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Tall or Wide – what’s your cable management strategy?

Cable management in a data center is both challenging and liberating. There are hundreds and thousands of pieces of equipment in a data center, each requiring several cables. Getting the right strategy in place may seem difficult but once done, it can prove to improve efficiency in so many ways, and you’re going to wonder why you didn’t do it in the first place.

There are two ways to go with cable managers – vertical and horizontal. Let’s discuss some of the advantages and challenges of each.

Vertical cable management

What is it?

Vertical Cable Managers are a vertical pathway for cables from the switch to the patch panel in the rack system. Multiple horizontal cable managers usually feed into them. This type of cable manager mounts within the rack and keeps cables bundled until they exit the rack.

What are the sizes available?

They are generally designed with height sizes up to 48U.


  1. They come in several sizes so you can fit as many cables as you need to meet your specific situation.

  2. They are flexible in the sense they allow cables to bend safely when they exit the rack or connect to another piece of equipment.

  3. They cut signal interference to a large extent, improving signal quality

  4. They separate power and data cables, which can help to prevent interference

  5. They are more cost-effective as in most cases you will only need one per server rack.

  6. They are space-saving as they are placed along the inner edge of a server rack


  1. Tracing cables can be difficult but labeling and color-coding can take care of this

  2. Adding and removing cables may prove a challenge but if your data center layout is planned in a way that the cables are neat and secured in place this can be easily overcome

Horizontal Cable Management

What is it?

In this type, cables are run through a plastic or metal unit placed above or below the device that has cables plugged in. The cables have their spot within the cable manager.

What are the sizes available?

They can come in 1U or 2U size options


  1. Cables tracing is easier as each cable runs through its own ‘port’ on the horizontal manager, and this makes troubleshooting faster

  2. Adding and removing cables is easy without disrupting other cables as each cable has its own spot

  3. Front and rear cabling is more organized and secure


  1. It is not space-saving

  2. It takes longer to set up because each cable has its own opening

Can you go both tall and wide?

The answer is yes. In fact, most data centers end up using the systems in tandem. The horizontal system works to secure cables and keep them separated within a rack, while the vertical one saves space and keeps everything in place while the cable goes up or down and in and out of the server rack.

An effective cable management solution is important as it can make your data center infrastructure more efficient and cost-effective and make troubleshooting easier. Hardy Racks offers cable management accessories and solutions that can be customized to your requirements. Give our customer support team a call to learn more.


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