Today’s Topics: Childhood Birthday Celebrations | Powering WFH | Cable Management Best Practices | News to Start Your Day
January 25th is National Opposite Day…does that mean instead of Monday it’s Friday?
Let’s talk childhood birthday celebrations. Our youngest daughter is turning 5 (“a whole hand!”) soon, and we’re planning to take a few days to go camping. I’ve found winter birthday celebrations to be difficult to plan. We usually end up doing a trip for this child’s birthday. It is easier than trying to plan something indoors for kiddos under 5 and then worrying about who may be sick (and that was before our current conditions). Craig, myself, and our older daughter all have summer birthdays. The weather and more relaxed schedules make for easier planning in summer.
I’ve heard some neat solutions to non-ideal days of birth celebration times. Our old neighbors did a big costume party birthday celebration at Halloween, because the mom and daughter both had birthdays within days of Christmas. The mom’s parents had started it, so it was also tradition for their family.
What is your favorite childhood birthday celebration memory?
Product Spotlights & Updates:
As many of us have transitioned from working in the office to working from home, we’ve had to find ways to power our devices so that there is no interruption to business! This is where products like the CP-PWR-CUBE-4 come in clutch! This power cube is a replacement power supply for Cisco CP-88XX, CP-89XX, and CP-99XX VoIP Phones. Check out our product page to see all compatible models. As usual, we have you covered whether you need Cisco original Factory Sealed or Refurbished. We even offer our very own CK Branded model as well!
Best Practices for Cable Management – CK Learning Center
Every network administrator in the world has a horror story about cable management. In data centers, those horror stories grow into genuine nightmares. If enough people work on a system for a long enough period of time, the cables will eventually turn into some type of Ethernet vine monster. Only strict adherence to cable management practices can prevent this disaster. The following best practices assume you already know some of the basics. Instead, they’re aimed to help you avoid subtler missteps that occur frequently in modern data centers.
Plan for Growth
Everyone says this. Everyone acknowledges. It’s still common for data centers to struggle with growing pains. This is the first and most important principle in cable management and network design because it applies to everything else you do. It is easiest to see when planning space for additional cables.
The challenge is finding the sweet spot. If you leave too much space for growth, you’re hurting efficiency. If there is too little, you hit major challenges with future upgrades. The safest and most reasonable rule to follow is that of 50 percent. If your initial design and subsequent add-ons always plan around 50-percent growth, you should stay close to the golden sweet spot.
The other component of planning for growth applies to equipment selection. As you already know, everything in your data center will eventually be obsolete. The most efficient way to manage the cost and labor of upgrades is to plan around cabling. Replacing or upgrading major pathways is the most labor-intensive work in a data center. So, any time that labor is required, it should be accompanied with cable upgrades. Spend the money on the most up-to-date cables and connectors, and you’ll save a lot of pain down the road.
Plan in General
Growth is important, but you need a good plan for the center to function correctly. So much goes into network planning that covering it all here is impossible, but cable management needs to be a central focus in general planning. Modular and gridded support structures enable you to access cables at any point, and it makes replacement and management much simpler. In general, you want an initial plan or add-on to your center to follow a gridded approach. There should never be any doubt as to where any given cable can be accessed for any plausible reason.
You know the basics of cable management already. Labels and color coding help to keep track of everything and cables should not be arranged willy-nilly. And, while you already understand that stress is bad for cables, many network engineers still allow too much in their systems. The key to managing cable stress is the same as doing any job in the world: use the right tools.
Horizontal and vertical hangers are widely available. They’re an easy place to consider cutting costs, but more often than not, this is a mistake. The hangers help manage cable stress, and they almost always save money in the long run.
The other key to alleviating stress is to take your time. Yes, labor is expensive. That’s exactly why you don’t want to be re-running cables that have kinks and tears. As much as you feel pressured to get work done quickly, it’s worth a small investment of time to make sure every bend has a gentle sweep and nothing is unceremoniously stuffed into a corner of your pathway. It’s the simplest thing in the world, and it costs data centers everywhere thousands of dollars a year.
The last tip for today is interference. This is slowly becoming less of a problem because fiber optic cables are less prone to interference in the first place. Regardless, you still have copper lines, and they still require care. As you know, major electrical circuits are the main sources of signal interference for those copper lines. You have to put as much space and shielding between these components as possible. None of that is new.
What might help you is to remember that a few parts of your data center have surprisingly powerful currents. Major power lines aside, fluorescent lights and liquid coolers surprise many designers with how much interference they can provide. Keep that in mind.
These tips aren’t enough to make a novice into an expert network engineer, but hopefully, they can help you steer clear of a few common mistakes that plague experienced professionals. In addition to these tips, you want to spend the time to thoroughly investigate your choices on connectors, boots and cable structures. A few small decisions can save a lot of time and effort when you’re maintaining your data center.
This article is from the CK Learning Center.
Today’s News to Start Your Day:
- As of this morning, in the US, there are 9,864,185 active COVID cases, 15,410,313 have recovered and there have been 429,499 deaths.
- President Joe Biden will sign a travel ban Monday on most noncitizens entering the country who were recently in South Africa, where a new strain of Covid has been identified. Biden will also reinstate travel restrictions on the entry of noncitizens from the U.K. and Brazil, where new strains also emerged.
- House Democrats on Monday evening will carry the sole impeachment charge against Trump of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol, passing the baton to the Senate for a trial scheduled to start in two weeks. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump’s team and House prosecutors time to prepare.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in next month’s Super Bowl, a game that will feature the defending champions and a team that hasn’t been to the NFL title match in nearly two decades. The Buccaneers defeated the Green Bay Packers, 31-26, to secure the NFC title. The Chiefs bested the Buffalo Bills, 38-24, to win the AFC title. The Buccaneers will be the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl game in their home stadium at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.
- The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Sunday that the federal government doesn’t know how much coronavirus vaccine the nation has. “I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have, and if I can’t tell it to you then I can’t tell it to the governors and I can’t tell it to the state health officials,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated.
- Emblazoned with Kroger branding, the smart carts program in Madeira is called KroGO, and it uses a handful of tech tools to whisk shoppers through the store and out the door sans checkout line. The cart is equipped with a large touchscreen at the front, which connects customers to the platform’s shopping list recommendations, promotional offers and even way-finding capabilities. As you shop, you’ll use the cart’s built-in scale and camera with computer vision to scan, weigh and tally up your items. When it comes time to check out, you can scan your loyalty rewards card and pay directly from the cart’s card reader.