If your server room is starting to look like multi-colored spaghetti that’s been put through the spin cycle, you likely have more than an ugly mess to deal with — you’re also likely costing your company power, data, connectivity, and money. Let’s look at a few tips for managing your server room cables.
Sketch Out a Plan
When setting up a server room, it’s easy to just start hooking everything up. This is all well and good at first, but you’ll probably soon wind up with a bird’s nest if you don’t have a properly established plan. Either before you set up your server room or when you’re ready to manage your cables, sketch out a plan. Keep all of the different systems in mind and how they communicate with each other.
Label Everything You Can
Following cables back to their connection points can be a pain when maintaining a server room. However, taking the time to label your cables can save you an immense amount of time and energy. It may seem silly to have labels all over the place at first, but you’ll thank yourself later.
When Possible, Color Code
Server rooms are managed easiest when the least amount of mystery exists. Color coding your cables is an easy way to instantly display a certain amount of information in a way that is clearly evident. When at all possible, color code all of your cables.
Proper Terminations Repay the Favor
When establishing cable terminations, take your time and do them right. The higher quality your terminations are, the less likely they are to fail and cause maintenance headaches down the road.
Don’t Expect Anything Less Than 100% Tests
Substandard cables make for a substandard server room. If you’re planning on using a cable, absolutely test it. If the cable doesn’t pass with flying colors, junk it. It may seem like a waste to throw them away, but substandard cables will likely be a waste of time and money in the long run.
Cut to Appropriate Lengths
The old adage of “measure twice, cut once” goes for server room cables. Overly long cables can make for a messy server room, inefficient connections, and even damage to ports. Cables should have enough slack to keep strain off of connection points and ports, but if your cables start to look like coiled lassos, you may want to rethink how you determine what constitutes a proper length for a cable.
Plan With Tomorrow in Mind
Many IT technicians make the mistake of planning solely for the server setup of today. When you do this, you’ll find yourself running out of space and lost in a jumble of cables. Install a certain amount of buffer to ensure a smooth transition for server equipment upgrades and replacement.