CPI Blog

Best Practices for Effective Data Center Cable Management

June 24, 2024

In today's interconnected world, the backbone of any robust network lies in its cabling infrastructure. Efficient cable management is not merely an organizational task but a fundamental strategy that ensures the longevity, performance, and reliability of network systems. Implementing a comprehensive cable management plan goes beyond addressing a single project; it establishes a standard of excellence and attention to detail for all future cabling endeavors. 

Chatsworth Products (CPI) has long been at the forefront of promoting cable management best practices. Through conversations with ICT professionals, CPI’s sales and product managers have distilled the essence of effective cable management into actionable insights. The consensus is clear: proper planning is the cornerstone of a successful cable management strategy. 

The significance of proper cable management cannot be overstated. It is vital for maintaining the integrity and efficiency of network operations. Well-managed cables reduce downtime, enhance airflow, and mitigate risks, thereby supporting the critical functions of a network and enabling seamless growth and scalability. 

In this blog, we will explore the foundational principles of cable management, offering practical tips and strategies to help you optimize your network infrastructure. From saving time and reducing hazards to improving signal performance and planning for future growth, mastering the basics of cable management is essential for any organization aiming to achieve operational excellence. 

The Importance of Cable Management 

Implementing a cable management strategy requires effective planning and a commitment to execute. This strategy shouldn't just pertain to one specific project; it should define the standards, level of quality and guidelines for every cabling project moving forward. And although every site and installation are different, the level of service and attention to detail should remain consistent.  

Chatsworth Products' (CPI) sales and product managers often speak with ICT professionals about cable management best practices. Many of them agree that planning is the most critical component of effective cable management. 

Proper cable management is integral to the performance and effectiveness of a network. Managing and maintaining cables and cords provides the critical support, reliability, and flexibility needed to sustain and grow network capabilities. 

Proper cable management helps to:  

  • Save time when moving or replacing cables and allows for quick response when something goes wrong 
  • Provide efficient operation because airflow is not impeded by congested or poorly placed cables 
  • Reduce hazards and liabilities 
  • Promote optimal circuit and signal performance 
  • Save money by extending the life of cables, greatly reducing potential for outages 

Cable Capacity: Planning for Growth  

Not considering future cable capacity inherently leads to less-than-ideal conditions where cables are forced into tight areas where there simply isn’t any room for proper organization and management. Most cable pathway and management product manufacturers offer a cable fill table to help specify the right sized products for cable management needs. 

As a good rule of thumb, plan for a fill rate of approximately 50%. It is in this planning stage that considering future needs is of the utmost importance. Only 20% may be used on immediately but could easily increase to 70% full within just a few years. Consider cable pathway, rack and/or cabinet level cable capacity, and underfloor pathways if plans to use a raised floor for cable delivery are in place. An app-based or Excel format calculator provides and easy-to-use method to quickly estimate cable fill based on product-specific or user-defined cable diameters and/or aperture sizes. 

To benefit from the advantages of proper cable management listed above, CPI recommends these steps: 

  • Define and document cable paths and routing 
  • Label to easily define scheme; ensure it is repeatable 
  • Plan for growth 
  • Train staff appropriately 

Ensure Proper Cable Management Performance with CPI’s Solutions 

An important factor in maintaining high circuit performance is the care given to communications cable during installation. For example, tight bundling of the cable or improper support of cable that deforms, stretches or adds tension to the cable can negatively affect circuit performance. 

For best cable performance: 

  • Specify continuous support for your cable 
  • Specify support that creates a wide turn for cables, when there is a need to change their direction 
  • Bundle cables with wide reusable straps 
  • Use spools to control patch cord slack within cable managers  

CPI Cable Managers at a Glance 

 Evolution® Cable Manager  Engineered for managing high-density copper cabling and delivering increased performance to match today’s data center needs. Tool-less and adjustable mid-panels, easy-to-use front/back doors and interior features that help maximize the capacity and utility cable management in both vertical and horizontal configurations. Supports large bundles of heavy cables such as Cat 6a Single-sided versions available in 1U, 2U and 3U high. 
Velocity® Cable Manager An economical solution for everyday use in telecommunication rooms, equipment rooms and lab spaces. It’s also perfect for creating a complete vertical or horizontal pathway for premise cabling and patch cords on CPI Rack Systems and can be paired with a number of additional ac Single-sided versions available in 1U, 2U and 3U high.
Universal Horizontal Cable Manager  An economical solution for everyday use in telecommunication rooms, equipment rooms and lab spaces. It’s also perfect for creating a complete vertical or horizontal pathway for premise cabling and patch cords on CPI Rack Systems and can be paired with a number of additional ac Single-sided versions available in 1U, 2U and 3U high.
19” Horizontal Wire Management Panel  Designed for use with VCS vertical cabling sections. Open ring-style managers with 1.5” (38 mm) standoff from the rack. Includes cable spools to control cables as they exit the vertical manager. Cover available as an accessory. Single-sided versions only in 1U and 2U high.
Rack Cabling Managers  Used to organize horizontal cable and wire runs. Two sizes of slotted plastic rings provide ample room to hold all types and sizes of wiring and cabling. Excellent for use within cabinets and enclosures. Single-sided version only in 1U and 2U high.
Large Horizontal Ring Panel   Used to organize horizontal cable runs. Large 6" wide x 2.8" high heavy duty aluminum rings with rounded edges protect cable sheaths and will not bind during installation. Use above or below large network switches that have vertical modules. Single-sided only version, 2U high.  Rings are bolted onto panels so they can be added or removed as needed. 
Jumper Trays  Designed to promote a gradual, controlled bend for both UTP and optical fiber cable. Slotted holes allow bend radius location to be user adjustable. Used to create rack-to-rack pathways for patch cords and below switches or fiber patch panels to catch patch or jumper cords. Two depths - 3” or 6” (80 mm or 150 mm). Single-sided only versions, 2U high.

Ready to optimize your cable management? 

CPI has everything you need to keep your infrastructure organized and efficient. From innovative containment systems to efficient cable pathways, explore our full suite of cable management solutions today. 


Posted by Maren Price, Marketing Content Manager at 6/24/2024 12:12:23 PM
Search CPI in the News
Get Blog Updates
Stay up to date on latest news and solutions.