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Level 11

Cable Management, in Theory and Practice

Hey all,

Just wanted to get everyone's best tips & tricks for cable management and general network technician help. Thanks!

8 Replies
Level 8

Some things we like to do:

Uplink/Cross-over: White

Production: Green

Out-of-band mgmt: Blue

Drac: Orange

We also label each end of a cable and group based on where they are coming from.

Redundant power supplies running off separate sources and each power cable is labeled based on which side of the rack it runs to.

In the end it looks very neat.

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I like the idea of the different colored cables.  It makes at a glance troubleshooting easy.

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I agree different colored cables depending on the use is very efficient. The biggest trick to cabling is to stay on top of it, it's funny how often a temporary solution becomes permanent. Don't give up!

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it also saves time in training the new folks.

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I understand that there can be "many hands in the pot", but I always try to do any actions in the racks i can or there is a group/team that is tasked with that effort per my capacity requests.  There should be a strict limit on who and how many people are in the racks to limit accidents and incidents.

I generally use red of other type networks in lieu of green.


First thing about cable management...... it takes time and documentation.

Couple things I try to do whenever I take control of a network.

  1. Color codes my cables when possible, easier to due with copper than fiber.
    1. Management (Blue)
    2. Production (Green)
    3. Cross-over (Yellow/Purple) strip over electrical tape at each end.
    4. Test-Quarantine (Black)
    5. Console ports (Pink)
  2. Cable Serial Numbers (Number goes end-to-end)
    1. Number at connection point
    2. Number as it leaves the Rack (top before it goes into tray/under the floor)
    3. Number as it enters the Rack (top before it goes into tray/under the floor)
    4. Number at connection point
    5. Descriptive label at each end for definition
  3. Fiber on one side and copper on the other side of the rack.
  4. Say no to extensive service loops.  Try to get the cable within 1 meter of connection.
  5. I like to run all my console ports back to a centralized location so I can plug into one spot instead of putting my hands in the back of the cabinet.  Saves me from disconnecting power, cables, or other items accidentally.

These are great. To add one thing to the extensive list CourtesyIT provided is red cables for uplink ports. The red is for touch it and die for the other IT professionals that work in our racks.

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Excellent! Sounds like you guys have quite the system.

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