Why Keeping Your Network Cabling Neat is Important
It doesn’t matter if it’s a multi-thousand-dollar home theater rig or enterprise-wide network system connecting hundreds of workstations in a Fortune 500 company: Keeping the spaghetti bowl of wires, interconnects and cables neat and tidy is absolutely essential for a number of reasons, and that’s not counting the aesthetic difference a clean network control room makes.
We can’t tell you how many times one of our technicians have informed a certain client that their control rooms or workstations were too messy, with knots of cables everywhere and little to no access available because of this “tangle nightmare,” only for them to be told by the client that fixing it “was not worth the cost.” Perhaps even worse, some of these clients had been informed that the last few times our technicians performed a troubleshooting service, the process took four or more hours when it should have taken 20 minutes – if the cabling was neat, tidy, organized and documented.
When it comes to fixing an otherwise out-of-control nest of connections and cables, we suggest the following be addressed:
- Consolidating multiple racks of equipment into one 42U cabinet.
- Ensuring there are enough “service loops” on existing patch cable runs.
- Somewhere in the range of 150 to 200 cabling of proper length, which should be preceded by an assessment (unless this is accomplished in two phases; moving all equipment to the correct locations using existing cabling, then replacing old cabling immediately after).
- Monitoring and managing UPS so that power is provided to everything in the rack.
- Creating a strategy for growth and expansion (as well as management).
It Comes Down to “Cable Management”
There are businesses that, unfortunately, give little thought to their server rooms’ cable management (as you probably picked up on by now). Instead, their primary focus is on getting the network up and running as soon as possible, which makes it challenging to put proper cabling in place. But we are here to tell you that bad “cable management” can bring with it a long-lasting impact on business operations and cause a plethora of issues over time; indeed, proper cable management efforts make a measureable difference for your company while delivering many benefits.
With good cable management, here is what you can expect:
- Shortened Periods of Downtime – Troubleshooting network problems is a complex task when there’s a room full of tangled cabling everywhere, and this leads to technicians spending valuable time working their way through the jungle of cables to figure out where the problems lie.
- A Professional Appearance – When network cables come off looking more like a spider’s web than an organized arrangement tied in neat bundles, it isn’t a good first impression.
- Optimized Performance – Bad cabling doesn’t allow you to maximize network performance; to the contrary, you end up with signal interference that slows everything down and, worse still, disorganized cables can get pinched, causing them to malfunction and eventually break.
- Easy Future Upgrades – The time has come to upgrade your organization via new technology, or perhaps you need to expand your current office…what does this mean with regard to cabling? Lousy network cabling equates to technicians having to spend a lot of time untangling everything to try to organize the chaos – and this entire process causes a slowdown due to a lack of centralization or any kind of logical configuration. Thus, good cable management results in relatively painless upgrades and moves.
Proper cabling in the network environment is an important part of your infrastructure, and this is what you should have gotten out of this post. DMS iTech can talk to you about good cable management practices that improve network performance, increase productivity, reduce troubleshooting time and make the workplace safer.