We live in an exciting time of computing where more is happening wirelessly than ever before. Although, we’re still a long way off from having networking wires and cables become entirely obsolete, which means that it’s in your best interest to know how to deal with your cables as efficiently as possible.
If you’re not intentional about your network’s wiring, then you’re going to lose significant time when maintenances have to be performed, as well as just having a big mess on your hands. To get you started with how to take control of your network’s cabling situation, consider these four best practices.
Use Different Colored Cables for Different Signal Types
Even though it may take some specialized shopping for you to find different colored cables, it will be worth it if it means that your network will be that much more organized. Using different colored cables will prevent your cables from becoming a one-colored tangled mess, and you can even color coordinate your cables by different signal types. Just image the time saved by not having to follow a cable from one device to the other in order to find out what goes where.
Label Your Cables
Labeling your cabling is useful (and it rhymes!). This practice serves the same organizational purposes as using different colored cables, and your cabling would be extra enhanced if you combine the two methods. By putting a label on each end of the cable, you’ll know at a glance exactly what the cable is used for. Be sure to include information like:
- What signal type (audio, video, serial, network, VGA, etc.)
- The source of the signal
- The destination of the signal
- A unique identifier (optional)
Alternatively, you could just plug stuff in and plug stuff out and hope for the best.
Take Advantage of Cable Routing and Service Loops
The key to successful cabling is to make the future as easy as possible on yourself and your IT technicians. Otherwise, something as simple as replacing an old server unit for a new one will become a stressful endeavor of having to fight with your cables. IT blogger OcehanDataRat explains:
This means running the cables in a way that allows individual pieces of equipment to be removed from the rack far enough to inspect and remove/reattach any connected cables. The additional wire length that allows the gear to be removed without first disconnecting any cables is called a service loop. Determining how long to make a service loop is a balance. Having too long of a service loop creates its own problems.
Run Two Cables For Every Drop
You can save yourself loads of time in the future by running two cables side by side for every drop. This is an extra expense that will more than pay for itself when it comes time to replace a dead cable. For example, sometimes a cable will get pinched or something else will happen to it that will render it useless. In times like this when you can just plug in your extra cable and be on your merry way, you’ll thank your past self for having such great foresight. Another bonus of dropping extra cables is when it comes time to expand your network due to a growing business. Boom, you’ll already have the cable in place to do so. You’re welcome.
Mapping out the routing of your network is a major endeavor. Instead of trying to figure this out on your own, give CTN Solutions’s IT technicians a call at (610) 828- 5500. Cable routing is a classic example of why doing something right the first time around will save you loads of headaches in the future when a problem arises. Call us today to make sure that your technology is working for you, which can include a professional assessment of your network’s current cabling inefficiencies.