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Chapter 11. Labeling and Signage Managing Data Center.

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1 Chapter 11. Labeling and Signage Managing Data Center

2 Choosing a Numbering Scheme It is necessary to number each cabinet location in a server environment for several reasons. At the most basic level, numbering creates a common frame-of-reference for navigating and working in the space. Data Center servers and infrastructure can be assigned specific locations. Labeling isn't useful only for knowing where to place servers and networking devices; it is equally important to have defined destinations for structured cabling and electrical conduits. a numbering scheme lends itself to creating a database of Data Center equipment that includes location information.

3 the most common Data Center numbering scheme involves laying a virtual grid over the Data Center and establishing coordinates for each floor tile location. plotting coordinates along X and Y axes. Letters proceed in sequence on one Data Center wall, while numbers proceed in sequence along another wall that is perpendicular to the first. Choosing a Numbering Scheme (Cont)

4 Grid numbers are typically printed high on each Data Center wall, just below the ceiling line. This is intended to make the information visible throughout the server environment. In practice, however, these numbers can be hard to see when standing in the middle of a server row with industry-standard server cabinets. Some companies also print the grid coordinates on floor panels, which is effective as long as tiles are returned to their correct locations after being lifted to access the under-floor Choosing a Numbering Scheme (Cont)

5 An advantage of the grid system is that it is based upon physical coordinates within the Data Center and not limited solely to cabinet locations. The grid therefore can also be used to indicate the locations of major infrastructure on the Data Center floor, not just servers. Recording specific locations on the grid for air handlers, power distribution units, sprinkler heads, cylinders containing fire suppressant, or structural columns is also useful. EX: for example, air handlers are located at grid locations 33A, 24U, 15A, and 7U Choosing a Numbering Scheme (Cont)

6 Another approach is the labeling of server rows themselves in sequence, Row 1 would contain cabinets 1A, 1B, 1C, and so on; Row 2 would contain cabinets 2A, 2B, 2C, and so on. people find this numbering system familiar and therefore easier to work within than the grid. Its only shortcoming compared to the grid is that it only creates location information for devices located within server rows, and can't be expanded to air handlers and other major infrastructure components Choosing a Numbering Scheme (Cont)

7 No matter what numbering system you use, large objects such as disk libraries inevitably overlap onto multiple coordinates. When determining the location information of a large object, don't list multiple locations. Doing so can be confusing. Instead, choose one reference point and be consistent. Establish all location coordinates based upon the center or upper left corner of the device, for example.

8 Recommended Labeling Practices What to label? label everything: Structured cabling, Power receptacles and circuit panels, Cabinets, Raised floor tiles, Individual servers and networking devices, Entire server rows, Major infrastructure components. How to label? there are several options: Printing on address labels, Using pre-printed stickers, Ordering engraved signs, Writing on masking tape with a marking pen. Notes: – employ large lettering with an easy-to-read font and choose a consistent format. – Always place labels in a prominent locationyou want the information that they contain to be easily noticed by Data Center users or support staff. Put labels at eye level when possible or at least somewhere that has an unobstructed line of sight. EX: Floor tile surfaces are excellent for providing information

9 Cable Runs – The structured cabling should include labeling that contains what type of media is in use (i.e., 50 mm multimode or Category 6 copper) and the cabinet locations that a cable run connects from and to (i.e., from cabinet 1A to cabinet 1D). – Place it everywhere that the structured cabling terminatesat the main networking row, in network substations, and at server cabinet locations. Specifically, label the fiber housings, patch panels, and multimedia boxes where Data Center users patch in to the structured cabling infrastructure. Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.)

10 This figure illustrates typical labeling on a fiber housing and copper patch panel within a networking substation. The labeling indicates what type of fiber terminates there and lists the from/to locations of the structured cabling

11 Electrical Conduits – power receptacles are labeled to help with troubleshooting. In the event that a power malfunction occurs or a circuit breaker trips, the facilities or Data Center support staff needs the information to trace a problem from an electrical receptacle to a circuit panel and back to the source power distribution unit. Labeling circuits also enables power to be managed so that Data Center cabinet locations are provided with electricity from different sources consistently. – Label electrical receptacles, circuit breaker panels, and power distribution units. Include circuit information, voltage and amperage, the type of electrical receptacle, and where in the Data Center the conduit terminates Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.)

12 This figure illustrates suitable labeling on a Data Center electrical receptacle. A power receptacle, shown in both NEMA 5-20R and L6-30R configurations, is fed by circuits 2 and 4 from PDU1 panel A. Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.) This table shows a typical power schedule format that can be found in a single electrical panel, either as a standalone panel at the end of a Data Center row or one of several panels within a larger power distribution unit. Whenever power is changed in your server environment, whether it is running entirely new electrical conduits or simply modifying what's already in place, make sure all labeling and power schedules are updated when the work is done.

