How to label the equipment in the data center correctly?
Marking and identification of equipment is an important part of managing the infrastructure of data centers and IT parks. The correct approach to labeling ensures ease of maintenance, avoids unnecessary delays during maintenance and reduces errors when replacing equipment. In this article, we will look at the key stages of proper labeling of IT equipment.
Advantages of proper labeling of IT equipment in data centers and IT companies:
- Reduce downtime: Marking cables prevents unintended failures, such as accidental disconnections of the wrong power cable, as well as incorrect placement of components in the data center.
- Tags on servers save time and reduce the time of working staff when changes or repairs are necessary.
- Reducing the risk of inventory loss: barcodes track computer equipment inventory and reduce the risk of equipment loss. This can simplify warehouse management for easy management of the replacement fund, accurate display of the rate of expenditure of spare parts and increase inventory turnover.
- Theft prevention: A common cause of inventory losses in retail is theft or loss. Indelible tags increase security measures, which prevents theft or improper placement of equipment.
- IT Asset and Inventory Management: IT asset and inventory tracking systems identify problems in the network, ensure the correct selection of replacement parts and coordinate related actions.
ANSI/TIA-606-B data center labeling standard
ANSI/TIA-606-B is a standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), adopted in 2012. It defines the requirements for marking equipment, cable routes and connectors inside data centers. It also provides guidance on labeling techniques and data management related to equipment and cable inside data centers to ensure more efficient and accurate management.
Basic principles of equipment labeling
- Unified naming space: this means that all objects must be labeled using standardized identifiers.
- Systematization of objects: the standard recommends using a hierarchical approach to naming objects, starting from the general direction and ending with specific rooms, counters and equipment.
- Uniformity of marking: All objects must be marked using the same set of characters and font.
- Clarity and ease of understanding: Labels should not contain too much information and should be easy to read.
- Use of colors: The standard provides for the use of colors in labeling to indicate specific parameters, such as cable type, communication protocol, etc.
- Identifiers must be resistant to atmospheric influences, humidity, temperature changes and the effects of mechanical factors.
Following the requirements of ANSI/TIA-606-B, marking must be performed using a permanent identifier that can be easily traced. It should be structured, for example, use alphanumeric characters for ease of reference. Each cable should be marked at each end, indicating the connection points. The markings must be resistant to external influences, such as friction, moisture and fading, and must also remain readable throughout the entire service life. In addition, conductive materials should be used for clinging labels (various types of plastic).
What should be labeled in data centers
In data centers, many components need to be labeled, including servers, switches, patch panels, cables and racks. One of the most important elements is the server hardware. In addition, the cable infrastructure should also be clearly marked, including all patch cables that connect the equipment to each other. Additionally, power supplies, fans, cooling systems, and other elements that are used in the data center are marked. In data centers, aisles, walls and floors are also marked to improve orientation and ensure the safety of personnel.
For example, paths can be marked with different colors or patterns to indicate different zones and routes, walls can be marked with numbers, and the floor can be covered with special markings to indicate the directions of movement during evacuation, and so on. Since data centers look monotonous and monotonous from the inside, it is quite easy to get lost among the server racks, and it is almost inevitable when there is smoke or light is turned off.
What equipment is required for proper labeling in the data center:
- Stickers and label printers such as Epson Labelworks
- Special tags or labels, usually made of plastic or vinyl. These tags are attached to the cable using special clips or bandages.
- Barcode scanners that are used to identify products and interact with the spare parts database and service department
- Dedicated inventory management software for a complete inventory tracking system
What software is used for inventory management
To manage inventory in the data center, various software products can be used that allow you to automate the processes of monitoring, control and management of equipment. For example, these can be control systems BMC Remedy, ServiceNow, Zabbix etc . These systems allow you to track information about the condition of equipment in real time, analyze data, determine the need for maintenance of equipment, as well as perform other functions.