By: Darren Bonawitz
One of the often overlooked issues in colocation cabinets is cabling. When a company is hurrying to move equipment into a facility, cable management is not usually at the top of its list for concerns. IT staff members are more worried about just getting their infrastructure operational rather than focusing on the aesthetics of the cabling in their cabinet(s). Even if the cabling is managed effectively day one, it is very common to see a gradual “rats nest” develop over time as equipment is added or replaced.
Cable management is more than about cosmetics though, and a lot of IT professionals have come to appreciate the value of clearly labeled and organized cabling. What a lot of people fail to consider is the effect cabling can have on proper equipment cooling. That may sound odd, but visualize for a moment a tangled web of cables at the back of a cabinet. What happens is the cables each take up a certain volume of space and effectively reduce the path for hot air rejected from equipment to properly exhaust out the back of the cabinet.
Hot air that should have been easily transferred to the hot aisle now becomes trapped within the cabinet and then recirculates. This causes in-cabinet ambient temperatures to rise and can lead to equipment temperature increases and possibly even unnecessary failure.