Get Those Wires Organized: Rack-Mounted Cable Management Accessories
Among some of the most frequently forgotten, yet necessary components of any rack solution are cable managers. Cables are often difficult to incorporate into 3D CAD drawings and since they’re “out of sight, out of mind”, the accessories needed to organize them are also forgotten. But nearly every piece of equipment in your rack requires data cables to provide network connectivity, or at the very least, power cables to make them operable.
Top Cable Management Accessories for your Electronic Rack
With an open-frame rack, we typically recommend vertical cable managers that span the full height of the rack, but they aren’t as commonly used in cabinets or racks with side panels. Instead, consider using vertical cable rings to keep cables organized and prevent them from blocking access to your electronic equipment. To minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI), our design engineers recommend running the rings down the rear rails with all cable powers being routed through the rings on one side and data cables running down the opposite length.
If your rack will house any high-port equipment, the ideal solution is to position horizontal cable managers both above and below the equipment to improve access to both rows of cables and reduce the potential for accidental disconnects.
And even if you don’t use any specific cable management accessories, basic hook and loop cable ties are fundamental to organization. We don’t recommend using zip ties since they will eventually need to be cut and could compromise the cables themselves risking damage and causing waste.
One of the most critical considerations to keep in mind when choosing the appropriate cable management solution for your cabinet is the impact they can have on rail depth. A&J offers three standard rack depths: 19″, 24″ and 30″, but we can also create any custom depth required. Without enough clearance space, the mass of wiring can obstruct airflow and/or the rear panel.
Tips to Make Cable Management Easier
- Measure connection distance between components so you’re not wasting money or space on excess cables. Most electronics vendors offer a variety of power cord options or you can purchase your own low-profile power cords to free up additional space.
- Proper, well-planned cable markings will simplify any troubleshooting and changes without unnecessary work within the rack. And if you color code your cables this will help differentiate different types of cables. We also recommend labeling both ends so you know exactly where they go and what they’re being used for.
- Cable management arms neaten up a rack, but you might also need to consider reducing the server count in a rack to free up space or design a deeper model for adequate clearance.
- Carefully plan and execute the cable trunk to avoid obstructions to ventilation and cooling airflow. The last thing you want is running it along a series of servers directly behind their exhaust fans.
- ALWAYS confirm how the rack’s overall dimensions fit within your existing floor plan to avoid disruptions to aisle containment or waste IT staff time during setup in a tightly configured layout.