In our data-driven world, data centers occupy a place of prominence as nodes on the connected web that allows us to send data from one device to another. Whether the facility is a private data center or a colocation facility hosting multiple customers, data centers house a network’s most critical systems and are vital to the continuity of daily operations. They facilitate global communication at an unprecedented level but, ironically, inside a data center, it can difficult to communicate at all.
Due to structural and environmental factors, ensuring robust wireless communication inside the reinforced walls of a data center is more difficult than it may seem, but it’s a necessary part of a secure data center operation.
Wireless in the Data Center
In data centers, wireless can play a big role in improving operations, safety, and security. Historically, data center employees and tenants relied on a conventional wired telephone network. Increasingly savvy data center operations managers are adding in a commercial wireless solution, such as Zinwave’s Distributed Antenna System (DAS), to eliminate the expense associated with a wired network – thereby enabling workers to communicate more effectively. Using mobile phones over desk phones increases the availability of personnel, reducing the number of missed calls and reducing response time for internal issues. In colocation facilities, this benefit extends to tenants working in the data center and enhances the experience for both the facility and the tenant.
DAS is the perfect solution for data centers: by implementing a flexible, scalable DAS, you’re set up for every challenge the day brings.
Safety is also a driving factor in deploying wireless in the data center. When wireless coverage is ubiquitous, reporting a safety concern is quicker and reduces the likelihood of an actual incident occurring. However, if an accident does happen, such as a worker falling while working in the stacks, reporting and response are quicker when callers have a wireless enabled space and don’t have to search for a landline.
DAS and the Challenges of Bringing Wireless to Data Centers
Getting wireless into a data center comes with challenges. The locations of many data centers take advantage of affordable land, natural cooling, and low power costs – meaning they’re often located in places where cell coverage is likely not as robust as it is in metro areas. Also, data center construction focuses on conserving energy, going so far as placing parts of facilities underground or in the side of mountains.
The insides of data centers are jungles of metal and glass – causing further issues with the propagation of RF and cellular signals. This is why DAS is the perfect solution for data centers: you can distribute the antennas across the work area to cover the area effectively, and you can combine the cell signal with private RF as well as first responder coverage (where allowed by the local codes). By implementing a flexible, scalable DAS in data centers, you’re set up for every challenge the day brings.