Your data center is the heart that pumps the lifeblood of your business. Without it, everything stops. And when it has problems, so does your business. Myriad issues can plague a data center. And although most people don’t realize it, improper cabling can be one of those issues. But with some easy planning and work up front, you can maximize the efficiency and reliability of your data center cabling.
We have put together 9 tips to help you get the most out of your data center’s cabling:
#1: Color code
Don’t use colors randomly. Make sure each color has a purpose and stay with it. That will make it easier to follow cable runs and troubleshoot issues. And yes, it also makes for a better-looking data center — which has its merits.
#2: Measure twice, cut once
You may think that two feet of wasted cable doesn’t amount to much, but those wasted feet add up. In the end, you could save yourself a lot of time, headaches, and money by measuring twice and cutting once
#3: Label the Cable
Imagine you have to test a bunch of circuits — quickly. You scramble and unplug a few patch cables and, when it’s time to reset them back to their default locations, you have no idea where each cable goes. Avoid this problem by taking a little time to slap a label on each end. Make sure your labeling system is consistent. Don’t just go ad hoc with this or you’ll confuse yourself and those who work for you.
#4: Are you skipping the test ? Don`t!
After you create a cable, test it! If a test doesn’t pass 100%, redo that cable. If, after a few tries at termination, the cable still doesn’t pass, trash it. And make sure you’re using a quality tester for your cables (and that you know precisely how to use it). This simple step can prevent a lot of extra work in the end.
#5: Try to keep patch cables short
if you have an odd length between servers, use your termination (and testing) skills to create patch cables that reach perfectly. With that extra length on your cables, you invite tangles, kinks, and confusion.
#6: Don’t skimp on terminations
If you have cables that lose their connection if you wiggle them, you need to redo them. If you can’t terminate cables in your sleep, you need to practice. You may think you’re saving time and money. But in the end, you’re going to wind up with a monstrous headache as you troubleshoot all those terminations.
#7: Keep cables cool
Cable can get warm, and if you have a massive amount of cable, that extra temperature can lead to disaster. Design your data center in such a way as to keep your networking runs cooled, as well as the server racks.
#8: Separate Cat5 and power lines
Do not run Cat5 and power together. You might think it’s too minimal to be of concern, but those power lines can leach signal and cause interference with your Cat5. Keep power and networking separate at all costs.
#9: Make your design cable-friendly
When you lay out your data center plans, do so in a cable-friendly way. Don’t put a rack in a location where it’s impossible to successfully run cable. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with cable on the floor or hanging from the ceiling. Plan carefully to avoid later disaster. Also make sure to plan with expansion in mind. Run extra conduit, extra drops — more than you think you’ll need.