Planning and Preparing IT Cabinets for Restaurants

Written by
cabinet exmple 1
cabinet exmple 2

Once the cabling infrastructure is planned and the IT service providers have been contacted and booked in, the next thing to start planning is the IT cabinet. Smaller restaurant owners often do not think they require cabinets for the amount of IT equipment that they need. They think that is only for larger organisations. But this is not a good approach. Standard 19 inch IT cabinets are not expensive and they both protect and keep all your IT devices tidy and well organised. Moreover, restaurant offices are often very small so containing the IT kit in a purposed designed cabinet is a real plus. Failing this, you run the risk of all the IT and audio vendors just popping their kit anywhere in the office. This often results in devices and cables being 'peppered' all around the office rather than contained in an organised central location.

Before purchasing the cabinet, you need to make a list of all the equipment that is planned to go in it. You need a cabinet large enough for the existing kit and ideally with some expansion possibilities for the future. If space allows, I generally like to get all the IT kit and audio kit in the one rack. If space is tight, you may consider having two cabinets in slightly different areas, one for audio equipment and one for IT equipment. Remember to co-ordinate with all your IT and audio vendors and know what kit they are supplying. Things like switches can often be doubled up if you are not careful. Far better to have one quality 24 port rack mountable switch than several small consumer devices all daisy chained together. Try and keep the relevant vendor sections separated and tidy. You do not want the network engineers knocking out all the CCTV camera connections when they do some work on the Ethernet cabling just because all the cables is all tangled up together.

If you have multiple vendors prepping the cabinet, make sure that you outline your requirements to them before they start the work. Ensure that they keep their cable terminations organised and tidy. Do not allow them to terminate cabling that is still tangled in with other vendors cabling. Believe me, they will often do things like this to save time and get off site as soon as possible. Also, ensure you stagger these suppliers. Do not have the networking contractors, the audio contractors and the CCTV contractors all book in for the same day. Even if you have tight deadlines, this will not work. They will just get in each others way and the terminations will likely be sloppy due to having to rush and work around each other.

Having a well designed, well maintained IT cabinet in an easily accessible location, becomes the beating heart of your restaurants IT systems. It makes them robust and far easy to troubleshoot, if and when, things go wrong. Coupled with a good cabling infrastructure, these items are the bedrock of the fast, stable networks that your IT equipment needs to communicate with each other and the outside world.

cabinet 1
routers and switches
cabinet 2
cabinet 3
cabinet 4
cabinet 5

MWDC Service Provision

"The above information should help you plan and deploy a well-organised 'coms' cabinet in your restaurant office. It should also assist you to instruct your IT vendors so that they install their kit in a structured manner. By doing so, future troubleshooting should be far simpler and more efficient. If you would like someone to undertake this co-ordination for you, then feel free to give me a call. You can join a list of other clients for whom I have undertaken this work. "