The Importance of Proper network cable managemen
Network cable management is one of the fundamental parts of any computer network. Network engineers and admins make their way through cables for identification, troubleshooting and to help them facilitate upgrades in the future.
It is essential to have a visually pleasing and clean network environment. The benefits of having proper network cable management are numerous, but we will discuss some major ones in this article.
1. Safety: The most basic benefit of the cable organization is safety. No one wants to enter a server room or data center with cables lying around and tripping the network. Tangled cables can cause overheating and sometimes may cause a spark which may result in a fire outbreak.
2. Ease of use: An organized network cable management is manageable for both an organization and its employees. The comfort to access cables and seeing what devices or servers are connected to them are helpful. Later, they can troubleshoot with ease.
3. Troubleshooting: We cannot emphasize enough how much it is helpful for network admins and engineers to troubleshoot the network in the event of any failure or downtime. Sometimes, the cause of the network failure is only because of the physical layer (cable or ports) and not the data or network layer.
4. Efficiency: Proper cable management can skyrocket your efficiency. Labeling the cables, color coding, rack organizing, can all add up to an efficient network.
Compare the two images below and decide for yourself, which cable management is easy to troubleshoot, is both efficient and safe. Exhibit (a) vs Exhibit (b)
Up until now, we have discovered some crucial features of proper network cable management.
Further now, let us discuss the methods through which we can attain the proper network cable organization.
Methods of network cable management
Horizontal Cable management:
Depending upon your requirement, this is the most used strategy. In a horizontal cable management design, all the cables inside the rack will run to one location. This location can be either at the top, bottom, or center of the rack. From this point, you can bundle them all together. Once bundled, this location will have a cable organizer tool that is horizontal within the rack. Each cable will enter the device or port while neatly joining with other network cables that run to the sides of the rack.
Horizontal Cable Management
Vertical Cable management:
Similar to the previous category, vertical cable management is different in orientation, as the name implies. This strategy is perfect for keeping the rack and enclosures organized. In this type, a vertical cable manager is installed within the rack. Cables are bundled together while they may travel up or down until they exit the rack. Furthermore, this technique allows the network cables to safely bend when they exit the rack. They may even travel toward another piece of equipment.
Vertical Cable Management
Cable tray systems:
This is another strategy that is deployed in large data centers or enterprise networks. A cable tray is a system similar to car bridges, as it allows for safe transport of wires across open spans and or run cables neatly from location to location. These cables are carried in the ceiling or floor. Depending upon the requirement, there are different types of cable tray systems available in the market.
Some of them are:
● Solid Bottom
● Wire Mesh
● Single Rail
Cable Tray System
Let us discuss some tools and accessories commonly used in network cable management.
Most used cable management accessories:
Here we will the most used cable management accessories currently available in the market.
1. Cable ties: Also known as zip ties are the most widely used accessory in the cable management industry. A type of fastener that is used to bundle and finely organize cables.
2. Cable lacing bars: Also known as strain relief bars. These kinds are used in standard 19" racks.
3. Racks: As the name suggest, one of the basic building block. A cabinet that is housing for your network devices, servers, and information technology appliances. The three primary types of racks are : (i.) open frame racks. (ii.) rack frame enclosures. (iii.) wall mount rack.
4. Cable manager and wire ducts:As the name suggests, cable manager and wire ducts are essential where network cables are subject to flexion or torsion. They are designed in such a way with circular knockouts at the sides to facilitate nearby branch connection with the help of rigid and corrugated conduits.
5. Cable labels and printers:Cable labels and printers are important accessories and a must-have to keep your network cables organized and labeled for maximum efficiency. They help you quickly identify and troubleshoot in the right way, allowing you to have minimal downtime.
Networks are everywhere nowadays, in fact, high-capacity and high bandwidth networks are more than ever and growing at an exponential rate. Having proper network cable management is essential to keep your network running efficiently while minimizing downtime. This also helps network admins and organizations to run their businesses smoothly.
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