As discussed in Part 1, companies that process significant volumes of data are constantly searching for methods that will maximize their existing data centers. Part 2 will cover Physical-Layer Management and Transitioning to Optimized Infrastructure.
Data centers can also optimize their operations by employing physical-layer management for cabling, patch panels, and fiber frames. Physical-layer management revolves around the utilization of cabling with intelligent patch panels, fiber frames, and patch cords for registering the connection state and type of each circuit and updating database records.
A physical-layer management system deploys an embedded chip on every patch cord which interfaces with managed patch panels or fiber frames. These chips transmit data about the connecting components, including the unique ID number for every cable assembly and component, performance ratings, assembly lengths, cable colors, polarity, part numbers, and manufacturer locations and dates. Upon connecting a patch cord, the physical-layer management system begins transmitting and documenting to advise the operator regarding the connected equipment.
Physical-layer management systems are capable of working independently or integrated via middleware with other network-management systems or data center infrastructure management (DCIM). As a result, the network management team will not be required to become familiar with a new interface or tool for managing the data center.
Deciding on what needs to be upgraded and when to do so is a critical step. As previously mentioned, standardizing infrastructure and implementing physical-layer management will be required for full optimization. However, the process can be accomplished in incremental stages. Perhaps standardization can commence one component at a time as determined by the resources available to an organization.
The expansion or construction of a data center must be considered by management in light of its remaining capacity. Tools that measure the performance of standardized infrastructure and physical-layer management will allow technicians to accurately evaluate current capabilities and assess how much optimization is possible.
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