Unfortunately, the dream of a wireless data centre – no wires, routers and servers communicating with each other wirelessly – is a distant dream.

In the meantime, we’ll have to do with creating order out of chaos. Which is what consultant Howard Marks did when he built a small data centre lab. As he points out in this column, a test lab needs a patching facility because equipment often goes in and out.

In his case, he picked a Category 6A copper patching system so he could be ready for 10GBase-T connectivity and made other decisions from there based on the length of cable runs and other factors.

Mom wasn’t the only person to believe that neatness counts. If you’re building a test centre you may find his advice helpful. At the very least, Marks points out, it will reduce the chances of someone accidentally pulling out the wrong plug.

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