We’ve mentioned before that our each of our custom Mac mini data center cabinets has over 960 feet of Cat5e cabling. Our latest breakthrough is with WiFi. Using an Apple Airport base station we are able to eliminate all 960 feet of Cat5e. It is replaced with one 3 foot patch cord to tie the base station into our network. This opens up some more room in our cabinets and allows us to complete a cabinet build in less time. Our builds start with an APC 48U NetShelter SX cabinet. The Apple Airport base station is located on the roof of the cabinet as seen here.
The Apple Airport base station is strategically placed in the center of the cabinet. We then line the inside of the cabinet with a material that makes the cabinet act as a faraday cage limiting the range of the WiFi signal. Then the Mac mini shelving units are mounted to the front and back of the cabinets allowing for WiFi connectivity throughout the center of the cabinet. Unfortunately wireless power technology is not that the point where we can safely deploy it. We hope to be able to be 100% cable free in the near future. Here is another photo of the cabinet roof mounted in the cabinet.