also add another level of complexity. when they are not. followed.

If a data center technician needs a blue cable to perform a repair and cannot find one, chances are they will use an orange cable instead and the color code may lose its value from the. Are the benefits worth the level of complexity they bring?

2. Maintain consistency and standardization when you can.

As much as possible, be consistent across an area, data center, and potentially across all data center facilities. This comes with many benefits.

A standardized environment enables operations to be more efficient at a lower overall cost. Even something as simple as racks and cabinets that fit together using the same process will save you time.

Human error is the root cause of the majority of data center downtime, and reducing them offers the greatest opportunity to improve uptime. Standardizing data center processes and systems helps technicians become familiar with documentation, maintenance, and repairs, reducing errors due to lack of knowledge or awareness.

Standardizing data centers also requires less time to bring systems back online. When standardized components can be removed and replaced quickly in the event of failure, downtime is minimized. When technicians know how to troubleshoot a problem in an area of ​​the data center, they will be able to apply that knowledge to the entire facility (or facility portfolio) when layouts and solutions are standardized.

3. Leave enough room for paths and spaces

Paths and spaces are among the most overlooked aspects of a data center, until they are full. Then they get much needed attention. Good cable management is not an option, it is a necessity. And this must be planned in advance.

Whether below ground or at height, paths need enough space for the installation of containment systems, whether they are ladder racks, trays, baskets, etc. Key parameters for containment systems include rack density, end equipment cable entry, room height, and cable type, number and diameter. They are all taken into account in the planning.

Make sure that the data center layout you choose provides enough space for cable management now and in the future.

Want to know more about me and my colleagues on the topic of fiber in data centers? Listen to the full LinkedIn Live session here. If you have any questions drop me a note. I would be happy to help you.


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