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Old 11-13-2008, 09:56 PM
Neoeclectic Neoeclectic is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 85
Default Networking layout

So we're evaluating redesigning the network topology in our data center. There's some problems right now with the current setup and being in a mixed density environment presents some interesting challenges. For every line of business we host each is required to be on its own unique network. Hence why we can't just generically run everything back to the same core and distribution switches.

Of course, that creates the primary challenge in terms of distribution. Without getting into the gory details of the current setup here's what I'm picturing for a new setup. Imagine a rectangular room almost perfectly symmetrical. I'm considering dividing the room up into 4 quads and at the center of each quad will be consolidation points (a quad is roughly 5-rows of racks with the CP being located in the center of the 3nd row in each quad). The CP's would be uplinked from a centrally located MDA.

The CP's will actually be a series of mini switches that will have a 10gbit fiber uplink to each (coming from various cores and distros located in the MDA). There can be anywhere from 4-10 of these mini switches in any given CP. The CP itself will be wired with CAT6 spreading out amongst the various cabinets located in each quad.

I'm basing this design from some things I've read out of the TIA-942. I'm curious to hear what others may think about this.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:38 PM
attagirl attagirl is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Well, although I am not that good at picturing how it will turn out. It sounds like it would be worth a shot at least to me. I know that some of the ideas are great and I would have never thought of doing it in that manner.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:20 PM
Neoeclectic Neoeclectic is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 85

Okay, I need some ideas from the community regarding the design in my first post. After evaluating the setup more thoroughly the current idea is presented with some challenges. The main challenge is cable density within the consolidation points.

Imagine 4 symmetrical quadrants with a consolidation point located somewhere within a quadrant. All racks in that quadrant--which can number up to 55--will meet back at the consolidation point and then cabled into a switch (which can number up to 16 in a single point). Here's an image:

Now the challenge.

1. I cannot allot more than 2 rack spaces for a consolidation point.
2. Some racks (represented by the patch panels) may need more than a single 24-port patch panel.
3. I'm concerned about using a 2U 72-port patch panel because of the cable density.
4. I cannot double side the racks because I will need to have some sort of access to the rear of the panels.
5. I cannot break down the quadrants into smaller segments.

How can I maximize the density. I'm worried about making it too densley packed with cables. I wish I could make the points double-sided but I cannot locate a swing out patch panel that would allow me to have access to the rear of the panels.

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Old 12-03-2008, 07:03 PM
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KenB KenB is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 468

It doesn't look like you've provided for any cable management at the cosolidation points, which will definately pose operational problems. Are you wiring underfloor or overhead? If you use opposing faces of a 4-post open rack, do you have enough room to service the backs of the patch panels?Can you cobble together a floorplan, to illustrate your rack, CP and MDA layout?

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Old 12-03-2008, 07:50 PM
Neoeclectic Neoeclectic is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 85

The cable management is going to be handled by 0U veritcals that can't be seen on the diagram. It's a technique I developed that allows the cables to hold their shape and structure without requiring the use of horizontals.

Wiring will be underfloor, but I have been tossing around the idea of going through the racks though I doubt I'll seriously do that. And I won't be able to use both sides of the rack because I won't be able to get access to the back of the patch panels. I was thinking worst case scenario would be I could come up about halfway on the backside but I want avoid doing that if possible.

I'll have to link diagrams a bit later but it's very simple. The room is split in half down the middle. Dead center in the middle of the room will be the MDA and from there it will distribute to the 4 quadrants (consilidation points).

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:11 PM
ssims ssims is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Richmond, Texas
Posts: 6
Default Utilize all your space, but only enter the racks with what has to be in the rack

How much space do you have above your racks? We installed what we lovingly call patch racks above the racks. Wow! Looks good and works great. We are also sub-divided into quads, however our network lives on two rows in the center and the patch racks route back to the center. We use all plug and play cabling and it is super cool. We also used cat 6 angled patch panels.
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