6 tips for reducing cabling-installation costs

Overlooking data center cabling installation raises costs and risks. Here's how to minimize both.

In a recent post on its Optimize IT blog, Datatrend Technologies' Bill Roberts detailed six cost- and risk-reducing steps to help users avoid network cabling-installation mishaps. Roberts is Datatrend's president of network services. The focus of this recent blog entry was data center cabling projects.

Roberts says that cabling costs are often overlooked in a data center project and that they "come stealthily along with the proejct as a whole. The cost to connect everything, organized and efficient, can be overwhelmingly expensive and if your data center cabling projects are not done correctly, bring a great deal of unnecessary risks.

"If you've ever seen a poorly cabled data center you know how many questions pop up," he continues. "Often it is difficult and time-consuming to decipher which wires go where and to what equipment, making it extremely difficult to make even the most minor modifications."

Roberts is evidently aiming his words at data center managers unfamiliar with, or not adhering to, the cable-plant administration standards geared to data centers.

He offers the following six tips to avoid the costs and risks associated with a bad data center cabling project. The six points are taken verbatim from the Optimize IT blog.

  1. Requirements Gathering: First, a thorough assessment of the environment, "as is" needs to be done. This includes site surveys and documentation concerning risk and yor future needs as well as time and budget constraints.
  2. Implementation Planning: This is the planning stage where everything from connection issues to heating and cooling systems to even how many IT staff members will need to interface with the system is planned out.
  3. Determining a Project Time Schedule: Some components might require lengthy delivery times while others have critical dependencies that must be taken into account. This step determines how long your data center cabling project will take.
  4. Finalize the Budget: By understanding cost estimates from start to finish, you can avoid overdesigning a plan that is too costly. The cost estimates can include the physical devices as well as implementation costs.
  5. Create the Design Plan: Once the points have been resolved, the design blueprint includes the floor plans and prints, main distribution areas, zone distribution areas and equipment distribution areas. This plan makes sure everything meets the correct safety and code requirements for your site.
  6. Installation: The final step. All the planning is done, now it's time to put it into practice according to your dates and budget.

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