Supporting Microworld Research: FNT Command Provides Cable Infrastructure Management at DESY

DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron), one of the world’s leading accelerator centers, develops and builds instruments that generate the world’s most intense X-ray light and accelerate particles to record energies. Each year, more than 3,000 researchers from over 40 countries use DESY’s large-scale facilities to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles, to the behavior of new types of nanomaterials, to biomolecular processes.

With an international reputation to uphold, reliability and performance are mission-critical to the campus’ cable infrastructure. The several hundred kilometers of coaxial and fiber-optic cables that are used in DESY’s facilities in Hamburg must be properly managed in order to maintain high availability and operational efficiency.

To sustain transparency at all times, the project team evaluating various option knew that a comprehensive cable management system was key. One of the initial challenges was convincing various departments to migrate their current cable infrastructure inventories. During this process, DESY compared 25 different solutions, of which only two met the organization’s 120 benchmark criteria.

Overall, DESY was impressed with FNT Command’s support of workflow processes, change management functionalities, and overall system configurability with additional multi-tenant capabilities. In 2009, FNT Command was implemented to provide a complete overview of the campus cable infrastructure during its ongoing network expansion. To predict the impact of the network changes and develop effective optimization measures during construction, DESY’s entire cable system, including signal paths and control cabinets, was planned and documented centrally within FNT Command.

The planning functionality in FNT Command was also used to encourage staff to start documenting assets voluntarily. Staff now uses valid information of the existing infrastructure to plan for new cables. Doing so, they can automatically generate work orders for the relevant technician. After installation, the actual-state documentation can be quickly updated or amended with just a few clicks. Therefore, it’s easy to maintain the existing cable documentation and ensure it remains up to date.

Further enhancements are planned regarding the secure management of the data center, which shares more than 25 petabytes of data each year. By implementing FNT Command, the responsible project managers aim to achieve complete transparency across all infrastructure assets from switch cabinets to individual cables.

To learn more about FNT Command at DESY, download our success story.