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Spring Cleaning and Data Closets

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Danielle Scull
Marketing Manager
Assurance Media

After a long winter, the first sign of spring feels like a breath of fresh air. Suddenly, many of us are inspired to open our windows and clear out the clutter; a practice most commonly known as Spring Cleaning. In the telecommunication industry, we often come across the most overlooked space when it comes to cleaning: the data closet.

The data closet is typically a small room or closet that houses the essential network infrastructure of a business or organization. Essential network infrastructure includes the equipment and cabling for the following: wireless access points, security cameras, access control systems, digital signage, alarm systems, and voice & data systems, just to name a few. Depending on the size of the organization there may be a data closet or intermediate distribution frame (IDF) on each floor of the building in addition to one centralized main distribution frame (MDF). Whether you have one data closet or 50 the importance of having a clean data closet remains. While keeping the tangled spaghetti monster at bay may not be a priority, businesses that invest in closet inspections and cleanings experience increased efficiency, safety, profitability, and productivity.

A professional cable management system is not simply defined by the neat and clean cabling configurations, but by the functionality of the data racks. Heat is the enemy of every data wiring closet, and data center. Properly dressed station cabling and organized patch cables promote efficient air-flow and cooling, which will prolong the life of expensive network switching, and server equipment.

The functionality of a data rack also refers to the ability for someone to easily identify each cable, port, and which connection is what, which is only possible in a well-labeled cable installation. By utilizing BICSI 606-A/B compliant labeling standards it is always clear which cable is which and what powers what. This brings us to the first benefit of a clean and compliant data closet, when troubleshooting a network issue an organized closet that is labeled properly will take half the amount of time to test and determine the issue.

In addition to simplifying troubleshooting, a properly maintained and clean wiring closet also aids in efficient moves, adds, changes and general LAN cabling administration.  It can also save on costly hardware replacement costs, as well as avoiding critical network downtime.

Many of our estimators have coined the phrase “you can tell everything about a business by the state of their network closet”. The more I think about this phrase the more it begins to ring true. Consider this, as a business grows more switches are added to the data rack, more cables are installed. On the other hand a business that is reconfiguring their office layout may decommission unneeded switch ports. The network closet serves as a window to the state of the business. Similar to a filing cabinet, the data closet that has been forgotten and not routinely checked becomes an obstacle instead of a helpful organizational tool.

Since 2009, Assurance Media’s team of designers, estimators, and installers have been helping clients organize their network infrastructure with little to no downtime. Through a process of testing, labeling, and organizing cables with Velcro Cable Wraps our technicians will help your business reclaim their productivity and efficiency that has been stolen from them by the vicious spaghetti monster of twisted and unraveled cables found in many data closets. In conclusion, no matter the size of your business, taking the time and resources to invest in your network closet is well worth the return on your investment when it comes to future efficiency, safety, profitability, and productivity.

Danielle Scull joined Assurance Media in 2018 as a Sales and Marketing Associate. In 2020, she became the Marketing Manager and currently serves in this role.  Danielle visits job sites frequently to create company case studies and gather information for various project award applications. In her short time with Assurance Media, she gained extensive knowledge about premise security, audiovisual, and structured cabling solutions. Assurance Media is a locally-owned, Women Business Enterprise (WBE) that offers robust expertise, advanced technology, and regional experience for businesses needing premise security, audiovisual systems, and structured cabling.  Assurance Media enables its clients to improve their operational efficiency and focus on growth by providing these inter-related services from a single vendor.

For more information visit, assurancemedia.com.

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