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Had Your Fill? How Cable Management Influences Your Data Center Installation

August 20, 2010

Too much cable!If you’ve ever attended a standing-room-only, sold-out concert, you’ll have a good idea of where we’re coming from – first, imagine the amount of people – just a sea of faces as far as the eye can see. Everyone, pressed together, shoulder-to-shoulder, packed to the rafters. Now, imagine a data center, filled to capacity. Cables, everywhere… up, down, left, right, overhead, under floor – get the picture? Of course, these two scenes point out one fundamental similarity – when space is at a premium, you must find a way to navigate through the tangled maze.

Here at CPI, we’re doing just that. In fact, on a recent on-site visit to a data center installation using CPI’s cable runway and tray products and more, our team of design engineers snapped some intriguing photos of the cable fill-rate issue in action. Now, it’s worth mentioning that one of the huge advantages to working with CPI is the fact that our engineers often make onsite visits just as you see here – both pre- and post-installation - something many of our competitors simply don’t offer. In this sense, having the same people who design and manufacture your cable management systems come to observe them ensures a higher level of understanding and ingenuity for future product development.

On this particular occasion, our team discovered how the standards and regulations on cable fill rates set forth by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) can be stretched to capacity. In the images accompanying this post, you can clearly see how a higher volume and density of cabling can quickly bundle together to produce a large-scale, tightly condensed configuration. To avoid reaching these maximum capacities, it’s always a good idea to refer to CPI’s handy online Cable Pathway Selection Table and the CPI Cable Fill Table. Here, you’ll be able to match CPI’s various cable support systems, such as the Universal Cable Runway and the OnTrac™ Cable Tray, to your specific needs with regards to load capacity, length, and recommended cable fill capacities. This will help ensure your installation maintains adequate space for cabling, as well as allowing you the chance to take advantage of the need for specially-designed and customized products – another value-added benefit offered by CPI.

Overfilled Cable TrayIn addition to offering the Cable Pathway Selection Table, CPI also goes above and beyond in best practices for cable management by conducting extensive in-house research and testing on all cable runways, trays and cable management systems we manufacture. By putting our products to the test with the same exact cables you’ll be using in the field, you can rest assured that we understand the diversity of challenges you face in planning and implementing an effective cable management system. Through this experience, we’re better equipped to offer on-site consultation, troubleshooting and upkeep.

While the images you see here depict cable management to the max, it’s useful to remember that CPI has many cable management products to help with just such high-volume scenarios, including our state-of-the-art Evolution™ Cable Management system.

No matter how you splice it, every cabling set-up story is going to have its twists and turns – let’s just say this one was packed full of ‘em! Jeff Cihocki, eContent Specialist

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