Cable spaghetti refers to a complex entanglement of cables from various electronic devices that requires an extensive amount of time to sort through and organize. This can be detrimental to the IT infrastructure as poorly labeled and organized cables can impede on the efficient pinpointing of an issue within the facility.
The occurrence of cable spaghetti is believed to have been inherited from previous data center practices. Most of the current operating data centers were built in the 1980s when hardware was much bigger and port densities were much smaller. During this time, there was little to no danger in running long fiber cables from port-to-port.
However, computing and bandwidth needs have expanded greatly, allowing data centers to handle as much traffic in a day as they used to handle in a few months. These needs grew at a rate that was much faster than that of cable management best practices, leading to significant disorganization of cables.
What are the Effects of Cable Spaghetti?
- Signal interference. Power cables should be isolated from data cables by being positioned on the opposite sides of the rack to reduce the risk of electromagnetic interference (EMI). If power and data cables are too close to each other in parallel groups or in loops, EMI can occur, causing errors in data transmission through the cables.
- Hindrance from accessing rack components. With a high density of cables in the rack, access to network components, servers, and other enclosed components is made difficult. This can prolong troubleshooting and maintenance times, therefore decreasing data center uptime.
- Airflow restrictions. A high density of cables can restrict airflow from components inside the network enclosure. Obstructed airflow from blocked vents and fans may result in overheating, equipment shutdown, and extensive damage to equipment.
- Productivity. The time spent sorting through cables to troubleshoot issues is time that could be allocated towards other productive processes. An effective cable management system with clearly labeled and organized cables will allow problems to be resolved in a timely manner so that uptime is not disrupted.
How to Prevent Cable Spaghetti
Leading data center professionals leverage Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software to simplify data center cable management and eliminate cable spaghetti. By documenting your cabling infrastructure with DCIM software, you can improve uptime by quickly diagnosing network issues, optimize capacity utilization by making the most of your existing resources, and increase people productivity by saving time spent troubleshooting issues and deploying new equipment.
DCIM software helps eliminate cable spaghetti by enabling you to:
- Visually design data center cabling infrastructure
- Document cabling installation
- Measure the length of cable needed before installation
- Create precise instructions for cable installation
- Validate connections
- Leverage data to keep track of connectivity capacity
- Plan for current and future operations
Want to see how Sunbird’s world-leading DCIM software helps you eliminate cable spaghetti? Get your free test drive now!
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