Server rooms. In theory they should be orderly sanctuaries devoted to your company’s awesome IT computing power. In reality, in many cases, they are really neglected, dusty cluttered disaster zones that are places where many fear to tread and a space that the beleaguered IT manager despairs of.
The fact is that server room cable management should be considered to be almost as important as the actual cables and components they contain. And in order to elevate your server room to level it – and your company’s operations – deserve you really do need to have a plan. But why you may be asking, as long as everything works? There are in fact (at least) three very good reasons:
Cable Management Makes Maintenance and Upgrading Easier
When there is a problem that your IT team needs to solve ASAP they should not have to spend an hour trying to navigate a tangled nest of wires to find the ones they need. And when it comes time to upgrade systems neither should the data firm you hire to assist you (especially as you may be bring charged per hour for labor)
Cluttered Server Rooms are a Serious Hazard
As in a serious fire hazard. Hot metal racks, haphazardly installed components and a rats nest of assorted cables, all stuffed into a single, often stuffy room is always just a single short away from disaster.
Server Rooms and Stress
Do you enjoy stressing your staff out? The answer is (hopefully) no. But any psychologist will tell you that clutter and disorganization are, on their own, seriously stressful for anyone. Imagine yourself in your poor IT team’s shoes. Just walking into that messy server space probably raises their blood pressure in seconds, and that’s before they’ve even started to troubleshoot a problem.
Solving Your Server Room Spaghetti Problem: A Step by Step Guide
Ready to get organized? Here are some pointers to get you started on the road to a more efficient, better organized and seriously less stressful server room:
Do a thorough audit of your server racks, related equipment, patch cables and all of your workstation connections. Document everything and plan to keep both digital and written records that are easily accessible to everyone who is likely to ever need them.
Test and measure all of the cables, and if you can’t code the cables by colors themselves (because they are all very similar colors) devise a way to differentiate between them using colored stickers or ties.
Bunch those cables that belong together with Velcro ties. Making use of Velcro is more efficient than other options as it is easy to open and close and will not get warm (or hot) in the way that some plastics will (because you do not want to create a new fire hazard do you?)
Clean everything. The floor, the walls and especially the cables and components themselves (this is probably where you’ll need several cans, at least, of compressed air) Once the space is clean create a system that will keep it that way. Your IT team will love you for it, and what could be better than that?
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