Good cable management promotes sufficient air flow in the back of IT equipment and racks. Professional looking cable management entails cleanly, neatly arranged cables, cords and wiring. There are a few very successful cable management techniques for protecting your IT environment and keeping the cabling organized.
- According to the ETA/TIA Standard, if you have 20 meter patch leads, you are only allowed to set up 60 meters in the wall. If using a 10 meter patch lead set up, be sure your horizontal cabling is run only to 80 meters.
- Never overload cable trays in your racks, the weight could exceed the maximum load for ceiling or wall mounts. Not only are too many cables a safety problem, if an overloaded cable tray fails, it could land on your expensive IT equipment and destroy it. Having heavy loaded trays will also lead to people developing poor operational practices because they find it too heavy and are afraid they could accidentally dislodge cabling.
- If you are concerned that your cable crimping on self-made cable lengths won’t last as long as molded ends, you can resort to purchasing cables in bulk at the various lengths needed. You can match the distance from where the rack equipment is set up to where the switches will be. Group the cables by length and bundle them with hook-and-loop straps (not plastic ties that can deteriorate faster), before terminating them. You can also use hook-and-loop for smaller bundles to make neat larger groups of cabling.
- This technique is essential – keep power cables away from Ethernet cables, especially bundles of power cables. Power cables cause Electromagnetic Interference, known as EMI, and radio frequency interference, (RFI), on surrounding cables. Always run power cables away from CAT5, at least arrange them at right angles.
- Favorite cable management techniques will accomplish tight, clean, and organized looking cables for your IT equipment racks. Make your own lengths out of longer cables. This is an especially good money saver if you are cleaning up after a previous tech guy who was too lazy to get the proper lengths of cable and you ended up with a proverbial rats nest of extended cables.
- Terminate one end, leave the CAT5 cable box at the source port.
- Route/pull cable to the appropriate switch port.
- Be sure to add at least one inch to the measured length needed. (No slack beyond that).
- Return to the CAT5 cable box, cut and terminate this cable end. This takes longer, but the look is impressively clean, well-designed and organized.