What We Did To Clean Up A Server Rack …

As businesses grow and office space expands, so do computer and networking requirements. The rack and patch panel, that once looked fantastic when set up, quickly deteriorates into a spaghetti mess.

Keeping your IT Equipment organised is a key component in managing it. As additional servers, switches, phone systems, and patch panels are added over time: it is hard to keep things organised.

For example, one of our clients had grown exponentially over the last 4 years and they expanded their office to cater for an additional 15 staff – and this meant an additional 30+ data points.

As you can imagine, the server rack looked like the pictures shown: CLUTTERED!

We took this opportunity to do a rewire of the rack.

 Equipment we brought along with us:

  • Colour Coded Cables (A selection of 30cm, 1m, 2m)
    • Red – Servers
    • Blue – Data
    • Yellow – Phones
    • White – Communication links
  • Additional Power Rail – to get rid of the two power boards.
  • Patch Panel and Cable Label Printer.
  • Cable Ties
  • Velcro Ties
  • Double sided tape.

Limitations we had to work with:

  • The switches were ‘managed switches’ controlled by the overseas parent owner – so this limited us to the amount of cable work we could do. It meant we were unable to change ports.
  • There was also some production equipment we were unable to power down – so we had to work around this.
  • The cabling into the back of the patch panels did not have enough free play, limiting our ability to move them so we could not insert additional cable management.

Some of the fundamentals we did include:

  • Removing an old unused server from the rack.
  • Rack mounting equipment sitting on shelves where possible
  • Stripping the server rack completely (Pictured)
  • Using the cable tidies efficiently:
    • We connected phones (yellow) by looping the cables to the left.
    • We connected data (blue) by looping the cables to the right.
    • We kept the power cables as far from the Ethernet cables as possible. Power cables cause Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) on any surrounding cables including Cat x Cables (unless they are shielded).
    • Separating the two Cisco switches – so where possible, phones went on the bottom switch and data on the top switch.
    • Labelling everything. This will make any additional patchwork much easier.
    • We moved all the equipment including NTU, Cisco Checkpoint, ATA devices to face out at the rear of the rack.

You may be wondering what we used the double-sided tape for: it was used to stick the APC UPS temperature sensor to the top of the rack.

The before and after shots are very different. The server rack is now transformed into an organised rack with space for additional growth when required.

If your server rack needs a makeover, why not contact Nortec for assistance?  

As a special offer we will provide all cables, power rails and cable management. This offer is subject to a free site audit and acceptance of our proposal.

For detailed information, please contact us at [email protected] or 02 9894 9514.



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