Cabinet Access Control: Deployment Considerations

Following is another blog by guest blogger and product line manager Denis Blouin.

Earlier this month, I blogged about the importance of cabinet-level security in the data center due to the potential for internal threats. If you’ve realized the importance of bringing security down to the cabinet level and are planning to deploy a cabinet access control system, there are many features to consider when evaluating solutions.


Flexible and Scalable

When evaluating an access control system for data center cabinets, make sure that the system is flexible to meet your specific environment. For example, in a pod-based data centers where rows or groups of cabinets are segregated by function, you might want to require access for a group of cabinets rather than at individual cabinets. You might also want to Read more »

Bi-Modal IT: The Ying and Yang of Tomorrow’s Data Center

YingYangIn last month’s blog on SDx, I introduced the buzzword “bi-modal IT” that has been getting a lot of attention in the industry—especially following the latest research by Gartner, which states that 45% of CIOs have already gone bi-modal and 75% are expected to go bi-modal by 2017.

To recap, a bi-modal IT approach is the coexistence of traditional and modern IT practices within the same entity where some applications remain in a traditional environment due to security or reliability issues while other less critical “fail fast” applications operate within a more digital, agile model that supports fast delivery and prototyping of new technologies.   Let’s take a closer look at bi-modal IT from an organizational perspective. Read more »

Let Me Show You to the Door

Enclosure-DoorThe need to optimize airflow in the data center is becoming increasingly important as heat load densities continue to rise above beyond the average 6 to 7 kW per rack. While best practices like reducing cable congestion, using a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration or deploying a containment strategy are ideal ways to help manage passive airflow, cabinet doors play a key role. And when it comes to choosing a cabinet, it’s important to look at all the features of the door.

The Hole Truth

There are two separate variables to consider that determine the air resistance characteristics of a cabinet door Read more »

Cabinet Security: More Important Than You Might Think

security_1Most of us understand the need for security at the main data center entrance, as we certainly do not want those with unauthorized access touching critical networking equipment.   Unfortunately, with so much data—from personal information to intellectual property—now being transmitted and stored via the data center, protecting that information from within is becoming a greater concern than ever before.   That’s why bringing security down to cabinet level makes perfect sense. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Internal Threats on the Rise

According to a 2011 survey by Gabriel Group, more than 60% of today’s security breaches are at the hands of company insiders or others with legitimate data center access. That is certainly a scary statistic! Read more »

Customization Should Not be Overlooked

Icustomizationf you’ve ever bought a custom-tailored suit versus one off the rack at the local department store, you know just how incredible customization can be. The same can apply to your data center and LAN.

Whether you need lightning fast data center deployments, are faced with a unique or challenging application, or even just have your own preferences, choosing components from a vendor with the engineering and manufacturing expertise to deliver customized solutions can save you time and money – or even get you out of a jam.

At the Cabinet Level

I’ve blogged a lot about one of my passions – holistic data center design – and the benefit of using a standardized, modular approach with preconfigured cabinets for repeatable, predictable data center deployments. While anyone can take this approach by pre-designing their cabinets and components and implementing them the same way each time, how much better would it be if you could customize your cabinets with pre-installed components under a single part number? Read more »

MaineGeneral Medical Center: Holistic Design at Work

MaineGeneralFor those of you that have read my past blogs or white papers, you know that holistic data center design is one of my passions.

In my holistic design white paper, I discuss the benefits of deploying a modular approach that allows for a standard and predictable space, ultimately providing better scalability, cost efficiency and ease of operation. Having standardized configurations for cabinets and spaces also eases installation by eliminating surprises.

While the idea of using a modular approach with standardized configurations is something to strive for during the design process, the greatest satisfaction comes when I actually see our customers putting it into practice. This is exactly what happened at the new MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine. Read more »

Bonded-Pair Patch Cords: Your Front Line of Defense

Patch-CordsThis week we have a post from a guest blogger! Greg Deitz is a Networking Cable Product Manager for Belden.

Frequently squeezed and bent during installation and routinely manipulated by IT personnel, patch cords are often viewed as one of the most replaceable, commoditized components in the data center.

But as the primary connection for servers in the data center and switches in the LAN, patch cords are the front line of defense against downtime.

Since a cable channel is only as good as the weakest link, you might want to give your patch cords a little more attention. Read more »

Plugging Into SDN

Everybody these days seems to be talking about software defined networking (SDN) and what it means for the future of data centers.Software-Defined-Networks

While giants like Google and Amazon are already using some form of SDN, others are just starting to experiment with the technology. While there’s no doubt that SDN will eventually make its way from larger hyperscale data centers and cloud service providers to the enterprise, I believe we are still at least a year away from any significant adoption.

While you might not be ready for SDN today, getting a handle on the benefits and considerations can help prepare you for the inevitable.

What Is It?

In simplest terms, SDN is a centralized method of controlling the way that switches handle traffic in the data center. Typically switches move data packets from their input to their output (forwarding) and they determine how those packets should be moved (control). Read more »

Get In The Zone

casinoSupported by both TIA commercial and data center standards, fiber zone cabling has been around for a while as a viable means for improving manageability, flexibility, scalability and security in a variety of applications—from the casino floor to the data center.

Let’s take another look at the practice of fiber zone cabling and its benefits, applications and considerations.

Active in the Horizontal

In the horizontal space, fiber zone cabling logically places connectivity to support a group of devices or work areas. Rather than deploying multiple long home-run copper cables from the closet to each device, active zones involve fewer runs of fiber from the closet to a switch in the zone and then shorter runs of copper that extend from the switch to each device.



Where might we see this deployed? Think of an open office with various work areas or cubicles segregated by department or function, a casino floor with several zones or pods of slot machines, or even a stadium with point-of-sale (POS) machines in one area to support food and beverage vendors.

Read more »

Customization: A Data Center Trend Worth Watching

customizationWith the increase in consolidation, intensive virtualization and outsourcing, the traditional data center environment with common brand-name equipment and conventional architectures is quickly shifting to the “hyperscale” data center of tomorrow.

These hyperscale data centers put the demand for customization on the rise. Let’s take a look at this trend worth watching.

The White Box Affect

Typically associated with cloud computing and the super data centers owned by the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon, hyperscale computing environments often encompass millions of stripped-down virtual servers that are customized for specific needs.

One obvious indicator of this customization is the growth over the past few years of the ODM (Original Design Manufacturers) server market and the decline among big server vendors like Dell, HP and Lenova, as well as IBM’s recent decision to get out of the server market altogether—collectively something I refer to as the “white box affect.”

Read more »

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