We have seen our fair share of spaghetti server cabinets here at McConnells Network Solutions. It’s a common occurrence and it’s something we always try and remedy when replacing cabinets, or updating infrastructure for our customers.

Here are a few simple tips to keep your server racks and comms cabinets tidy like the one in the after picture below:-

Power to one side, network to the other.

Try to run power cables down one side of the rack and network and data cabling down the other. Reason – Power and data cables don’t mix. These cables too close to each other can cause interference, re transmits and cross-talk. This will also ensure you can see and access the equipment easily. This Is not always possible we know and using our above picture you can see how you would work around this.

Use near to length patch leads

Try to place your switches next to your patch panels so you can use short to length cables, some prefer to make their own cables however we usually use moulded pre-made cables as they have been tested and tend to be much more reliable. Using a 1 Metre patch lead to patch a 30cm gap is going to cause a lot of slack cable and you will soon be in the same mess.

Build for Growth

Not really a cable management issue but just ensure you have space in your rack for extra patch panels, you never know when you will take on new staff. Plan for twice as many points as you have because the cost of running two cables is usually near enough the same as running one. Cable is cheap compared to labour.

Use Velcro Ties

Velcro cable ties allow you to run additional cables without having to snip and replace traditional cable ties, the last thing you want to do it accidentally cut a network cable. Velcro ties can also be easy to undo in those hard to reach places.

Colour coding

Pick 4/5 colours and assign each to a category, hang a sign in your server room with the colours and what they represent and stick to it. As a guide;

  • Computers – Blue
  • Phones – Yellow
  • Servers – Black
  • WAN/Infrastructure/Other Switches – Red

Try to keep the cabling colours the same at end user desks too.

Labelling

Labelling cables is often what spoils an install. Different labels at each end of the cable or even duplicate numbering on patch panels. Put yourself in the shoes of your IT dept who has volunteered to try and trace a fault. If you ask your data contractor to install new cables into an already populated comms rack you should insist that the first number of the new install follows on from the last number of the old install. By labelling full patch panels at a time can save you valuable time and money in the future. If you have spare ports at the end of a panel make sure these are labelled up to allow continuity of numbers for that time when you expand or even move desks or equipment.

Patching Schedule

A simple patching schedule will no doubt save you money and time in the future. Your data infrastructure carries information across your network. Whether this be Data or Voice. Knowing where this infrastructure runs to and from is more important than you think.

FAQ’s

Q. Are you a national company and what areas can you cover?

A. With offices North & South we can offer coverage across the whole of the UK and ROI on both Data & Electrical

 

Q. Are we accredited to a specific manufacturer?

A. We have accreditations with a number of manufacturers but we are not beholden to any.

 

Q. Can you cater for AD-Hoc works?

A. We are more than happy to cater for Ad-Hoc works, Maintenance Works and Project Works.

 

Q. Can you provide Project Management for Projects that have other aspects involved?

A. At McConnells our team is capable and qualified to manage projects on your behalf. We have experience managing IT, Electrical & Telecommunications projects and have done this throughout our 25 Years in business.

 

Q. What do we need to do to arrange a Meeting/Survey?

A. Please contact us on the details below and ask for Ashley Webb.