Media giant simplifies fiber network with high-density cabling
Scripps Networks Interactive develops content for its popular television, Internet, magazine, and other media outlets. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Scripps Networks has offices and filming locations across the United States, as well as London, Milan, Sao Paulo, Sydney, the Philippines, and Singapore. Scripps Networks’ media brands include HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, and Great American Country, as well as Fine Living Network and Asian Food Channel overseas.
To support this industry-leading global network of media, Scripps Networks pursued an efficient, robust enterprise data center solution with help from Chatsworth Products (CPI).
Scripps Networks was looking for a solution to simplify the fiber network in its data center, which is distributed overhead with a cross-connect back to the core. The company was an early adopter of CPI’s Evolution® Cable Management, which it currently deploys with CPI’s Two-Post Standard Racks to manage high-density cabling.
“I think what really got us started was Evolution. When we brought it in, it was brand new. It is now in every single Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF) closet from Singapore to New York,” explained Patrick Gresham, data center operations manager of Enterprise IT Operations for Scripps Networks Interactive.
Evolution fulfills high-density cabling requirements and organizes cables so that they can be easily traced from start to finish when performing moves, adds, and changes, saving valuable time and money.
Because the company had experienced such great success with Evolution Cable Management, it was an easy decision to use CPI’s reliable solutions throughout its data centers.
Data Center Challenges
Scripps Networks has two main data centers, as well as other technical facilities throughout its office locations worldwide. When planning a new infrastructure solution for its data centers, several challenges arose.
The company had to use an existing data center space, which had space limitations in addition to difficulty with the cable management inside the existing cabinets.
“One big problem was no one was stocking anything. We would use a 14-ft cable to go 2 ft, and leave the rest hanging down to the floor,” Gresham said.
Scripps Networks also wanted to eliminate hot spots and be able to support up to 30 kW per cabinet, as opposed to the current 6kW. The media company considered implementing a hot aisle containment solution; however, Tim White, CPI regional sales manager, visited the site and provided expertise and insight on additional options better suited to their needs.
CPI’s Innovative Solution
After reviewing several options, the team decided on CPI’s Passive Cooling® Solutions, which featured F-Series TeraFrame® Cabinet Systems with Vertical Exhaust Ducts to help segregate air in a modular and efficient way.
CPI’s Passive Cooling Solutions provide superior equipment cooling performance, and reduce data center cooling costs, without the need for additional CRAC units, in-row air conditioners or liquid cooling solutions. The F-Series TeraFrame Cabinets are highly flexible and functional, providing enhanced features that easily adapt to changing requirements.
CPI Vertical Exhaust Ducts were deployed to isolate and redirect hot air. These ducts were unique because CPI designed them with brushed openings along the base to accommodate overhead power busway without compromising thermal management. This allowed the company to have the flexibility of overhead power without compromising the passive cooling solutions it was looking for.
“Scripps was the first company to implement that type of setup, which is now a standard feature on the latest CPI TeraFrame Cabinets,” White stated. The brushed openings helped improve efficiency in the data center by containing exhaust air within the cabinet.
To manage its fiber cross-connect and keep cabling concealed, Scripps Networks once again relied on CPI’s Two-Post Standard Rack and Evolution Cable Management combination. Twenty-four fiber cables ran from each cabinet to the cross-connect to manage patching, allowing flexibility with the switches.
To ensure there would be no more messy racks, power cords and cables were neatly organized using the F-Series TeraFrame’s integrated cable managers. The cables were also cut to custom lengths and color coded to easily distinguish their purpose.
The four-phase process, which included power, cooling, cabling and networking, was completed in close cooperation with White, John Thompson, CPI field application engineer and Mike Simmons, Anixter sales representative.
CPI’s Technical Support services were also on hand to help answer any questions and assist with the customization. “It was really easy working with engineering,” Gresham said.
Complete Isolation and Zero Hot Spots
Scripps Networks’ data center is now operating with complete hot and cold air isolation and zero hot spots. Not only do the CPI products exceed expectation functionally, they provide a clean, high-tech look.