Top 8 Cable Management Accessories to Get Cables Under Control
Today's advanced server and network setups require infrastructure capable of handling diverse equipment and robust cable management. Effective cable management is essential in any networking space, from closets to data centers, to avoid disarray in cables and wires, aiding cable operators and administrators. There's a variety of cable management tools available that can help tidy up cable clutter in both professional and domestic environments. Here are 8 essential cable management accessories that can aid in reducing mess.
1. Cable Managers
When organizing cables in a network setup, we use two types of cable managers - horizontal and vertical. Each type has a specific role in keeping cables tidy and protected. Let’s start by looking at horizontal cable managers and how they help manage the cables connected to various IT equipment.
Horizontal Cable Manager
Think of horizontal cable managers as handy helpers that keep cables in line when they link up with your tech gear. Shaped like simple tubes with spaces to slide cables through, these managers are best placed between pieces of equipment. This way, they guide your cables neatly from the rack's sides right up through to the gear that sits above and below. Horizontal cable managers are great because they stop extra cables from hanging down and keep everything from getting tangled. It makes adding or removing cables a lot easier.
Vertical Cable Manager
Vertical cable managers play a key role as well. They help get those cables into the horizontal managers we just talked about. It doesn’t matter if a cable is coming from the bottom, the top, or the side - it should go through the horizontal manager. This keeps the place looking neat.
Vertical cable managers look a lot like the horizontal ones, but they’re made to stand tall on the rack edges. They have slots on both sides for cables to come in and out. However, because they're vertical, you might need to tie the cables down so they don’t slip out. RackSolutions has thought about this, allowing you to use zip ties or Velcro® straps to hold cables together in their vertical bars.
A rack consists of two or four vertical mounting rails and the supporting framework required to keep the rails in place. The rails and framework are typically made of steel or aluminum to support hundreds or even thousands of pounds of equipment. The rails have square or round holes that allow you to mount rack equipment to them with screws. (In the case of the square mounting holes, the screws connect to removable cage nuts placed in the required locations.) Some equipment includes horizontal rails or shelves that you mount in the rack to provide extra support. The four primary types of racks are open frame racks, wall-mount racks, rack enclosures, and seismic server racks each playing a crucial role in effective cable management.
Open Frame Racks: Open frame racks consist of mounting rails without sides or doors. They’re typically used for server room and data center rack applications that don’t require physical security and don’t need added airflow control. An open-frame rack cabinet provides easy access and offers plenty of open space for cable management, making this solution ideal for network wiring closets and distribution frame applications with high-density cabling. Open racks have two or four mounting rails. 2-post racks generally require less depth but support less weight than 4-post racks.
Wall Mount Rack: Wall-mount racks are designed to be attached to the wall, saving floor space and fitting in areas where other racks can’t. Although it does not offer the same amount of security that a full enclosed server rack could offer, it does offer a moderate amount of security for small systems. They’re usually smaller than their floor-standing counterparts and can’t support as much weight. The cabinets can be adapted to floor-standing applications by adding rolling casters.
Rack Enclosures: Rack enclosures have removable front and rear doors, removable side panels and four adjustable vertical mounting rails (posts). They’re also called rack cabinets usually used for high-density data centers and server rooms. The front and rear doors are typically ventilated to encourage ample airflow from front to back, through any installed equipment. Rack enclosures are ideal for applications that require heavier equipment, hotter equipment and higher wattages per rack. Since the doors and side panels lock, they also provide physical equipment security at the rack level (as opposed to the room level).
Seismic Server Racks: Seismic server racks are designed to withstand shock from earthquakes. Whether Zone 1, or Zone 4, seismic racks are built to ensure your equipment stays operational during a seismic event. NEBS (Network Equipment-Building Systems) cabinets go through months of rigorous testing to obtain seismic certification to meet EC&M building code requirements. Typical racks are engineered with extra cross bracing. These racks are bolted to the floor to prevent tipping.
3. Server Cabinet
Server cabinets are essential for managing and protecting equipment in data centers. They come in different types, like colocation server cabinets, air-conditioned options, quiet setups, and seismic racks. Each serves a specific purpose, addressing unique challenges in cable management and equipment safety.
Colocation Server Cabinets: In a growing trend, some data centers, known as colocation centers, offer equipment, space and bandwidth that can be rented. When you're sharing a server cabinet with a neighbor, you want to know that your data is completely safe. The colocation server cabinet is extremely helpful in that area. Colo server cabinets provide secure, self-contained compartments for multiple tenants to share a single cabinet, so you don’t have to worry about tampering - accidental or intentional.