13 Cabinet Locations – At a minimum, show what electrical circuits are powering each cabinet location and, by extension, the devices within them. Atop the corresponding raised floor panel and server cabinet, duplicate the data that's printed on the circuit panels and electrical receptacles. If power terminates above each cabinet location, circuit information should be printed on the overhead raceway near the appropriate receptacle. Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.)

14 This picture shows electrical circuit information posted on the bottom rail of a server cabinet as well as on the floor tile below it. One power strip in this server cabinet is powered by PDU9 panel L, circuits 6 and 8; the other is powered by PDU8 panel E, circuits 6 and 8. The cabinet is at Row 57, cabinet I. it can be difficult to see over a server row to tell what specific location you are at within a Data Center. To mitigate this, put location information on each cabinet. Unless your Data Center is static, with minimal changes to the equipment that it houses, your server cabinets are likely to be relocated periodically. Be diligent about keeping their labeling up to date. Outdated location labeling can be confusing, and obsolete electrical information can lead to serious mistakes.

15 Servers and Networking Devices – Assign distinct names to Data Center servers and networking devices. Clearly label them on both their front and back sides, including any related peripherals, as part of the machine's installation process. – Some prefer very straightforward names, such as PRODSERV1, DEVBOX, SERV, and so on. Others prefer more fanciful ones, drawing names from television characters (CAPTAIN KIRK, MR. SPOCK, DR. MCCOY), everyday objects (BAT, BALL, GLOVE), or anything else that can be considered a recognizable group (VANILLA, STRAWBERRY, CHOCOLATE). Any of these patterns work fine in the Data Center, just as long as servers and other items are consistently named and thoroughly labeled. Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.)

16 These figures show the front and back of a fully loaded cabinet, containing properly labeled servers.

17 Server Rows – One of the first challenges that new Data Center users often face is physically finding a particular server within the room. This can be especially challenging in a server environment that is very large or whose equipment isn't arranged in any particular manner. To make it easier to find specific servers as well as promote the overall organization of the room, post signs that show row numbers and which group each is assigned to. – Also post an alphabetized list of equipment at the end of each Data Center row, indicating which cabinet position each device is in. Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.)

18 Piping – Any water-bearing pipe in a Data Center presents a potential risk for leaking. Clearly mark such piping, especially any segments that are in high-traffic areas and therefore the most vulnerable to accidental damage. Such labeling is not only intended to make Data Center users more cautious around the piping, but also, in the event that water does leak in the server environment, it narrows down what piping needs to be examined as a possible source of the liquid. – Label cylinders that contain fire suppressant, as well. Recommended Labeling Practices (Cont.)

19 Essential Signage Fire Alarm Instructions – a typical Data Center can possess up to three automated elements for detecting and fighting a fire (a smoke detection system, water-based sprinklers, and gaseous fire suppression). All three systems feature alarm mechanisms to indicate when they have been activated. These alarms, all wall-mounted in multiple locations within the server environment, should also include explanatory signage that informs Data Center users of their function and what to do in the event that they activate.

20 From left to right, an alarm bell indicates that smoke has been detected in the Data Center, a white strobe light shows that a building fire alarm has been activated, and an amber strobe light signifies that the countdown has begun to activate the Data Center's gaseous fire suppression system. These placards, located next to each alarm station, are typically supplemented by large signs on the Data Center door informing users to leave the room in the event that any fire alarms engage. Essential Signage (Cont.)

21 Fire Suppression System Instructions – Unlike other firefighting mechanisms, a Data Center's gaseous fire suppression system features manual controls within the room that enable a person either to pause the system's automatic countdown to activation or to cause an immediate discharge. – Signage must be placed at the fire suppression controls that explains how someone can correctly operate them. Essential Signage (Cont.)

22 As important as your Data Center's overall fire suppression system is, if a small fire breaks out, it is likely that the first response of anyone in the room will be to look for a portable fire extinguisher. Make their task easier by providing signage that makes the extinguishers easier to find. This figure shows a wall-mounted fire extinguisher, with an overhead placard that helps call attention to it. The placard is placed just below the Data Center ceiling and protrudes outward, to increase its visibility Essential Signage (Cont.)

23 Emergency Power Off (EPO) Instructions – This system enable someone to shut down all Data Center servers and networking devicesliterally at the touch of a buttonit is vital that they be clearly and thoroughly labeled to reduce the chance of an accidental activation. – Signage must explain what the EPO controls do, how they can be activated, and what their area of effect is Essential Signage (Cont.)

24 Monitoring Lights – Assuming you include these monitoring lights as part of your server environment's standby electrical infrastructure, be sure to include signage that explains their purpose and whom Data Center users should contact in the event that they come on. – The red light (left) activates when the Data Center's electrical load is provided by UPS and the blue light (right) activates when it is provided by generator. (The phone number to call is intentionally obscured in this figure.) Essential Signage (Cont.)

25 Emergency Contacts – Even if your Data Center doesn't have monitoring lights, post lists in the room that inform room occupants whom to contact if a power outage or other infrastructure-related incident occurs. This can be just the phone number for your company's operations command center or a detailed list of people who support the server environment and how to reach them. Essential Signage (Cont.)


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