Data Center Cabling Mistakes to Avoid

Your Data Center cabling may not be the most glamorous part of your business but they are vital. In a way, it’s kind of like doing laundry, except your business isn’t completely dependent upon clean clothes. But, as with laundry, you can do more work on the front end and stay organized, or you can rush through it and wind up with such a big, chaotic mess than you can never find what you need!

Almost all Data Center cabling management mistakes are a result of taking shortcuts, but it’s worth doing it right on the front end. Here are six Data Center cabling mistakes you can avoid with just a little planning and effort.

Starting Small

If you plan a Data Center that is just big enough, you leave yourself no room for expansion. At worst, that means needing another Data Center down the road. At best, it means cramming things together to maximize space, and that not only makes maintenance more difficult! Not to mention the buildup of all that additional heat makes it a safety hazard.

Not Measuring

Skipping this step leads to waste. Big time! It also can create a disorganized, tangled mess. A cable that is too short is useless, and a cable that is too long makes your cabling messy and hard to follow. And those extra inches of unnecessary cable can add up over time, creating even more waste.

Not Labeling Your Cables

No, you really won’t remember what that cable was for in six months. Not matter how hard you convince yourself otherwise. And probably not even after a week. If you do, what if you’ve moved on to new and better things and your replacement needs to identify a cable? It will take you far less time to label that cable than it will for you or somebody else to try to remember what it’s for a year from now. And, to be most effective, you need to label both ends of each cable.

Not Documenting Your Cabling

Labeling your cables is a good start, but it’s not enough. Labels fall off, ink smudges, and some people may not be able to read your writing. Your failsafe is to create a diagram that documents where each cable is and what it’s for. And, yes, updating the diagram every time you make a change is a pain, but an out-of-date diagram can be worse than not having one at all.

Not Using Colors as Communication

A monochromatic Data Center can leave you feeling like you’re lost in a sandstorm. But using multiple colors without a purpose is just as bad. One of these days, somebody else is going to come along and try to make sense of your color-coding, and they’ll end up being very frustrated if there isn’t one. Choose colors with a purpose, and add the color key to your documentation.

Not Testing

Retracing your steps to locate a problem is frustrating and time-consuming. Take the time to test each cable as you go, and don’t move on until you know its working. If there’s a problem, you’ll know exactly which cable is causing it.

Almost every mistake can be traced back to trying to get an unpleasant task over with as quickly as possible. Take the time to do it right. You’ll thank yourself later, and so will everyone who follows behind you.