How network cable modeling simplifies data center asset management

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Data center complexity has always been an issue. The emergence of high-density computing and data-intensive applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR) have only added to the complexity and created demand for higher transmission speed and capacity. This has led to the increasing use of Multi-Fiber Push On (MPO) and Multi-Fiber Termination Push-on (MTP) cables.

MPO and MTP cables have one port at one end and up to 22 ports at the other. Keeping track of all ports and connections for accurate asset management is no easy task. Depending on the setup at a colocation facility or data center, network cables sprouting from the back of racks can run to the ceiling and hide overhead, run under the ceiling, or even beneath the floor. Whatever the routing, good management practices dictate that administrators keep track of each network cable, knowing where every connection begins and ends – and what it connects to.

data center asset management

That’s not always the case. For example, administrators often don’t keep track of network cables. As a result, they have no visibility into cable routing, which can create obvious problems in troubleshooting. And where there is visibility, administrators often use multiple asset management tools or spreadsheets to keep track of cables and other components, such as the power infrastructure.

It doesn’t have to be that way. MPO and MTP cable modeling simplifies management by letting administrators better plan and track cable routing. Administrators can track each network cable with modeling tools, whether it connects to a server or a patch panel on a rack.

Having visibility into the miles of cable in a data center, what cable trays they run in, and what equipment they are connected to can significantly improve accuracy when laying and troubleshooting cable. This reduces the time devoted to the task. Less time translates to less money spent on network management.

Simplifying Data Center Asset Management

Schneider Electric is helping to simplify network management by adding network cable and cable tray modeling features to the EcoStruxureTM IT Advisor platform. The platform provides visibility into data center operations down to single assets.

The new functionality focuses on MPO/MTP network cable and cable tray modeling. As a result, installation and maintenance of MTO and MTP cables become more straightforward. Knowing where each cable leads to also makes it easier to accurately identify points of failure when troubleshooting is necessary.

By enabling digital representations of a real-life data center, the platform becomes an essential tool in capacity planning and helps to ensure everything is connected correctly. A further benefit is that by using EcoStruxure IT Advisor, managers gain a “single source of truth” with visibility into all aspects of the data center, including the power management infrastructure, without using multiple tools.

Cable modeling with more functionality 

Available now in EcoStruxure IT Advisor is a network cable routing modeling functionality, allowing managers to create visual representations of their network cables before and after installation to keep track of everything.

Also, available now is network cable measuring, which will allow planners to use virtual models to determine the length of cables before installation. This is an especially welcome feature at a time when some administrators work remotely. Rather than traveling to a site every time they need to measure a cable, they can leverage the modeling functionality for accurate measurements.

Interested in better visibility for your data center assets?

Accurate network cable modeling makes for a better-run, more efficient data center. In addition, as data-intensive applications continue to increase demands on data centers, the ability to keep accurate track of network cables makes it easier to meet this demand as technology continues to evolve. Interested in finding out additional information? Learn more to see if EcoStruxure IT Advisor is a fit for your data center operations.

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