In our cabling disaster post we talked about how racks quickly become a mess of cables, and what helps contribute to creating the mess. In this post, we’ll cover the communities on the opposite end of that spectrum who value, and actively work to make their racks as clean as possible – both during the initial installation and for future moves, adds and changes.
There is special care required upfront during the selection process of the physical infrastructure, like the racks and cable management, as well as with the cabling and connectivity. Selecting the proper rack ensures that you are not caught later without solutions for all of the necessary equipment mounting or cable management. The inclusion of extra cable management systems, such as horizontal managers or vertical managers, will ensure a clean and dedicated place to manage and protect the cabling. In addition, cable management systems aid in the cooling process of a data center by allowing the connectivity to remain organized and maximize air flow.
We often see installations where horizontal managers are placed after each switch, allowing the cabling to exit the switch directly down into the manager. This allows for easier port identification and maintenance since the cables are not strung across the front of the switch to the side of the rack. This also ensures that the cables have a pre-determined path to go across the rack to reach their destination. The vertical managers allow for not only management of cables along the side of the rack, but are also a place where any excess cable can be stored without being an eye-sore.
Finally, the selection of your patch cords is an important consideration for maintaining a clean rack. The picture we shared in our first post was likely a result of not having the proper length patch cords readily available at the time of the network upgrade or change. With cords longer than what was needed, you end up with excess cable and, in the earlier case, nowhere to store the excess.
Avoiding cabling disasters can be as easy or difficult as you make it. Putting in the necessary time to organize and manage your connectivity from the start goes a long way when considering how much time it would take to fix the disaster it would’ve become. All in all, it’s about the time and patience given when originally building a data center that will pay off in the end.