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Blade Center Solutions

Question: I have a blade center and a blade center cabinet. We plan to populate the cabinet with six blade centers -- using every rackmount unit. I'm looking for a solution that allows me to have my horizontal crossconnect (fiber and copper) installed in the cabinet without using rack space (there is non left). I need something that is on the back of the cabinet, but sticks out away from the blade centers. I don't want to run patch cables from each blade center to the network and SAN. Is this possible? I've looked everywhere.

Answer: I contacted our partner Dave Kohler, CEO of LOOK Communications in Columbus, Ohio, and he tells me the following:

    There are two ways to accomplish this. First, is to have deeper cabinets that have front and rear rails. The depth makes it so that the infrastructure does not interfere with the server management hardware. The infrastructure is then placed on the rear rails at the top of the cabinet. The increased depth should be approximately 12 inches for the patch panels to patch properly.

    Second, if the cabinets are already procured or existing, the use of raised floor enclosures enables connectivity. These enclosures are placed in the access floor at the rear of the server cabinet. Because of the high density of the enclosure, we generally utilize one enclosure per two server cabinets. A piece of innerduct approximately 2 to 3 feet long is placed from the enclosure to the server cabinet bottom rear. Optical fiber or category copper cabling with a properly listed jacket is then installed from the network and SAN switch edges to the enclosure. This does away with the use of long and custom patch cables. All connections are then accessible at the server cabinet location. The enclosures come in different depths depending on the raise of the access floor. For example, an 8-inch access floor enclosure can accommodate 192 optical fiber and/or copper connections. The cable media can be mixed in the enclosure if the network is category copper and the SAN is optical fiber.

Marlin Ness, Practice Director, Enterprise Management,Greenwich Technology Partners