Managing cables in a data center is not just a side issue. On the contrary, efficiency, a good structure and accessibility are essential. How do you ensure well-organised cable management and why is that so important? Find out in this article.

Why is good cable management important?

Cable management in a data center refers to labelling, organising and documenting the cabling infrastructure. Well thought-out cable management is one of the most important aspects of data center design. Here’s why:

  • Good management of cables enables you to reduce the risk of errors and damage and prevent additional costs and downtime.
  • Cable management is also important for general tidiness: it provides for a clearer layout and increases professionalism. If all the cables are neatly organised, you prevent them from getting tangled together. And clear labelling lets you know exactly what the function of each cable is. In the event of an emergency, you can quickly locate the correct cables or equipment.
  • And last but not least: having an orderly and well-structured cable network is also essential for connectivity. Cables are usually easily to bend and therefore susceptible to damage. Efficient cable management minimises this risk, guaranteeing an optimal connection.

How do you ensure good cable management in the data center?

Good management of cabling and port components in a data center will therefore significantly improve uptime, efficiency and productivity. But how exactly do you organise this cabling? And what is the best way to set up a rack? We list the five most important points:

1)     Get off to a good start

Getting off to a good start and undergoing training are crucial for efficient cable management. Before you install the equipment, start with a clear plan and involve your team members. This will improve cable management and prevent frustration when equipment has to be moved again afterwards. An additional tip? Also include any future plans for expansion in your layout.

  • Tools such as data center management software, in which you can create visualisations of racks, devices and even cable management, come in handy at the beginning. This type of software is crucial for greater efficiency, smoother localisation and resolving problems more rapidly.

2)     Labelling

Sometimes you have to act fast. Can you find the right cables in your rack straightaway? Labelling cables is crucial, for both power and data cables. Clear labelling lets you know exactly where each cable goes. At LCL, we find accurate labelling very important and recommend this to all our customers. Colour codes also provide quick visual identification.

3)     Surpluses

Surplus cable, or in technical terms: the 'slacks' of a cable, should be minimised as far as possible, because having metres and metres of cables in your rack creates a 'spaghetti effect', which is problematic. Surpluses or slacks should never get in the way of devices and areas where you are working. Short slacks can be conveniently hidden at the side of a cabinet, while it is best to roll up longer slacks measuring two metres or more using cable managers. Doing this keeps them separate from the rest of the work area. 

  • Order, security and structure are paramount – not only in our customer procedure, but also in our own data centers.  For example, we always lay power cables under a raised floor and keep them strictly separate from the connectivity cabling, which is laid above the racks.

4)     Inventory type

Patch cables, power cables, wires, racks, switches, panels, patch panels, ... you name it. You can never have too many labels, but then you need to have a clear inventory of all numberings, markings and label information. Basically, the label should clearly state what the end of the cable is connected to. The rack name, port number and unique identification number are also important to know. In addition, make sure your physical labels match all the data and records in your digital software. This makes good real-time infrastructure management easy.

 5)     Cable quality

The quality of the cabling in the data center also plays an important role, of course. Bend-insensitive fibre patch cables are very flexible without sacrificing quality. LCL always opts for A brands. This ensures consistency in the installations and reliability of the circuits.

The right planning for your cable management?

At LCL, your company enjoys optimum connectivity. Uptime is ensured by reliable cabling, rapid installation of cross-connects between customers and meet-me-rooms for cables. Our TIA-942 Rated-3 Facilities Certification, awarded by EPI, is the best proof of this.

Do you still have questions about cable management? The LCL experts are always there for you with information and advice. We give you complete peace of mind with a tailor-made solution for both new and existing infrastructure. This guarantees that the cables on your racks are protected and kept clean.

This article was created with the help of our experts:

Katrin Ceulemans – Service Manager

Noah Peeters – Customer Officer

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