Busy network engineers may feel as if they lack the time for proper network rack cable management. However, a disorganised mess of patch cords and cables will only make maintenance more difficult and time-consuming in the long run. Improper cable management also increases the risk of network downtime and heat retention in the server rack or cabinet.
There are steps network administrators can take to keep cabling neat and prevent headaches down the road.
Network rack cable management tips
While structured cabling follows well-defined standards, there is more flexibility when installing patch cords and other cables within server racks and cabinets. However, experienced network engineers and cable installers have found that following these tips can help ensure high-quality, well-managed results.
- Measure carefully: In carpentry, one of the most important rules is to “measure twice, cut once”. The same holds true for network cables. Excess cabling increases costs and leads to more tangling. By measuring carefully, network engineers can reduce cable waste and create a neater rack environment. Ideally, organisations should purchase custom network cables of the exact length needed.
- Invest in high-quality network cables: Some manufacturers try to keep costs low by scrimping on sheathing and using narrow copper cores. However, this increases the risk of signal loss and makes cables more likely to snap or stretch. High-quality cables cost more but pay off in the long run by reducing the risk of failure and network problems.
- Handle cables properly: Although cables appear to be flexible and robust, they require proper handling to prevent damage. Sharp bends and twists can result in poor data transmission and intermittent network problems. Network cables should have just enough slack for proper routing without excess.
- Separate cables by type: Bundling power cables with network cables can create electromagnetic interference, so it’s best to separate them. Cable managers make it easy to organise various cable types to minimise interference.
- Terminate connections properly: Experienced network engineers recognise the importance of proper termination. Although it takes extra time, it will reduce troubleshooting headaches. If a connection is lost whenever a network cable moves, the termination should be redone.
- Use labels and colour codes: The value of labels cannot be overstated. Proper labelling of cables in the network rack or cabinet allows administrators to easily identify cables they may want to replace and limits the potential for mistakes. Ideally, patch cables should be labelled on both ends, using a consistent format, so that they can be traced later. Cable jackets of various colours can be used to facilitate further identification.
- Anticipate growth and change: Growth and change are inevitable in today’s networking environment. Well-managed patch cords will facilitate moves, adds and changes, and minimise the risk of a technician unplugging the wrong cable. Effective network rack cable management is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Cables and accessories from Enconnex
Enconnex is your source for high-quality network cables and accessories. Their Cat6, high-speed copper and fibre-optic cables are manufactured to exacting standards and available in a wide range of lengths, colours and types. A unique serial number is assigned to each cable and custom labelling options are offered. These solutions facilitate proper network cable management and help ensure reliability and performance.
A mass of network cabling “spaghetti” increases costs, headaches and risks. Contact the cabling experts at Enconnex and Rahi for the solutions and guidance you need for well-managed cabling.
Through the integration of technology from Rahi’s diverse partner landscape and an ever-growing global team of 700 people in 40 locations, Rahi assists customers to harness the ongoing evolution of technologies, allowing businesses to overcome complex challenges.
Enconnex is a global data centre and IT infrastructure solutions company known for developing innovative custom solutions, as well as a variety of data centre products including server racks and cabinets, UPSes, network cabling, power and containment, to data centres, hyperscale customers, colocation facilities, engineering labs, and enterprise edge customers.
For more, visit www.rahisystems.com
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