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Wire Management: Reorganize,
Rewire and Recommit

LVS Breaks New Ground in the Design and Installation of Power Distribution, Rack Cooling, and Uninterrupted Power Supplies within Server and IT Rooms.

The wiring closets of old didn’t require much thought. Filled with passive devices like patch panels, small hubs, and multi-colored switches, the infrastructure was fairly straightforward. Wiring closets were often tucked away with limited floor space, inadequate power protection, insufficient cooling, and poor environmental management.

Today’s network technology demands more. Wiring closets are being displaced with server rooms filled with large, high power switches and telecommunications equipment that support new applications such as VoIP and IP Telephony. These new spaces require strict environmental demands that directly impact equipment performance.

In a handout from APC Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, it cites this statistic from TechRepublic: 67 percent of level 1 network issues are due to poor routing and transmission of data, poor cable management, and insufficient airflow management. Inadequate documentation has long been another challenge, causing the wrong cable to be unplugged and inconsistent lifecycle maintenance. Even simple port changes become not so simple without proper documentation. In the changing environment of the traditional wiring closet, poor wire management can lead to unwanted down time and higher maintenance costs.

In November, LVS project managers and technicians met with technical experts from APC Schneider Electric to establish new best practices for what the industry calls “Network Critical Physical Infrastructure” solutions. These include wiring closets equipped with uninterruptible power supply, air-conditioning/airflow, environmental management and mobile technology.

As for definitive best practices, LVS suggests:
1) Focus on the big three: Monitor the environment, manage the cooling, control the power.
2) Keep a cable schedule spreadsheet listing types of wiring and their connection points.
3) Conduct a periodic Wire Management Audit.
4) Good management demands key devices: an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), rack power distribution (PDU), environmental and security with NetBotz, and KVM Switching and Rack LCD Consoles.
5) Consider remote management devices via interfaces or a Data Center Infrastructure (DCIM) with Struxure Ware Data Center Expert.
6) Set aside the time to do small things with exceptional quality, like properly configuring switch interfaces, and rigging grounding racks and wires.
7) Velcro, a simple accessory, keeps cables organized. A label at each cable end can save hours of work later on. Color-coding puts you over the finish line and into the A+ category.