6 Data Centre Cabling Best Practices

by Tom Redmond on February 14, 2012

Data Centre CablingData centres come in a variety of shapes, sizes and locations, but what they typically have in common is the need for a highly performing cabling infrastructure.

Servers, storage, switches, routers and other data centre equipment are pushing ever increasing volumes of information across the network, so it’s especially important that data cabling is carefully specified and installed to ensure faultless performance and avoid introducing any hard to track down problems.

With that in mind, here are six data centre cabling best practices to keep in mind:

1. Performance

All cabling should be fit for purpose and conform to the high-end of operational and performance criteria. No compromises should be taken when it comes to cable quality, as you’ll almost certainly regret it later.

2. Capacity

Cabling should have built-in capacity to allow for increases of performance both in terms of quantities of cabling installed and the operational capacity within each cable.  Over the long-term it’s more economical to provide room for growth, rather than having to keep adding or upgrade cabling as demand increases.

3. Specification

The minimum specification for data centre cabling deployments should be CAT6a.  Ideally CAT7 should be specified, however CAT7 terminations are different from CAT6a, so a common compromise is CAT7 cabling with CAT6a terminations.

4. Length

Cables should be installed along the shortest length possible, with care to minimise bends and changes in direction.  You’d be surprised at how many companies get this simple point wrong and the negative impact it can have.

5. Power

Data centre cabling should be fully separated from mains power services. Modern data centre designs often have mains power installed within the floor void and IT cabling overhead (or vice versa).

6. Airflow

It is increasing vital that data centre operational areas be designed to maximise airflow and thereby reduce power costs and environmental impact. Cables should be routed so that they do not block or otherwise interfere with hot and cold isle provisions.

What next?

Need help designing or installing data centre cabling? At Project Vision we have over 30 years experience helping companies install the cabling that is the backbone of their business.  Let us know how we can help.

First name *
Last name *
Your email *
Company *
Interested in *