How To Organize Cable Management For Data Centers
In any data center, it is important to keep cables organized, with efficient runs that do not waste valuable cable materials, and do not cause any cable-to-cable conflicts. An example of a conflict is the transference of electrical interference from a power cable to another cable. Poor cable management results in cable “spaghetti,” which is unsightly and wasteful. Professional installation pays careful attention to proper cable management.
It starts with a well-designed facilities plan, in terms of equipment placement, that allows for future expansion.
Here are some tips to help organize cables for a new data center installation:
Place Equipment in Position First
Run cable after installing equipment in the appropriate places to make sure the cable is the proper length. It is important to make sure racks accommodate equipment and to group equipment in ways that make logical sense, including being aware of heat issues and equipment power requirements.
Measure Cable Length Carefully
A little excess cable length is useful so that there is no added stress on connectors, but excessive length is wasteful, and adds up to be very costly in total. This is especially true for patch cables, which are usually very short runs. It is better to make them by hand in the proper length, than to use standard cables that are too long.
Use High Quality Connectors
When cheap connectors fail, there is sometimes a lot of expense necessary to replace them. Good quality connectors that are robust and maintain integrity are worth the investment.
Label Every Color-Coded Cable
Take the time to label everything in the beginning. Labeling both ends of a cable during the installation is extremely helpful when that cable needs identification in the future. Use a master plan for a cable color codes to help quickly identify the type of cable and its general function by its color.
Use a good quality tester and make sure cables function at 100%. If cables fail the testing process even slightly, do not use them. It is better to get rid of a potentially defective cable in the beginning than to experience intermittent or permanent cable failure in the future.
Extra Room in Conduits
Over-size conduit specifications to allow extra room for additional cables in the future. Leave behind a long-lasting cable pull in any conduit to make it easier to add new cabling in the future.
Cat5 communication cable and audio cable needs to be completely separate runs from power cabling due to interference caused by the electricity running through the power lines. A Cat5 cable also can potentially cause interference with another Cat5 cable, so good installation uses cable-spacers to provide room between the Cat5 cables.
Some cables (especially high-load electrical cables) release heat due to resistance. In closed spaces, this heat can transfer to other cables affecting their performance and even causing cable melting.
With any new data center installation, good cable management is very important as an integral process, followed carefully during equipment installation. With good cable management, cable “spaghetti” never becomes a problem and cable failure is less likely to occur.
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