2017 is finally here and to help ring in the baby new year, we’ve “bundled” this pair of must-see cabling photos, both exemplifying what superior cable management can look like. The photo with the larger cable bundles is from Reddit, and the one with the smaller-but no-less-attractive-bundles is from Datcom Computer’s Pinterest page.
To go with, following is a handy list of 10 “best practices” refresher points for both initial installation and daily maintenance of cable bundles within the data center. The list comes from Brocade’s “Best Practices Guide: Cabling the Data Center.”
- Overbundling cables or placing multiple bundles on top of each other can degrade performance. Try to keep fiber and copper runs separated, as the weight from copper cabling can crush fiber cables that are placed beneath them.
- Don’t mount cabling components in locations that block access to other equipment within and outside of racks. Also, avoid routing cables over other patch panel ports.
- A good rule of thumb is to keep all cable runs under 90 percent of the maximum distance supported for each media type, per relevant standards. This extra headroom will accommodate additional patch cabling to be included in the end-to-end connection.
- Install additional cables as spares for both backbone and horizontal runs. Install higher cabling categories to futureproof for forthcoming application requirements.
- Don’t leave loose cabling on the floor; it’s a safety hazard. Employ horizontal, vertical or overhead cable managers to route cables within and between racks.
- Don’t stress cables by doing any of the following: applying additional twists; pulling or stretching cables beyond specified pull load ratings; bending beyond the specified bend radius; creating tension in suspended runs; stapling or applying pressure with zip ties. Use hook-and-loop-style ties wherever possible.
- For horizontal and backbone twisted-pair cabling, preserve the same density of twists in cable pairs up to the point of termination. Use thin and high-density cables wherever possible (per relevant standard specifications) to allow for more cable runs in tight spaces.
- Don’t mix 50-micron cables with 62.5-micron cables on a fiber-optic link.
- As much as possible, test and label every cable as it is installed and terminated. Document all cabling components and links between components, and keep this information up to date.
- Bundle cables together in relevant groups to ease management and troubleshooting.