In the communication world, whether data center or field cabling, there are many excellent cabling which make us feel amazing. They look like the art works of a great master, and show the beauty of the cabling world thoroughly. However, if you have experience in data center or serve room, you may find that the cabling state near large switches or routers is very horrible. Cables, both Ethernet cables or fibers, are a nightmare if they aren’t carefully organized, not only because they look bad, but also they are not easy to management, or even exist potential safety problems. Thus, cable management is of great importance and necessity. Of course, you will get the appropriate return—efficient cable management and maintenance as well as clever pieces of modern art, if you have a good cable management solution. This is why many large data center operators are strict with their cabling for better maintenance or further extension.
The following examples show how easily server room cabling can turn into a nightmare without an organized methodology to the madness.
One workstation. One giant mess. I really can’t imagine how people work in such situation.
This server looks like it ate something that didn’t agree with it. I know, servers don’t eat, but you know what I mean.
A big yellow spiderweb. Masterpiece of Spider-Man?
Where is the port on the switch?
Let’s play and find the bad yellow cable.
So tired of cable messes? Want to get rid of nightmare and headache? No shortcuts, Cable Management is necessary.
Adding cable management is often seen as a “would be nice if” type of scenario. However, some operators may consider it as an extra cost and are not willing to do it. In fact, the cost of cable management, including cable management products and labor, is just a drop in the bucket. But you will find the value of cable management soon during your maintenance as it makes ongoing maintenance much, much easier. And there is another fact that the cabling work won’t stop with the initial installation. More cables will be added, and things will be changed. Thus, labeling appropriate cables, color-code cables and other processes to make easier to identify cables are also necessary.
Though individually labeling over a thousand cables may be a very time-consuming process, it is certainly worthy. Every network engineer will thank themselves for labeling each cable when there is an issue with a specific cable, as the individual can immediately pinpoint and pick out the affected cable by looking at its label. Leaving cables unlabeled is a disaster as the operator can not know which the affected cable is and he or she has to waste time and energy to find the source of the problem. In addition, engineers should also tie a pack of cables together depending on their component. For example, ten Ethernet cables connected to a router should be tied up, preventing them to be mixed up with another pack of Ethernet cables that are connected to another router.
The commonly used cable management products include open frame rack, rack cabinet shelves, network cabinet, patch panel, cable ties, cable markers/labels, wire loom and so on. They are necessary to use for a good cable management. In addition, the most important factor to achieve good cable management is the skilled cabling installers. They know how to get the best performance of your cabling and even can create arts of cabling.
Here is a few pictures which I think show how cabling can be works of art. Yes, it is all in the eye of the beholder, cabling is beautiful!
A beautiful planar cable arrangement, no racks, just using clamps.
Unbelievable! It is a real art, not cabling, right?
Can also be colorful, just like the rainbow.
To draw a big tree between two racks is also a good idea.
Cabling also can be so unbelievably sexy, with S-shape body.
Of course, a good cable management is not used for ornamental, it is a method to make our cabling more easier to manage. If cable management were easy, there would be no need for superior cabling solutions. But the fact is that cables of data centers will be more and more, a cable management solution is always necessary.