Cable Pathways: A Data Center Design Guide and Best Practices – Part 3

Cable Pathways: A Data Center Design Guide and Best Practices - Part 3

Design and Installation of Horizontal and Vertical Wire Managers

Now that we have considered everything we need to support our cabling above and below the equipment racks and cabinets, we need to consider our cabling pathways in and around the cabinet and or rack.

  • Horizontal wire managers allow the neat and proper routing of patch and equipment cords from the switch/server to a patch panel. Density is very important in data center cabinets and racks so keep in mind how many rack spaces are being utilized with horizontal wire managers. Horizontal wire managers are available in many sizes from 1U to 4U. 1U and 2U heights are the most prevalent. They also come in depths from 1.75” to 6” deep. Cable management can be accomplished in both the front and rear of the rack with double-sided organizers. Depending on how much you want to hide the cables, horizontal wire managers can also come with or without doors/covers. They come in metal and plastic.
  • A vertical wire manager provides a vertical pathway for cable within the rack or cabinet. It allows multiple horizontal wire managers to feed into a larger vertical pathway for the entire height of the rack. There can be as many as 20 horizontal wire managers feeding into one large vertical manager. Therefore, these vertical managers need to be large, with depth sizes from 4 to 10 inches deep and up to 10 inches wide. These managers can come with waterfalls and spools to help manage multiple cables and to help with maintaining proper bend radius on copper and fiber cables.
  • It’s important to make sure there is enough space to accommodate all the patch cords to avoid overfilling the wire managers. Overfilling wire managers will cause kinking in the patch cords make it very difficult for moves, adds or changes. You should allow a minimum 30 percent space in the wire manager for growth.
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