Elyse Ge Hylander, product line manager of enterprise solutions at CommScope (http://www.commscope.com/), says:

As data centers face ever-increasing growth, IT demands, and evolving technologies, IT administrators and facility and data center managers are challenged with responding to the rapid growth of their facilities and the businesses they support. Furthermore, rising operating expenses are driving data center operators to maximize their utilization of space, power and cooling through higher density server deployments, which introduces the challenge of managing larger bundles of cabling within the server cabinet.

It is safe to say that the data center is the heart that pumps the blood throughout an enterprise, and a new data center presents the unique opportunity to design a network that maximizes the best of today’s technology while providing a clear path to the future. Increased bandwidth demand is an overall priority for data center capacity; however, choosing the right way to evolve a data center encompasses a wide range of opinions.

To further add to these challenges, most network infrastructure is incapable of adapting to growth demands and evolving technologies with minimal investment and downtime. Traditionally, patch panels are installed inside the server cabinet and connected to the network via permanent horizontal cables. Servers are then loaded one at a time. As such, data center managers face the lack of agility to quickly deploy server racks and the associated cabling required accommodating growth needs. They are also challenged with the ability to accommodate upgrades to their existing infrastructure.

To address these issues, CommScope developed the InstaPATCH® ZERO server cabinet solution—the first pre-terminated server cabinet solution on the market. The cabinet features up to six cord cassettes that are pre-installed and configured in the zero U space of a 42U 600-mm wide and 1200-mm deep customized server cabinet jointly developed by Rittal and CommScope. It provides connectivity in an integrated, modular system that enables rapid, plug-and-play server cabinet deployment and facilitates best practices in intra-cabinet cable management. Positioned above the cabinet is a short, 4U equipment rack mounted to the overhead pathway. It segregates permanent cabling from cabinet and save space for active equipment by placing patch panels or interconnect equipment above the cabinet or rack.

InstaPATCH ZERO expedites server deployment by simply rolling in the loaded cabinet and plugging it into the network infrastructure. For non-greenfield data centers, customers dramatically reduce downtime during a technology refresh while preserving their investment in the network infrastructure. Connecting servers is a matter of pulling the cords from the cassettes and plugging them into the servers. The built-in patch cords are always the right length for server connections. Any cord slack stores neatly inside the cassette.

The data center network infrastructure generally lasts between seven and 10 years; however, the refresh cycle for servers and switches are every two to four years. Given the “connectivity-bus” like architecture along with the “roll in and plug-in” capability offered by the InstaPATCH ZERO solutions, customers no longer need to choose between minimizing downtime and preserving investment.

InstaPATCH ZERO Server Cabinet Solution instantly turns static equipment into a Living Infrastructure—an approach to designing, deploying and evolving data centers that encompasses a comprehensive portfolio of structured cabling solutions and planning tools. These solutions and tools can help customers drive efficiency through flexibility in addressing unanticipated changes in network design and priorities.

What makes this ideal is that there is no similar product on the market. The current method is to order patch panels, patch cords, patch cord managers and install all these parts in the production data center. The InstaPATCH ZERO cabinet is orderable with two, four, or the maximum of six cord cassettes pre-installed at the factory, simplifying ordering and installation since there is only one package and one part number.

Data center managers now have access to a turn-key solution designed for rapid server deployment and change management. By helping them with rapid deployment, CommScope helps them realize a higher investment value by saving time, money, space while also enabling them to plan for tomorrow’s growth.