Our cable auditing service is offered as a standalone service or integrated into our range of relocation services.
Prior to any server or Data Centre Relocation, we will arrange to carry out a site survey. One question we always ask is, “Who will be re-cabling after the servers and switches are re-racked at the new destination site”.
This can be the most daunting aspect of the relocation for our customers, for many different reasons. Quite often, it can be that the current IT Manager has inherited a curtain of spaghetti, draping down the racks and cannot be sure of the physical cable connections. None of the cables are labelled or just as bad, are that some cables are labelled, but over time and due to cumulative changes, they now are now in a different port.
So, where do you start with a heap of data cables such as this...
...and then how do you convert it to this?
The services provided were, auditing, advice on power distribution for the new site, data centre relocation, supply of new power and data cables, cable labelling, the power and data cabling itself.
Firstly, an equipment and cable patch audit is needed, identifying all the equipment and every cable connection. If the equipment can be shut down, then there are lots of options using test equipment to identify each cable. However, the luxury of being able to shut down the equipment and effectively the business, is hardly ever an option for the customer in our experience.
With live servers and switches, the only way to complete the audit, is a physical trace. The audit should be organised some weeks prior to the move, thus allowing time to collate all the patch information and present it in a comprehensive spreadsheet.
The patch information will include rack ID, rack ‘U’ position, equipment name, port number, connector type, the cable type, cable colour and the cable length.
If part of a relocation, the customer maybe changing the rack layout and/or the equipment ‘U’ positioning at the proposed destination site. Using the rack and equipment positioning part of the audit spreadsheet, it is now possible to re-calculate the new cable lengths required and also define any new colour schemes they may wish to use. We can also offer advice on areas such as provision of power and distribution devices such as PDUs.
When the cable Audit is complete, the customer will have a complete picture of their server room or data centre and can see easily how all the equipment is physically connected. The spreadsheet is now the working document for their racks and can be easily modified and up-dated as and when there are changes to devices such as servers or switches.
One of the rewards for us, is seeing the amazed expressions and smiles on our customer’s faces when they first see their new finished cabling. They now have racks that are more efficient, more reliable, easier to maintain and can show them off to their colleagues and customers.