An organized data center will include extensive cable and power management features. In this video, you’ll learn about path panels, cable trays, power redundancy, power converters, and uninterruptible power supplies.
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If you’re connecting devices together on a network, then you’re probably using a patch panel. A patch panel is usually a combination of punch down blocks and RJ45 connectors. You would run ethernet lines from everyone’s desk and permanently punch those down onto the back of these patch panels.
On the front of the patch panel is usually an RJ45 connection– this makes it very easy to move connectors around once everything has been punched down and in place. That means you can make very quick and easy changes to your network set up, depending on who may be located at what particular desk. This doesn’t require any special tools. You don’t need additional punch down connections. You would simply add and remove cables by using the RJ45 connectors on your patch cables.
In some data centers you can look up and see some trays that may be going across the ceiling, and inside of these trays are the cables that are used across the entire data center. These cable trays usually have a lot of different kinds of cables within them, and we put them above our heads because there’s usually very little space when you’re dealing with that much equipment in one single room. This allows you to keep things very organized.
You might see the cable trays up near the ceiling. Or if you have a raised floor, you may be able to fit the cable trays underneath the floor where you’re walking. You usually have separate trays depending on the type of cable. So you may have copper in one tray and fiber in another, and you may separate power out into its own tray entirely.
Your data center is not going to work very well unless you’re able to get power to the end devices. In larger data centers, you may have completely separate circuits to provide power, and these separate circuits may be provided from completely different power providers. You usually separate these out into different power distribution units. So Power Distribution A may be coming from one power source, and Power Distribution B may be coming from a completely different provider.
The devices themselves in a data center may have more than one power supply within them, and that allows you to have redundancy for the power supplies in case one fails, and it also allows you to connect to redundant power sources. So you could have one of those power supplies connected to Power Distribution A, and one of those power supplies connected to Power Distribution B.
These power supplies are also considered to be power converters. We’re converting from our AC power on the outside to the DC power that the components themselves need inside of the device. These are a good example here of redundant or multiple power supplies, or power converters, in a single device. You might also use a power inverter if you need to get from DC back to AC. You often see this if you have solar panels, or if you’re using some other type of emergency power that only provides you with direct current.
If all of your power sources were to disappear you could run the data center on battery, and these batteries are called uninterruptible power supplies, or UPS. This is your backup power. This is something that’s available in case you lose every other power source to your data center. This can also be useful if the power flickers, or you have a brownout or a surge. The UPS is able to even all of this out and keep all of those surges and brownouts away from your devices.
There are different kinds of UPSs. A standby UPS is designed to turn on the battery in case the power source was to disappear. A line interactive UPS will adjust itself depending on what’s happening with the power source. And an online UPS is one where you’re always getting power directly from the batteries, and the batteries are constantly being charged from the power source.