Following codes and standards when it comes to data center design is basic practice, whether we’re talking about national codes (such as NFPA), local codes or performance standards like ANSI/TIA-942-B. There are also many other types of guidelines to consider (LEED, ENERGY STAR, etc.).

Some data centers also have their own set of internal guidelines to follow, created to reduce costs, support growth and the increasing demand for data center services, save energy and ensure uptime. These guidelines can include things like:

  • Rules regarding numbers and types of spare parts
  • Processes to follow for testing
  • Plans of action during an emergency (such as an air-conditioning failure)
  • How cables should be labeled

Internal guidelines often spell out rules for data center product and process standardization. By streamlining the solutions used in your data center, you can:

  • Achieve fast, easy scalability when necessary, knowing exactly what is needed to scale up or down quickly
  • Reduce the amount of time spent on training and troubleshooting – once a technician has worked on one cabinet, for example, he has worked on all of them
  • Reduce the number of patches and upgrades that need to be managed for easier maintenance
  • Decrease the opportunity for human error and downtime when technicians know how each piece of equipment works

Standardization can be especially helpful in multi-tenant data centers, where the potential for several different types of products to be deployed is high.

The Positive Impact of Data Center Standardization

One of our customers has seen first-hand the positive impact of data center standardization. Working with ViaWest for years, we’ve helped the multi-tenant data center provider standardize its cabinet designs for faster deployment and easier maintenance. Part of their standardization process involved asking them for their ideas, and taking time to understand the challenges they faced when deploying cabinets for their own customers.

In these discussions, we learned that, as cabinets arrived onsite, ViaWest staff members were having to make adjustments to each one before it could be deployed, taking up valuable time and increasing labor costs. As ViaWest brought potential customers through data center spaces, it also wanted to showcase consistent, well-designed enclosures.

As a result of the feedback they shared, we were able to adapt the cabinets to meet their needs. Six standard cabinet configurations, including three frame sizes, were defined. Single unique part numbers were assigned to each configured cabinet. The configured cabinets – including rail type-positions, PDU mounting, cable access position, cable management, doors and side panel configurations – are ready for deployment when they arrive onsite. Belden manages ViaWest’s inventory and replenishes stock when needed. Belden ships cabinets when requested, deducting costs from a blanket PO.

The fully configured, assembled cabinets are faster and cheaper to deploy, and helped ViaWest achieve standardization across all its locations. This makes service easier, and meets the company’s goal of offering one common look when potential customers enter the space.

Getting the Solutions You Need

Belden offers the engineering support, knowledge and resources to make your data center and LAN deployments successful – whether you require a custom solution or need to talk about standardizing. We follow a three-step process to make sure we truly understand what you need:

  1. Schedule a call with an expert (a Belden engineer)
  2. Conduct a listening session where you share your challenges, needs and requirements with us
  3. Create a plan to ensure successful deployment

Learn more about Belden’s enterprise solutions and three-step process for success.