I’ve been in the data center world now for almost 10 years and I’ve collected some great tips from my customers to prevent data center disasters. So here they are!
1. Color coding your data center. Something as simple as using colored power cords can be prevent a big problem. This way it’s a simple way to see what feed you are working on. Green is A feed, Black is B feed. You can even take it one step further and get colored PDUs. This image shown have Chatsworth PDUs installed, you can customize them to any color you want!
2. Proper labeling and using correct labels. I’m sure a lot of people have used the office brand label maker that is used for labeling folders to label your data center, but to save a couple bucks what are you risking? Not only can temperatures get extremely hot but there are alot of people doing moves adds and changes, so investing in some commercial labels is important. If any of those labels come off or become unrecognizable it could mean a big disaster. Some popular brands I have seen in the data center are Brady or Panduit Labels. If you go through all the time to label why not use ones that you know will last? Labeling your patch cords is also very important, and if you don’t have the time to do that you can usually buy your patchcords with labels on them. Now you aren’t unplugging cords by mistake!
3. Making sure you EPO switch is properly guarded….I think that’s self explanatory there!
4.Never Allow liquids in the data center!
Water and electronics have never really gone well together. On this same note, it’s super important to hire the proper cleaners, they use the correct solutions for this environment. There are a lot of companies that clean data centers but one of my favorites is Spec-Clean, they clean a couple of my customer’s data centers and they do a great job!
5. Spend the time to design and hire a qualified IT contractor.
I’m sure you have walked in a spaghetti looking like data center or maybe you manage one. Usually that happened because either A) Things were going so fast that no one took to the time to really take measurements or design or B) You hired your brothers friend off craigslist to cable your data center. Having a data center like this can not only cause cords from coming loose, it’s super hard to troubleshoot, and it can cause airway issues for cooling your devices.
6. Make sure you are using the right size fiber jumpers and patch cords. I once went on a tour at a stadium data center and they were using 12M fiber jumpers when it really should have been 2M and they were draped all over the floor, you couldn’t help but step on them if you had to work on the rack. I can’t imagine how many broken fiber jumpers they had….
7. Senors and more sensors!
Monitoring your data center down to the port can be very beneficial when you are trying to figure out if you are about to over load your your rack power strip, or if you have lost connection somewhere an alarm will sound before it becomes a problem. It can also be very important if you are one of the people that ended up inheriting a data center near a bathroom and your company won’t invest the capital to move it….leak detection sensors could be your life saver!