Network and wiring closets come in all shapes and sizes and are an important component of all data centers. Whatever their size, these data hubs must be managed, organized and protected efficiently and effectively and network closet optimization is a must to ensure these goals are met. IT Professionals have been charged with keeping infrastructure functioning despite the multiple threats of constrained resources and increased environmental complexities. Power Solutions, in conjunction with our partners, can ensure you are getting the most out of your Network Closet.
What is a Network or Wiring Closet?
Whether at a small company, a mid-market organization or a large enterprise, the components that make up a typical network closet are usually the same. A network closet includes the following primary elements:
- Network switches and routers
- Associated virtualization and management software
- Integrated rack and power distribution element
For smaller organizations, a network closet can serve as a computing hub, containing all the networking, storage and computing power needed to run the business. In larger organizations, a network closet provides a connection to a centralized server room or data center, providing a gateway to centralized or cloud-based data and applications.
Common Threats to Network Closet Uptime
Protection of the Network Closet and Data Hubs is key to seamless mission-critical environment operation and can lead to easily avoided downtime or data loss. Common threats include:
- Power fluctuations
- Temperature fluctuations
- Poor organization
- Lack of air flow
- Hardware failures due to accidental/inadvertent power cable removal
Four Best Practices to Avoid Wiring Closet Downtime
1. Management of Hardware/Software
- Proper and effective management software can provide remote management capability at both the UPS and PDU level and for intelligent PDUs right up to the outlet level!
- Management hardware includes outlet-level current and power meters as well as temperature and humidity sensors to monitor fluctuations falling outside accepted tolerances.
- Organization of your network closet is critical for efficient operation and ongoing maintenance. Our expertise in planning and designing your network closet space will help bring order and efficiency via Cable and Air Flow Management, all the while maximizing dedicated space.
- Designs with rack hygiene in mind are aimed at keeping a clutter free rack area while maintaining the security and integrity of servers, switches and storage equipment. Proper cable support ensures maximum performance and facilitates modifications, additions or changes to cabling systems.
Protecting your equipment saves time, money and is minimizes risk. Reliability, continuous uptime and efficiency are critical for Network/Data closets. Essential elements for protection are:
- UPS Systems – Providing power in the event of utility failure
- PDU/hot swap maintenance bypass – Enables power to be switched to perform maintenance or replace equipment
- Automatic Transfer Switches – If redundancy is required
4. Power Solutions Network Closet Assessment Service
The Power Solutions Network Closet Assessment service provides an assessment and analysis of the critical infrastructure components of your network wiring closet including: power systems, cooling systems, rack configurations and room analysis. Power Solutions will supply you with the information necessary to manage your network closet for optimum performance, extend the life of your hardware, and ensure the highest level of network availability.
Benefits of a Network Closet Assessment
- Measurement of existing environmental conditions indicate areas where temperatures are not within tolerances.
- Network closet power, cooling and space utilization analysis verifies wiring closet power and cooling loads and identifies the key infrastructure constraints that limit full space utilization.
- Recommendations to optimize infrastructure utilization will identify methods to maximize availability and the efficient use of power, cooling, and space.
- Documentation of network closet equipment provides an inventory of equipment for sizing power and cooling requirements, identifying current capabilities, and planning for future expansion.
No matter how big or small an organization, the network closet is an important element that keeps the business running. With reliability and redundancy paramount, organizations can equip their network closets with the right hardware and software to maximize uptime, improve efficiency and reduce operating costs . These goals, when achieved, deliver the highest ROI. By selecting a rack and equipment with organization, protection and management top of mind, a network closet can deliver the reliability and performance demanded by today’s computing environments.
For more information on Best Practices, read Eaton’s informative white paper
Getting the Most Out of Your Network Closet