How to manage your cables properly

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If you’re familiar with data centers or have worked in one, you’ll know that they can be overwhelming at the best of times. In fact, even for seasoned professionals, data center cable management is a complex task.

Yet the benefits of managing your benefits are endless. From improved system performance, to enhanced availability, scalability, and easier maintenance – it pays to be organized when it comes to cables.

The bottom line is that improper cable management can spell trouble for the entire enterprise by leading to extended periods of troubleshooting and maintenance. And with 8.4 million data centers globally, you’ll want to make sure yours are up to standard. To avoid catastrophe and potential shutdowns, we’ve out together a handy guide of best practices when it comes to cable management.

Best practices for cable management

1. Plan properly

Before you start implementing changes gun-ho, it’s best to plan properly exactly what and how you’re going to approach it. In fact, consulting a cabling professional is usually best!

2. Label your cables

A simple step that’s sometimes overlooked, labelling your cables is beneficial when it comes to maintenance and testing. To save some serious time in the long run, you should consider labelling every cable at both ends. Yes – even the short ones! That way, you’ll be able to identify quickly and easily each cable.

There are plenty of top rated label makers on the market, so finding a label machine shouldn’t be too tricky.

3. Use quality cables and terminations

Although we all like to save a bit of money now and again, using cheap cables isn’t a good idea. Cheap cables tend to have a substandard copper core which can result in signal loss. They are also far more likely to snap – which is not what you want.

Therefore, it’s best to use the best quality cables and terminations you can afford to avoid losing connection.

4. Secure your cables

To prevent movement and potential straining, it’s important that cables are secured properly. If not, you run the risk of snapping and breakage.

5. Interference management

Although fiber optic cables are less prone to interference, copper lines do still require some TLC. Major electrical circuits can create interference with your cables when it comes to copper lines. So, you’ll need to put as much shielding and space between your data cables and major electrical circuits as possible.

Items such as power lines, fluorescent lights and liquid coolers can be prime interferers, so bear that in mind when you’re reviewing your cable management.

The bottom line is that with data center demand set to increase by 21%, there’s never been a better time to make sure your data centre is future-proofed. From ensuring cables are labelled, to using the correct cables and doing your best to reduce interference, you can ensure you avoid catastrophic shutdowns with a little bit of good planning.

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