Data Closet Organization

18Mar, 2011

The server room or data closet can be an intimidating place, especially if multiple tenants in a single building are sharing infrastructure. Over the years, technicians from the phone company, cable company, WISPs, phone system installers, network technicians, CCTV, Access Control, Security, and Fire Alarm companies come in to patch connections, and install boxes and cabling.

These technicians generally want to get in and get out and move on to the next job. While there are standard practices for labeling and organizing cables of all varieties, sometimes they just aren’t followed and a rat’s nest develops in the wiring room. The more organized everything is, the easier it is for a technician to make sense of things and get his work done (not to mention, he runs a much lower risk of messing up something else!)

We’re currently working for a client that had a neglected cabling room just like the one we’ve described above. All of the cabling for the Camera system came into it, along with dozens of individual phone lines, network and phone cables for a tenant suite, phone connections for the fire alarm panel. It’s really not that much, but the leftovers from previous installations were everywhere, leaving a big mess.

The task is simple. Remove everything that is no longer in use and has no foreseeable use in the future. This included consolidating individual AC adapters for cameras into a single power supply for all of them, removing an old autodialer from the 80’s that used to be connected to the elevator phones, old network equipment that was left mounted on the wall, and dozens of phone patch cables and punchdown blocks whose lines were cut up in the ceiling but nobody ever bothered to dismount from the wall.

Labeling is probably the most important step once the clutter is gone. Labeling every panel, box, loose cable and conduit as practically as possible means a tech can come in and quickly get a feel for what is where.

If you’ve got a rat’s nest in your network closet that you’re scared to go near, give us a call!