The Importance of Cable Management in the Data Center
One of the key components of a data center or IMF / MDF closet is the cable management infrastructure. Because these cables transmit critical power and data between various devices such as servers, storage systems, and networking equipment; it’s essential they stay organized, properly maintained, and secure. However, various cabling issues can occur leading to significant downtime that can adversely impact the reliability and efficiency of the data center as a whole.
Five of the Most Common Cable Management Issues in a Data Center or IMF / MDF environment are:
- Human error: One of the leading causes of cabling issues in the data center. Whether it’s incorrect cable installation, mislabeling, accidental disconnects, or simply forgetting to secure a connection, human mistakes can lead to a variety of problems in the data center.
- Cable organization: With the increasing number of devices and systems in a data center, it is essential to ensure that power cables and network cables are organized and properly managed.
- Kinks or Bends in the cable: While these may seem like minor issues, kinks and bends in power cables can significantly reduce the performance and reliability of the cables.
- Poorly constructed cables: It is crucial for organizations to ensure that their data center power cables are well-constructed and properly maintained to avoid costly downtime.
- Incompatible cables/receptacles: Using power cables that are incompatible with the devices and systems in the data center can lead to various problems such as reduced performance and damaged equipment.
Let’s take a look at each of these issues in a little more detail.
Cables can be damaged and copper can break during installation which can interrupt the power supply and can lead to network outages. Cables can be easily damaged by any of these causes:
- Or twisting
To prevent this, it is important to properly route and secure cables to avoid physical damage. However, even with proper procedures in place and after installation is complete, human errors can still occur.
One of those common human errors is known as “bumping.” This refers to any physical damage that is caused to equipment in a data center due to accidental collisions or other types of impact such as damage caused by staff or visitors bumping into racks or other equipment or damage caused by equipment being moved or handled improperly – all ofknocking cords loose.
Any cables that are packed or congested in the data center can lead to several problems including:
- Decreased air flow
- Increased heat
- The potential for outages
Proper airflow is essential for keeping the data center cool and ensuring the longevity of the equipment. When cables are congested or packed and not properly organized, they can block airflow and prevent cool air from reaching the equipment. The excess heat created from poor airflow is especially problematic in modern data centers, which rely on cold aisle/hot aisle configurations to keep equipment cool. It’s this heat combined with hot power cables and a lack of cold air flow that increases the potential for equipment to overheat and fail.
The lack of following a cable management system can lead to:
- Decreased productivity
- And lost revenue
Packed, congested, or “spaghetti” cables also makes it difficult to identify and troubleshoot a problemed cable in a timely manner, not to mention possible damage caused by the constant movement and flexing that occurs when repeatedly searching for the “right cable to fix.”
Kinks or Bends in the power cable
Power Cables are designed to supply electrical power to devices such as servers, storage systems, and networking equipment with minimal dielectric loss. When a cable is too long, it can bend or kink, disrupting the electric current that can lead to possible:
- Signal attenuation
- And even complete failures
In addition to reducing performance, cable kinks and bends because cables are too long can also increase the risk of physical damage to the cables themselves. When a cable is bent or kinked, it can put stress on the wire strands and insulation, which can lead to breaks or frays. These types of damages can compromise the structural integrity of the cable and make it more prone to failure.
Poorly constructed cables
Poorly constructed cables in the data center can have serious consequences for the operation and efficiency of a business. It is crucial for organizations to ensure that their data center cables are well-constructed and properly maintained to avoid costly downtime and data loss.
One of the main problems with poorly constructed cables is that they are more prone to failure. This failure can be due to a variety of factors, such as:
- Poor quality materials
- Shoddy manufacturing processes
- Or damage during installation
When a data center cable fails, it can disrupt the flow of electricity and cause a range of issues, including:
- System outages
- Stored data loss
- And reduced performance
To avoid these problems, it is important to use high-quality cables and ensure they are properly installed and maintained. This includes using cables that are designed for the specific needs of the data center, such as those with the proper ratings for temperature and humidity.
Incompatible cables/connectors – cable lengths
In the data center, compatibility is key to ensuring that all of the hardware and infrastructure is working together efficiently. Incompatible cables and connectors can cause a range of issues that include:
- Decreased performance
- Connectivity problems
- Complete system failures
And using a standard power cable in an area with high temperatures can cause the cable to degrade over time, resulting in a decrease in performance or even failure of the device leading to:
- Loss of stored data
- Overheating and possible fires
Similarly, using a connector that is not compatible with the port it is plugged into can result in:
- Power path security
- Failure to establish a proper connection
- Damage to the receptacle or the plug itself
Overall, cabling issues can have serious consequences for the operation of the data center. By using our Z-LOCK cables, data centers can better organize and protect their cables, helping to prevent issues and improve overall efficiency.
How Can Zonit Help You Avoid These Issues?
Our patented Z-Lock dual-locking cords securely connect on both ends of the cord regardless of the brand of PDU or manufacturer of IT hardware, reducing the risk of network outages or other issues caused by vibrations, bumps, or loose cords.
We carry a variety of cords including C13-C14, C14-C15, and C19-C20 configurations available in a variety of sizes and colors. By allowing you to pick the size you need, you can reduce the issues of packing, bending, and kinks.
We are so confident in the materials and the construction of our Z-LOCK dual-sided cables that we offer the best warranty in the industry – three years!
And right now we have over 300,000 Z-LOCKS stocked and available – with zero lead time.