Computer Room Regeneration
Removing the existing cabinet (which is not deep enough) and replacing with two deeper (and hopefully wider) rack cabinets (Re-Racking out the computer room) is taking a little longer in the planning stages than I was hoping for. Mind you it is probably worth taking the time getting it right – after all as the saying goes “Proper Prior Planning…”.
One of the difficulties that is delaying the project is migrating the existing panels including a fibre patch panel and several punched down voice panels which were installed when the original cabinet was put in place. The problem of course with infrastructure cabling is that it really does not like being moved around too much – the solid core nature of much of the cabling can be very unforgiving and fibre, whilst a little more resilient, can become a major headache if not handled carefully.
The existing panels require detaching carefully and the existing cabinet dismantled around them – all whilst the panels are in continuous use. There is a possible window to shut the entire system down but there is not too much time and the new cabinet will likely need building around the panels (the cabinets would not fit through the various doorways ready built).
A second difficulty that I was recently informed about is the flat packed cabinets may be narrower than their pre-assembled counterparts which would make cable routing management even more complicated – I really would prefer the wider cabinet but there is just no way they are going to go through the various openings if they are pre-assembled. I cannot find any reference to this difference in the rack specification documents (the particular rack is the HP 10842 G2) so I have asked my supplier to verify this information.
Organising the various items of equipment is the next challenge, there are a number of DL380 servers (some with MSA) which would ideally be suited together with perhaps a suitable KVM, PDU and Switch to handle them on their own network ring. Adding to the mix are a number of UPS equipment, VoIP gear, environmental monitors, wide area connections, modems, and user switches to contend with – so I need to sit down with a large piece of paper (or Visio!) and decide which piece of equipment will go into which rack – whilst ensuring there is room for growth built in – I would hate to be in a similar predicament in a few years time.
I shall be glad to see the end of the rats nest of “behind the scenes cabling” that over the years has become far less effective than it ever should have been with various types of power leads, disconnected cables, old serial cables, modem cables and connectors, UTP cables, and several other cables tangled together into knotted makeshift carpet behind the cabinets. The next set of cable installations will be clearly labelled and routed tidily within the confines of the rack cabinet to make cable identification (which is a major headache with unlabelled cables) a much easier task.