Air Conditioned Server Cabinets: More companies are turning off air conditioning on nights and weekends, leaving your electronic equipment vulnerable to over-heating. If you are watching the temperature gauge in your server cabinet climb to unhealthy levels, an air conditioned server cabinet may be for you. These cabinets keep sensitive electronics cool and safe in any environment using internal or external air conditioners.
Quiet & Soundproof Server Cabinets: Servers aren't just hot, they're loud as well. And working in a room full of noisy equipment isn't only irritating. It can be dangerous. Quiet racks use acoustic foam or noise reducing designed systems to bring that roar down to a whisper, and dissipate excessive heat produced by servers, disk drives and controllers by up to 7.2KW.
4. Cable Ties
Cable tie is also known as zip tie, tie wrap and wire tie, which is designed to secure wire bundles and harness components quickly. It is a type of fastener for holding items together, primarily fiber optic cables and copper cables (or wires). Cable ties are cheap and simple components used in cable confinement system. Cable ties are available in a variety of sizes and materials for use on different applications with different requirements. In addition, there are various of color options for cable ties. These color codes help users to manage the cabling and achieve easy troubleshooting.
5. Cable Lacing Bars
Horizontal cable lacing bars are also called lacer bars or strain relief bars. They are usually used to mount to standard EIA 19" racks, reducing strain on horizontal cables connected to a patch panel or device. In general, there are six types of cable lacing bars. Each one is designed for a specific cabling environment. From the descriptions below, you can know which one is the perfect solution for your application.
Round Lacer Bars: Round lacer bars are used for individual or a small amount of horizontal cables. The rod has flattened ends and its diameter is 1/4 inch.
Round Lacer Bars with Offset: When lacing small bundles or individual cables off the rear of equipment, patch panels and other components, round lacer bars with offset are used to relieve cable stress from the connections. Appropriate offset should be selected based on the distance from the rear of equipment to the rack rail.
Square Lacer Bars: Square lacer bars are suitable for cable routing at the rear of equipment. They are also used for vertical or horizontal cable lacing. Similarly, they are still designed with 1/4” diameter rods and flattened ends.
L-Shaped Lacer Bars: L-shaped lacer bars are much stronger and provide fixed lacing points. More cables can be supported by this type of bar. You should also mind the distance from the rear of equipment to the rack rail for offset choosing.
90 Degree Bend Lacer Bars: 90 degree bend lacer bars are special for the 90 degree bend which provides full-width support. They can also be used for clearance around components that extend past the rear rack rail.
Horizontal Lacer Panel: Horizontal lacer panels are typically used for large lacing amounts of cables or mounting devices. They have large flanges, numerous lacing points and more surface for mounting.
6. Convoluted Tubing
Convoluted tubing, also known as wire loom, helps keep wires and cables tidy to prevent fires and equipment failure. It comes in various forms, such as the colored wire loom for easy identification in cars and electronics; the durable chrome wire loom that resists flaking; the flexible nylon split wire loom perfect for automotive wiring; the flame retardant polyethylene wire loom for high-temperature areas; and the simple black non split wire loom for general use. These are useful in managing cables in vehicles, entertainment systems, office PCs, and industrial settings, keeping everything organized and safe.
7. Wire Duct
Wire ducts are ideal for every situation in which wiring is subject to flexion or torsion. They are designed with circular knockouts in the sides to facilitate branch connections using rigid and corrugated conduits. They has also been introduced for environments in which cables require greater protection against external agents (elevator rooms are a typical example).
8. Cable Labels & Printers
Cable labels and printers are extremely important for keeping your wires, network, voice and data lines organized and running effectively. They will help you quickly identify the right voice lines during troubleshooting and can be used to mark the data lines for upcoming installs and repairs. They are available in a variety of sizes, materials and colors to fit almost any wire, voice, data and video cabling applications. Durable material options will help you identify wires and cables even in the harshest environments. Cable labeling is also available for racks, shelves, telecomm main grounding bus bars, fire stopping locations, pathways and general voice and data marking in the telecommunications closet.
In high-capacity networks, cable management and protection are essential. Choosing the right cable-management system to route and protect cable is a critical first step in ensuring long-term network performance. The above-mentioned are several common methods of cable management. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you may find one of these solutions to improve your current cable management situation.
If you have any questions about your cable management, you can visit our website at www.fs.com or contact us. Fs are committed to providing high-performing panels, enclosures and racks through professional and reliable capabilities. The product is rigorously tested before leaving the factory to ensure that the end faces are clean, and insertion loss and return loss meet international telecommunications standards. Moreover, FS extends a comprehensive rack integration service, designed to be a one-stop solution for better cable management solution, catering to all your data center requirements. Let us partner with you to streamline your network's cable management, reinforcing the backbone of your business's connectivity.