Submitted by Edge Member – Jeff Potter – Data Center Manager

Your company should develop procedures and best practices and you should stick to them.

If you have suggestions to make it better. Pass them up the line and let them change the procedure.

Best practices relate to any desired method to be used within the data center. They can be an industry best practice, or they can also be a corporate instituted best practice. They can cover network troubleshooting, or rack and stack, or cable management, or just about any other facet of the data center.

For instance, one of the best practices we use is installing the rack PDUs (power strips) on the left side of the rack as you look at the rack from the rear. As such, our best practice is to install all data cabling on the right hand side of the rack. This minimizes some of the issues that can occur with data cables, such as damage. It also helps to keep things within the data center consistent, which can simplify troubleshooting.

If your organization does not want to follow a documented standard, that may be ok, if you document the best practice that the staff is to follow. For example, I don’t fully use cable labeling as documented in TIA-606, but I use components from it and modify some other things. This “corporate best practice” is documented and (supposed to be) followed at all our enterprise data center facilities.

If you have established and documented best practices, that particular task will be done the same way every time. It makes it easier when someone else has to troubleshoot the installers’ work. Everyone knows what is expected of them to be successful at a task. It provides consistency across the environment. And it minimizes (or should) risk, both to people and equipment.