Data Centre Infrastructure Solutions
Wed 16 Jun 2021 | Michael Akinla
Preconfigured DC Infrastructure Solutions Simplify Customer Logistics with 80% Reduction in Deployment Time
The disruption Covid-19 forced on all sectors of the economy will continue to impact global supply-chains, as we have all re-evaluated how to maximise benefits through our route to market. Manufacturers, integrators and customers are developing new processes whilst working together to maintain efficient delivery and installation of critical IT infrastructure.
Many manufacturers are reassessing supply-chain and plant capabilities in important customer regions. Fifty-nine per cent of shipping and freight professionals who responded to the ‘Shipping and Freight Resource 2020’ survey, stated, ‘Their operations have been significantly affected by the pandemic’. Across the supply chain, the requirement to simplify the ‘order-to-installation’ process is gaining momentum as resources are stressed and national and international restrictions continue to reduce logistical capabilities.
In today’s increasingly complex technology space environments, data centre cabinets can require up to 35 additional products to complete the deployment of each rack. Untested infrastructure components, cables, hardware, grounding and blanking plates each contribute risk to effective functionality and fit.
2021 remains uncharted territory with possible restrictions hanging over all industries and the public and these are likely to remain possible for some time to come. With that threat the need to keep staff and visitors separate and safe during their time within enterprise and data centres is essential.
Supplying preconfigured modular solutions based on a single SKU allows customers to reorder assessed, tested and optimised cabinets containing all the components required for specific solutions. This capability ensures infrastructure that provides reliable, high performance results in a given technology space. Preconfigured cabinets can save up to 80% of on-site deployment time.
Figure1: Delivers up to 80% reductions in time to deploy
Rack densities are increasing and the need for effective thermal and device management is paramount as hot spots are potentially fatal to active technology. Chiefly, the pre-configured option is a tier-one customer solution that reduces ordering complexity and the need for onsite construction and so offers a system solution rather than a box of parts that require hours of construction.
The cabinet configuration is pre-engineered and validated to the customer’s specifications. In many cases, complete cabinet systems are tested within Panduit’s extensive thermal lab to ensure customer and safety thermal and environmental parameters are met. This guarantees cabinets arrive on site ready to populate with active components whilst optimised for power, space, speed and performance. Assured air containment and sealing systems within the cabinet or pod can assist in a reduction in cooling energy by as much as 40%. This solutions development is the result of over 10-years of partnership with Cisco and other data centre industry suppliers on standardised converged infrastructure appliances.
As compute density increases the heat generated within the cabinets requires proper inlet air conditions to ensure server, switches and storage provide an optimal thermal interface to allow airflow across the surface. With procedures and software tools developed over the decade, hardware is tested in a simulated data centre environment to maximum equipment power consumption and heat dissipation. Customers are supplied with key performance data collected to verify all equipment operates within expected limits.
Figure 2: Cabinets Deliver Optimal Thermal Interface
Delivered as a dynamically load rated cabinet optimised for space and scalability it is ready to receive the active equipment, as well as the supplied complete colour coded and sized connectivity components (cables; copper and fibre), cable managers, grounding and bonding system, intelligent PDUs, patch panels and blanking panels. Utilising the supplied easy-to-follow instructions guide and elevation diagram simplifies and speeds the ability to complete the build and have the units available for installation. It is estimated that this saves between 9 and 14 hours of construction time per cabinet.
This next step in logistics also greatly reduces packaging and additionally assists supplier and customer to remove substantial amounts of waste packaging from the product and supply-chain cycle.
Large -and small- scale operations can, over time and after numerous MACs, lose track of device locations. Therefore, asset management is essential and device traceability within the cabinet environments is simplified through the use of monitoring and sensor systems such as SmartZone. Customers can maintain effective device mapping within cabinets and across time, ensuring MACs are reported and changes to topology recorded.
Wireless environmental monitoring increases the system’s capabilities to record and analyse real-time environmental conditions and alert the system for automated response to any unplanned changes in conditions. When human intervention is required the system will notify the site engineer or systems management of the situation and can provide analysis of the problem, so an engineer is dispatched with the equipment required to resolve the problem, without the need to return a second time.
The pandemic highlighted ongoing challenges with the procurement process many organisations follow. Today’s converged IT infrastructure solutions accelerate and can simplify design procurement and deployment cycles for site management. Panduit’s solution allows customers to plan a streamlined process in less time and with reduced errors and waste, providing an easy route to expanding or renewing data centre or large enterprise infrastructure projects.