Jun 22
2015

spaghetti_1We’ve all seen the horror… the spaghetti, the Medusa of the data center, cable mismanagement so dire it’s hard to look in our server racks direction. The good news is that it’s all completely fixable with a little bit of time and few best practices. By following these simple 5 cable management tips, you should be able to not only clean up your current catastrophe, but help prevent future ones as well.

#1 – “Measure Twice, Cut Once”

Maybe just measure in the first place. Looking at some cabling you would think they wanted enough cable run to go to the parking lot and back just in case. This is an old phrase, but always a good one. By having appropriately cut cable you can prevent tangles, help with airflow management and certainly locate specific cables much faster which during a panic situation can be huge.

 #2 – Color Me Confused Efficient

Create a plan and stick to it. Companies don’t make cable in 10 different colors just to make your data center pretty, it’s for you to give these colors a purpose. Here’s an example of a 5 color coded system:

Red = Servers and network equipment
Black = Standard network node
Green = Network printers
Yellow = Guess Access Jacks
Gray = VoIP telephones

By implementing a system any co-workers or future employees will be able to navigate with ease, you will be able to hunt down cable runs faster, and yes by default having a nicely color coded system does in fact make your data center look prettier.

#3 – Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Maybe the reason your cabling is such a mess is because your server racks simply aren’t in the right place. Why place a rack in a spot that doesn’t make it easy for a cable run? The way data is expanding and growing you should always be planning for future growth and starting with your server rack and equipment on the opposite side of the room is only making every future deployment that much more difficult. If it’s not an option at least consider a ladder rack system to help with the organization.

#4 –  Be Cool

While most consider the heat of their servers and consistently monitor for safety, many skip right over the idea of cables becoming too hot. Be smart with your cabling and keep your cables cool. There are dozens of various products that can help manage the cables around a server rack to reduce tension, help with your server rack air flow, and in the process help keep those cables much cooler.

#5 – With great power, comes great interference

Running your cabling and power together increases the chance of interference greatly. Basically the copper in the cables running along the power cables act like mini transformers and cause spikes. Where possible separate these as much as possible to help increase the quality of your runs.

We really didn’t dive into the various accessories that can be helpful, but you should absolutely browse the various options and start planning your cabling cleanup. Horizontal, Vertical, Cable Managers, Lacing Bars, Ladder Racks, Spools, there really are a wide variety of options, all of which should be considered for your space. If you need help deciding what would be best for your server rack and equipment call us at 1-800-352-6631 or fill out the contact us form located below.

Susan Wynne
By Susan Wynne
Account Manager Rackmount Solutions