Tangles, kinks and confusion resulting in extra cost and even downtime. It’s sad. All these data center casualties were preventable with just a little planning using the 5 tips outlined below.
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Tips for successful cable management
Measure twice, purchase once
Extra cable is messy and creates a lot of expensive waste. A few wasted feet over-and-over again piles up quickly and adds more cost than you might think.
Plus, with that extra length on your cables, you invite tangles, kinks, and confusion.
Be sure to avoid blocking access to equipment inside and outside the racks when installing your cable. Use Velcro cable supports to secure the cable without damaging it.
Label your cables
Ideally you should label every cable on both ends, even short runs and patch cables. What happens if you need to test several connections quickly, unplug a few patch cables, and when it’s time reset them, you have no idea where each cable goes?
Don’t make more work for yourself later, spend a few minutes labeling your cables.
Color coding will make it easier to follow cable runs and troubleshoot issues. Use highly contrasting colors, so people don't confuse pink for red, for example. Use duller colors (e.g., gray) for more mundane functions and brighter, more dramatic colors (e.g., red) for mission-critical uses.
Plus, a beautiful data center has its merits!
Don't buy conduit for today. Buy conduit sized for what you will need in the future. You never know when you'll be adding on, and you'll want to be able to make use of your existing conduit.
Do not overfill your managers, which can cause kinks and make moves, adds and changes difficult. Use a 50% cable fill when selecting your cable management rings/hangers. This allows sufficient space for maintaining cable bend radius for patch cords.
Separate Cat6 and power
Do not run Cat6 and power together. You might think it's too minimal to be of concern, but those power lines can cause interference with your Cat6.
Of course, while following these tips, be sure to follow industry standards, such as ANSI/TIA and ISO/IEC, as well as any federal, state or local regulations.
With just a little planning, you will prevent these tragic, unnecessary data center causalities!
Disclaimer: Tom Hodson, pictured in the frightening data center scene above, is an experienced data center Solution Architect at Total Cable Solutions, colorpowercables.com, and a voting member on the TIA Engineering Committee TR-42. Tom is a trained data center professional and was not harmed in producing this content. Do not try this at your data center.