Having just attended the BICSI conference in Vancouver, I was listening to several topics in the seminar sessions. Although they were geared to high performance, improved signal, energy savings and many other valid issues. There was something else that was coming through in these messages. Something simple and easy for anyone to do. Like in any business people are always looking to cut costs, meet tight budgets etc. consequently it isn’t just looking for better prices it is also cutting down on what is installed.
I am sure we all know the rule of 40% conduit fill on initial install, whether it is implemented we all know that. Take this one step further, the number of Racks & Cabinets in a Data Centre or communications room invariably is only big enough to handle the equipment that they currently have? So, as soon as they pull a few more cables, because they do have room in the conduit, when it comes to terminate on the patch panel they find they need another patch panel. No problem buy another panel? But is there room in the Rack/Cabinet to put in another Panel. Same with a switch, UPS or any other Rack mountable equipment.
Suddenly adding another Rack/Cabinet into an already crowded Data Room is easier said than done. They can cut down on width and then lose cable management, they can go taller if the ceiling allows but that will not be often. Or they can overcrowd the cabinet which is when we see those great pictures of “how not to cable”. Nothing ever starts off like that but due to planning based on existing equipment it invariably ends up that way.
Conclusion: When designing a Computer Room look at what the TDMM Manuals recommend as a minimum and then add what you believe may be required over next 5 years. This will relieve a lot of headaches and over 5 years would show a considerable cost saving.
Nick Turvill, RCDD
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