Step 1: Plan. Planning is the first step in power and data cable management in a rack, and when done right, it facilitates all of the following steps. It is generally recommended that a professional wiring contractor with detailed work instructions complete the entire project.
Step 2: Determine the routing of the power and data cables. First, determine whether the power and data cables enter from the top or bottom of the rack. Next, identify paths that separate power and data cables, copper data cables, and fiber optics, which can prevent erratic or error-prone data transfers.
Step 3: Identify the cable. Good cable identification and management is an investment in infrastructure. Implementing best practices, such as using colored cables in combination with labeled cables, can ensure cable identification.
Step 4: Route and reserve cables. Cables must be protected where they may rub or come into contact with sharp edges or hot areas. Cable management accessories such as flexible cable ties and cable management arms are available for routing and securing cables.
Step 5: Secure the cables and connectors. Cables and connectors should be secured to prevent excessive movement and provide strain relief at critical points.
Step 6: Avoid Thermal Problems. Make sure there are no obstructions in the airflow path. Component temperatures may increase if the airflow is restricted. Continued high temperatures can shorten the life expectancy of equipment and cause unexpected failures, resulting in unplanned system downtime.
Step 7: Document and maintain the organization. Documenting the complete infrastructure, including diagrams, cable types, wiring information, and cable counts, is important for future cable management. IT leaders must lead the organization by committing to building standard procedures and validating their execution.