Thwarting the Cable Fairies
Cabling is probably the server room item given the least amount of attention. Neglect it too much, though, and it can and will come back to haunt you in many ways. Power and data cables can obstruct airflow, causing damage to IT equipment that isn’t properly cooled. Raised floors make it difficult to manage power and data cables and usually results in old cable being left under the floor. Different types of cabling become hard to discern due to “rats nests.”
Don’t position a tiny server room next to vital organizational areas and functions. You may end up with too much gear in too small a space.
“Unfortunately, the cable fairies always come when you’re not looking and twist everything into knots,” said Longbottom. “Keep power cables away from data cables, or ensure solid shielding. And don’t loop cables — use the right lengths for the job.”
Senesac notes that racks should be designed with integrated channels to allow for easy management, routing, and storing large amounts of cable. He suggests data and power cables be routed above the rack for easy identification and serviceability and recommends storing them in the rear of the rack for easier access.
Finally, don’t back yourself into a corner in your server room — literally. Anticipating future expansion requirements is a risky proposition. Spatial requirements can double within a year or two. So try to include ample empty space that can easily be reallocated to a particular function at a moment’s notice. If you do experience a rapid ramp-up, have an alternate plan that includes room to expand in the surrounding area: In other words, don’t position a tiny server room next to vital organizational areas and functions. You may end up with too much gear in too small a space.
“Don’t ever over-cram a computer room,” said Longbottom. “Try and keep things simple — plan the room out, leave space for growth in the areas that you will need. Also, try to [place] similar systems near to each other.”
On final tip for those who work long hours: Although it might seem like a good idea, do not bring your bed into the server room. Feng Shui sages insist that sleep and work should never be combined.