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Choosing the Right Power Cord – Rack Optimization Tips

Choosing the Right Power Cord - Rack Optimization Tips - AnD Cable Management Blog

There are several aspects of optimizing data centers, from making the best use of space, time, power, and personnel. But there are some surprisingly simple solutions that are often overlooked with power cords, especially when it comes to rack optimization. Here are just a few of them.

Choosing the Right Power Cord - Rack Optimization Tips - AnD Cable Management Blog

SVT vs. SJT Power Cords

One of the first needs of a data center is power, and while there are debates about DC powering data centers, for the most part, AC power is the answer, and that means that a part of rack optimization includes the routing of power cords

Related to that is the durability of these cords, their flexibility, and to an extent their cost. However, there is a certain resistance to making the switch from more common SJT cords to their younger, smaller brother, SVT power cords. 

The issue is primarily perception. SJT power cords are thicker, so they must be better, right? The answer is more complex than that. To understand, we need to look briefly at what these cords actually do:

  • Deliver power safely to components in the rack system
  • Have the flexibility to be routed through racks and between delicate components
  • Must be color coded to assist with organization and prevent mistakes during moves and changes

That sounds pretty basic, right? Power cables, and many other cables used in data centers essentially are. So why choose one over the other?

SVT Power Cord Advantages

The primary difference between SVT and SJT cords is thickness, which plays a significant role. Both are portable, can be color coded, easily withstand the heat of the data center environment, and are capable of carrying the exact same loads. 

SJT cords have been standard for a long time, and their thickness may make them seem “tougher”. But thinner SVT cords are capable of more bend angles, take up less room (facilitating airflow), and are lighter. These aid rack optimization and organization.

But of course, SVT cords also cost less per unit. Over large moves and changes or even when designing a new data center, this can make a huge difference. 

In this case, thinner (and cheaper) is better. 

Power Cords are Only Part of the Picture

Of course, when we start talking about power cords, it is important to go back to some of the basics of rack optimization. 

  • First, use 28 AWG “skinny” patch cords. They are 36% thinner than other cables, which allows you to use high-density patch panels. This simple change in cords saves you a lot of rack space, and cuts the RU needed for patch panels in half. Skinnier patch cords also allow for more airflow as well
  • Second, replace 1RU and 2RU horizontal cable managers with AnD Cable Products Zero U Cable Management Racks. They’ve been designed to not take up the valuable vertical space typical cable managers do, but instead install in the same U as the device, saving significant rack space

Once you have done these two things, you’ll often more than double the ports you can fit in a single rack. Not only will you save space and money, and prevent the spaghetti mess of wiring often found in server racks after moves and changes, but you will save additional rack footprints, allowing you to increase density without losing computing power or memory. 

WHITEPAPER – Optimizing Server Cabinet Rack Space to Maximize Efficiency and Reduce Costs

Optimizing Server Cabinet Rack Space to Maximize Efficiency and Reduce Costs FREE Guide - AnD Cable Products

Smart optimization can help you increase rack space and realize significant equipment cost savings. Read our step-by-step guide that shows you how – and how much you could save.

  • How Much Rack Space You Could Save
  • How to Optimize for Maximum Efficiency
  • Savings for New and Retrofit Installations
  • Overall Cost and Space Savings Post-Optimization

Optimizing Other Cables

There are other steps you can take as well. Optimizing your Ethernet cables (while taking into account power, latency, and reach), looking at Direct Attach Copper (DACs) cables, Active Optical Cables (AOCs), and fiber optic cable assemblies for optimization opportunities, and keeping up with innovations like plastic polymer cables can also set you up for the most optimal use of cables and cords in your data center.

The last item highlights perhaps the most important thing you can do to optimize your data center: keeping up with evolving technology. There are always new developments, faster and lighter cords, better power solutions, and more. Consider what you can do each time to make moves or changes to increase the efficiency of your data center no matter what size it is.

The good news is, you don’t have to do this alone. At AnD Cable, we keep up with the newest and best solutions for everything you need for your data center, from racks to cable management to cords and cables. We offer remote monitoring solutions and more. 

Have questions about data center solutions? Do you want to talk about optimizing your  rack usage and cable management? Get in touch today! We can’t wait to start a conversation about how we can help you. And if you’re ready to get started, request a quote. We’ll be with you every step of the way. 

About the Author

Louis Chompff - Founder, AnD Cable Products, Rack and Cable ManagementLouis Chompff – Founder & Managing Director, AnD Cable Products
Louis established AnD Cable Products – Intelligently Designed Cable Management in 1989. Prior to this he enjoyed a 20+ year career with a leading global telecommunications company in a variety of senior data management positions. Louis is an enthusiastic inventor who designed, patented and brought to market his innovative Zero U cable management racks and Unitag cable labels, both of which have become industry-leading network cable management products. AnD Cable Products only offer products that are intelligently designed, increase efficiency, are durable and reliable, re-usable, easy to use or reduce equipment costs. He is the principal author of the Cable Management Blog, where you can find network cable management ideas, server rack cabling techniques and rack space saving tips, data center trends, latest innovations and more.
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