When you’re setting up a data center, you need an elaborate system of data center cable management. No matter the size of your data center, the following data center cable management tips will help you streamline your operations.

1. Visualize and Plan Your Data Center Beforehand

Some of the data center supplies you will need to utilize include server racks, data cabinets, and network racks. Even a small edge data center may utilize several of these data center products. You want to plan before you start cabling and configuring your data center. Consider the total space of your data center, so that you can fit all the server and data cabinets in a systematic design that will leave enough room for your networking engineers to connect and do all the vigorous cabling work. You can do all the planning on paper before you bring in and install all the data center supplies that you will need.

2. Leave Room for Future Needs

As your company increases in capacity and more clients come in, you may need to add more network cables and other data center equipment. That’s why you should carefully consider your network topology. Whether you use a three-layer network or a leaf-spine network topology, or any of the modern network topologies, you should account for future changes. Consider the possibility that you may need to step-up your network capacity as your needs increase. As your company grows, you want to be able to seamlessly upgrade your data center capacity and increase your bandwidth.

3. Label and Document Cabling Installation

Documenting all your cable installations might seem like a lot of work, but it comes in handy when you need to conduct repair and maintenance or upgrade your data center. This is one of the crucial data center cable management practices that is sometimes forgotten or overlooked. You don’t want a situation where you can only add more network cables and cannot remove any because you aren’t sure of the cabling system and formula. While it may be tedious and time-consuming to document all your cabling, it will give you a massive time-advantage when you need to conduct repairs and replacements, or even relocate your data center.

4. Measure Your Cables Before Installation

To avoid loose hanging network cables in your data center, you should measure each cable to the desired length before using it. Measuring your cables before installation will ensure that you cut your cables to size, and this will reduce cable waste. It will also make cable replacements a quick and easy job. Additionally, well-fitted cables reduce the chances of accidents happening during maintenance. It’s not uncommon to snag a loose network cable when working in the data center. This would cause system downtimes that can translate to big losses for you and your clients.

5. Color Code Your Cables

This is one of the data center cable management practices that if well-utilized, will simplify your data center operations in a big way. You can pick a color for each cable according to its specific function. This will make it easy to troubleshoot, replace, and repair the cabling system if one of them malfunctions. Moreover, color-coded cables will reduce the chances of operational mistakes caused by human errors. Sometimes, even the best network engineers may mistakenly install a cable network in the wrong port. However, when each cable color represents a specific function in the data center, it will be easy for the engineer or another colleague to quickly spot and correct the error.

The average service life of a data center is estimated to be nine years. According to the Green Computing norms, data centers older than seven years are considered out of date. With a good data center cable management system your data center will give you quality service for much longer. You should rely on a trusted manufacturer for quality data center supplies.