Datacentres are not created equal
Many people don’t think about datacentres very often and when they do think about them they don’t think about how the people who operate the datacentres set up their own equipment, i.e., people don’t think about how the equipment that runs a datacentre is setup.
Datacentres are places that are full of complicated equipment that requires attention to detail from start to finish.
One important detail is cabling. Datacentres contain many cables that connect many pieces of hardware. Unless we are talking about cables that connect backup equipment that sits redundant waiting for its opportunity to go to work, all cables must be attached perfectly or something, somewhere, is not working.
With that thinking in mind, this CDN77.com tweet caught my attention…
No question about it, for some people, planned and organized cabling is like artwork, a “feast for your eyes”. Yet, many IT people are not artists and a visit to their server room/setup quickly proves they are not server/cable artists.
Here’s how some of the bigger companies go about organizing their server rooms:
As René’s facetious comment at the top of the picture pokes fun at…this sort of cabling is a horror show for troubleshooting. Yet, we see this in many companies and some 3rd-party datacentres, except, of course, most racks have locked doors to keep the cables in and stray hands out. [Access to server rooms is a topic for another day.]
How does your server setup stack up?
Here’s an example of what we regularly see when prospective clients show us their server setup. This is not a ‘bad example’. It is more like a ‘typical setup’. The good news is, it is not in a dust-filled corner of a workshop or in wide open space where everyone can see it and touch it.
The server room/area is the heart and brain of your IT systems. It relies on you to keep it protected.
Your coworkers rely on your IT service providers to be able to fix anything that goes wrong with hardware and networks as quickly as possible.
To accomplish that goal – two key points:
- In order to protect your IT equipment it needs to be isolated from work environments that include dust, humidity, etc., and protected from people who do not know why or how the various pieces fit together, and
- In order to fix your IT equipment effectively and quickly when failures occur your IT people need to know how to monitor its operation and troubleshoot its problems.
We do not like cables that serve no function. We do not like cables that are too long and obscure connections. While we do not describe our IT/tech people as artists, we do describe them as organized and tidy.
Here’s a picture that shows some of the cables and equipment in our private datacentre at 445 Wes Graham Way, Waterloo … in the David Johnston Research & Technology Park.