Cable Management is a Must in Today’s Data Center

Posted by Enconnex Team on March 18, 2021

| Categories: IT Infrastructure

Data center managers know all too well that cable management is critically important. Poorly managed cabling leads to a mess of “spaghetti” that complicates equipment installation, troubleshooting, and maintenance. It can also make future changes to the environment more difficult to implement.

Cable management is often considered the domain of network engineers, but the operations team must also pay close attention to patch cords, power cords, and other cables within data center server racks. Improper cable management can block access to equipment and lead to overheating due to restricted airflow.

Often, IT organizations buy separate cable management systems and install them in off-the-shelf server cabinets. Data center server cabinets with built-in cable management save time and money and streamline implementations.


Strategic Approach to Cable Management

Cable management should never be an afterthought. Implementation and operations teams should follow cabling best practices when implementing new solutions.

Designing the solution

Cabling plays a role in many of the decisions involved in the design of data center solutions. Factors to consider include how much bandwidth will be needed and how much equipment will be installed in each rack or cabinet. Will copper or fiber be used? Will switches be installed in the top or middle of the cabinet, and/or will patching be used? 

Planning ahead

Given the rapid pace of change in today’s data center environment, the design should consider future requirements as much as possible. How often will network capacity need to be increased? Do you anticipate adding more equipment in the foreseeable future? Are there enough ports to accommodate that expansion? Planning ahead can help ensure that the infrastructure is capable of meeting changing demands.

Calculating cable lengths

Cutting cables to the proper length saves money by minimizing waste, reduces installation time, and helps keep server racks, cabinets, and the data center neat and clutter-free. It’s important to measure carefully, including not only the distance between server cabinets but the distance inside the cabinet from the device to the ceiling or floor. This is also a good time to validate that there are compatible connectors on the switches and patch panels.


Cable Management Solutions

There are three primary types of cable management systems:

Horizontal cable managers

Horizontal cable managers come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different use cases. Small units with flexible “fingers” can help keep patch and jumper cords neat. These units often come in single- and double-sided options. Larger horizontal cable managers are used for high-density applications in two- and four-post server racks.

Vertical cable managers

Vertical cable managers are designed to mount on either side of a rack or cabinet to organize cables and ensure proper airflow. These units also have fingers to simplify routing and come in various capacities and lengths to fit different server cabinets and cable densities. Vertical cable managers with bend radius control features help to prevent cables from kinking.

Cable tray systems

Cable trays mount to the ceiling, in the floor, or along walls to support and organize large quantities of cables. There are several styles. Basket-style trays resembling long wire baskets have an open structure that facilitates airflow. Snake trays can bend in different directions. PVC trays are open only at the top and are designed to protect fiber-optic cabling.

Proper cable management also requires D-rings, cable ties, and other components to keep cables neat and organized.


Enconnex DC Series Server Cabinets

Enconnex understands the needs of high-density data centers and colocation facilities and has designed its DC Series cabinets to streamline installation and operations. That's why DC Series server cabinets from Enconnex have an integrated cable management bar on the front and two PDU mounting rails with built-in cable management features. We can also customize the DC Series cabinet according to your specifications. Give us a call to discuss your cable management requirements.

Posted by Enconnex Team on March 18, 2021

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