Racks and Cable Management
Importance of Cable Management
One of the challenges most network installers encounter in data centers and server rooms is cable management. It is critical to plan and make the initial installation as clean and organized as possible not only to avoid future disasters, but making it easier for future expansion and maintenance. Navigating through tangled wires and unorganized server racks can cause a lot of confusion and possibly many mistakes. As we all know, cable wiring can get real messy!
Different Options for Cable Management
Cable management is a big deal – just do a google search for “cable management disasters” and you’ll quickly understand why. Not only does it save you time in the long run during maintenance, it is important for safety reasons. When cables are tangled it can become damaged and affect performance. There are several ways to avoid this from happening through different options of cable management. Here are a few options to make your installation neater.
A patch panel is a device that contains ports used to manage and connect incoming and outgoing LAN cables. Patch panels can come preloaded or blank with slots allowing custom keystone jacks to be inserted. These come in a variety of sizes using U as the standard unit of measurement. 1U is equal to 1.75 inches. This measurement refers to the space between each shelf on a rack. As an example, a rack that has enough space for 10U will have 10 rack spaces for equipment and 17.5 inches of vertical space.
Horizontal Cable Management
There are several methods for horizontal cable management and one of them includes Elite Wire Management Bars. These D-ring bars are not only easy to use, but also helps protect the cables. These can be installed on any suitable wall or a cable management panel. It’s a simple and effective accessory when it comes to cable organization.
Server Mount Racks
These come in both open and enclosed. Both have their pros and cons. Here’s a quick list of benefits for each.
- Easy Access. Open racks are just as they are known for “open”, which allows for easy access. This can be beneficial for a workstation that requires frequent access. There are several options including some that slide out and some that are wall mounted.
- Easy Maintenance. With easier access and the racks being open you will have more visibility of each cable wire. This type of access will make it easier to recognize tangles and any other issues that can be quickly fixed.
- Better airflow. Overheating can hinder your entire network performance. Open racks will provide structure and sufficient airflow.
- Protection. Enclosed racks can be locked from unauthorized people. Being enclosed can also help prevent damage from outside equipment or accidental bumps.
- Airflow. Yes, open racks offer airflow from lack of obstruction. However, enclosed racks can have fans and other cooling devices installed that will allow greater cooling control.
- Discretion. Cables are hidden more effectively. This can help with the outer appearance and reduce the risk of cables getting damaged.