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It’s time to take cable management seriously – here’s how

You’ve got the power units in place, the cooling practices are up to scratch, your server management is set up, but what about your cabling strategy?

Cabling is often overlooked at data centers, but it shouldn’t be as an effective cabling strategy can make all the difference between an efficient data center and one that is disorganized leading to hours lost in downtime.

Here are four aspects of a successful cabling management strategy for you to keep in mind.

1. Get your design right

Before you begin cabling at a data center understand everything there is to it. For instance, are you using fiber optic cabling or copper, or both? What about switching and patching? Get the answers to these questions in place before you begin the installation. This also helps in planning for any connectivity requirements from new equipment being provisioned. Ensure also that you document cable types, connectors, number of data and power ports, and so on.

2. Monitor installation

The installation team may not be the team who did the design so ensure that they are given the right instructions otherwise you will wind up with incorrect installations and connections. For instance, take something like determining the length of cable needed before installation. Get it right and your data center is free of wasted cables (waste of money) and loose cables (safety hazard). Monitor installation to prevent downtime in the future.

3. Quality quality quality

Use highest-grade copper or fiber cables to prevent future service issues. Older, degraded cabling can affect performance, and result in downtime due to dropped connections. Low quality or old patch cables can result in network latency or lag (basically delays in communication over a network).

4. Plan for the future

Modern data center environments are constantly changing, so one needs to anticipate demand and deploy resources fast. Even in terms of cabling, plan possible additions and decommissions to reduce downtime when projects suddenly come up. Open-frame equipment racks are some ways to secure cables.

Apart from these considerations, here are 4 more cable management tips you may find useful.

  1. Ensure cables are not blocking air ventilation grids on equipment. This can result in dust buildup and overheating.

  2. Ensure there are no loose cables as they can cause trips as well as gather dust.

  3. Avoid excessive bending of cables as this will damage them.

  4. Keep cables out of direct sunlight and free from moisture as this reduces its efficiency.

Cable management is crucial for a safe, efficient data center. And every data center requires its own unique cable management strategy. Hardy Racks offers accessories that can help you build efficient, compact, and cost-effective cable management systems. Our fiber raceways, for instance, help with managing fiber cables, while our high-density cable managers offer high scalability. Get in touch with our experts to understand how to put an effective cable management strategy in place.

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