Our IT team at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri recently revitalized the school's neglected data center. Here are the "after" photos of the project. (Unfortunately, I didn't take any "before" photos.)
For whatever reason, someone thought that this AC unit would be perfectly adequate for the server room. Now that we've significantly reduced the heat load by eliminating a bunch of servers (our virtualization project), it does a better job of keeping up, but it is likely to need serious attention in the not-too-distant future. Note that one of the tubes is not yet connected to the duct (we went with uninsulated flexible duct due to space constraints in the ceiling) since the area of the room that will be served by this tube is not yet ready.
This is server rack 1 of 2. You can see that servers are labeled and our EMC AX4 3 chassis array in the middle of the rack right above our Dell M1000e blade server chassis. Below that and out of the picture is an APC UPS. To the left of the rack, you'll notice the very large power connectors; these massive connectors replaced what was a hardline power connection to the UPSs, making it possible for us to disconnect them, if necessary, without involving an electrician.
The second server rack houses our voicemail/UM system at the top of the rack. Below it is a behemoth server with huge amounts of storage used to keep 30 days worth of video from campus security cameras, as well as IT system images. We have four more Dell server below that, two of which will be replaced this summer with virtual machines. At the bottom of this rack, we have a second APC UPS connected to a separate circuit from the first.
Even as we do all of this work, we have to be mindful of keeping systems up and running, which has made it difficult to keep cables as neat as we'd like. One of our summer projects is going to be to make sure that all of the cabling is run correctly and neatly. One major enhancement that you can't really see in the photo is that each and every new cable is now labeled at both ends.
This is the new frame for the host building's network connections. You'll see some populated patch panels at the top of the picture; these are the connections that were run into newly renovated IT office space. The blank panels below are for what I'd hoped would be a spring break project of moving the remaining building connections to this frame, but we ran out of time. That's now a summer project.
The aforementioned mess also makes our core rack a huge mess and makes cable management a nightmare. Once we move the internal building connections and switches to the other rack, we'll be able to clean this up a lot.
The new cable tray has made it much easier to add and move cables as necessary. You'll note that there are slots between ceiling tiles where the rods holding up the tray run. We decided against notching the tiles since it would become a maintenance nightmare -- it's much easier to just move the cut tiles if that becomes necessary.