Think you need some rack diagrams to help make sense of your data center — but need to make the case that an investment in them […]

3 Big Reasons Rack Diagrams Help Organizations

Think you need some rack diagrams to help make sense of your data center — but need to make the case that an investment in them […]

Think you need some rack diagrams to help make sense of your data center — but need to make the case that an investment in them is worth it to the bean counters upstairs? Customers who use our software, netTerrain DCIM, have various reasons as to why they need rack diagrams and how they help them out – so in this blog, I’ll try to zero in on the three big-ticket reasons why rack diagrams help organizations.

1. Basic Information

The first reason customers want rack diagrams is simple: basic organization of information. Maybe this doesn’t apply to you: if you only have one rack then maybe it wouldn’t matter, but once you get into maybe five racks — and certainly more — it’s hard to keep track of what is where. If you have five or more racks, but only have one or two devices per rack, maybe it’s not that big of a deal – but let’s face it, that almost never happens: you are going to try and fit more hardware into those racks then is possible!

Getting your racks documented makes it much easier to find where a particular device is located — so,when trouble comes, or a decision needs to be made, you’ve got one less issue to deal with — you don’t have to figure out where the heck the device is located. Just open up your documentation and pinpoint it, in seconds.

Get information in seconds

2. Space Management

Another reason (hey, this #2 now) is space management. Nope, not like the sun and the moon, but space as in rack unit space — aka those little rack units need to be tracked for the bean counters and for the IT people alike. So, the next time you need to know if you have room for some new device, it should be easy with good documentation: just go look at the rack diagrams.
If you have lots of racks, you could run a report for continuous space available in all your racks. Remember: rack space might also be the front and back of a rack depending on the devices you use and how you have set them up. So again, it will make it a whole lot easier to manage your rack space if you have good documentation.

Understand your space with diagrams and reports

3. Power

Another reason…good old power — specifically, that which powers the fine IT equipment we all rely on these days: electrical power. Power is not unlimited — we don’t always have enough available to power the things we want to power up. If you’ve got a rack that supplies a certain amount of power and then you add some super new device that is going to need a bit more juice than you have..well, we all know that will lead to issues. It would be nice if you could keep track of power usage and power available, so an unexpected issue doesn’t occur. Track power and be in the know. Know what you have available in any given rack. This will make it easier to decide where a device needs to be installed. Rack diagrams help you do this.

Documenting your racks enables you to understand your power usage

While it’s not mentioned too much, and probably not really tracked very much, in software like netTerrain DCIM, you can also use the rack diagrams to help with understanding weight in the cabinets and of the data center. If you’re on the bottom floor, I guess it probably doesn’t matter too much, but if you are high up — maybe it’s good to know if you are not exceeding the weight capacity of the floor. Probably unlikely but, hey, it can happen. So why not be sure: all those devices in a room full of cabinets can add up to some heavy metal! So, weight is one more thing to keep an eye on via rack documentation.

Eliminate the guesswork when it comes to costs

To sum up, if you’ve got more than five racks, rack diagrams help you out. Organize your information so you can understand it, plan out your space, understand weight, and keep your power in check — not to mention: save money. Rack diagrams help you understand your costs for running the equipment, and hey, that makes the bean counters upstairs, who want to know what the Data Center is costing to operate, happy. Best to have an accurate picture when possible so there’s no guessing, right?

Jason Sherman
Jason Sherman
As Graphical Networks’ Sales Engineering and Support Services Manager, Jason Sherman leads the pre and post sales cycle with the entire Graphical Networks software portfolio, and ensures current customers are able to use the software to its fullest potential.

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