This is the third post in our “Inside the Rack” series.
In the first two posts, I discussed how small changes inside the rack can have a big impact in keeping your system organized and cool.
As a universal power adapter, the new uPDU can eliminate extraneous power supplies and cables. This streamlines things inside the rack and opens space for hot air to move away from the equipment.
In this post, we’re covering the often overlooked cable management. This can be an effective way to keep things cooler inside the rack and give you less headaches along the way.
Proper cable management can benefit you in all sorts of ways.
- Prevent Cable Damage
If the cables are damaged, this could cause data transmission problems and potential system downtime.
- Easier to Scale Up
Having an organized internal system makes it easier to integrate new equipment as computing needs grow.
- Cooling Efficiencies
Keeping the cables organized and away from critical airflow allows hot air to move away from the equipment.
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind before you begin:
Have a Plan
The obvious place to start. Know the types of cables you have to plan for and whether the cables will enter from the top or the bottom of the rack.
Identify or Label the Cables
To know at a glance what you’re looking at, use colored cables or cable managers. You may also consider creating a cheat sheet and affixing it inside the rack. Before you start do some research about the type of cable managers that will benefit your system the best.
Secure and Retain Cables
Use cable ties or cable managers to reinforce cables on tricky areas. If the cables are going to be coming in contact with sharp edges or heated areas they need to be protected.
Cable Management Tools
As you’re putting together your plan, you’ll have a wide range of cable management tools to choose from. Do some research and test options to find ones that will be the most efficient for you to use. Here are a few examples tools that might work for your system:
These basic metal bars act as supports for cables. Lacer Bars allows the cables to spread out, increasing the airflow within the rack. You can also use lacer bars to keep electrical cables away from other lines, which will help cut down on signal interference.
D-Rings, or distribution rings, are made of either metal or plastic. You’ll choose based on whether you need sturdiness or flexibility when managing your cables. There are horizontal and vertical variations depending on how you need them to be oriented within the rack or even a wall.
When you have excess cable that you want to keep from getting tangled, you’ll want to use a cable spool. These simple plastic pieces are designed to fit within the radius of a cable bend to prevent the cables from being damaged.
Vertical Cable Managers
These are created for cables that need to run the length of the rack. Vertical cable managers have wide openings and are able to accommodate large numbers of cables. They are designed with “fingers” to handle a standard cables’ bend radius without causing any damage.
There are several different types of horizontal managers. One of the most common varieties uses built-in D-rings to secure cables. If you need to access cables more frequently, the D-ring version might be the better option for you. Another variation, like the vertical cable managers, use cable trays with finger ducts. This is sturdier than the D-rings but the cables are more difficult to access. So if you’re intending this to be a permanent set-up, a horizontal manager with cable trays and finger ducts might be the best option for your system.
For something so seemingly simple as cable management, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have more questions, you’re looking for help strategizing your cable management plan, or you need cable management, our team at PTI is ready to help. Give us a call at 877.592.4259 or send us a message through our contact form.