A cable organization plan must also be created for the enormous amount of cables that serve as the veins and arteries of the data center. The basic function of the data center requires proper equipment connections and proper pathways for both power and low voltage cables. Good cable organization ensures optimal performance and simplifies cable maintenance, reducing downtime.
All cables should be supported in cable tray that is run overhead, above the equipment or under the raised floor. Eaton’s Best Practices for Underfloor Cable Management white paper addresses the routing of cable pathway beneath a raised floor.
The following basic principles that should be followed when determining how and where to route the cable pathways:
- Separation of telecommunications cables from power cables to minimize signal interference
- Routing of pathways to minimize the obstruction to air flow
- Adherence to the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)
- Use of pathways classified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
- Compliance with the National Electric Code (NEC)
The picture below shows a common data center layout with hot & cold aisles. The cable pathways shown indicate typical pathways for power and communications cables. Communications cables are run just below the raised floor and to the rear of the equipment cabinet, in the hot aisle. Power cables are run close to the floor in cable tray located in the cold aisle,underneath perforated floor tiles. Arranging the cables in this way provides horizontal separation by allocating different rows of tiles in the main aisles for power and telecommunications cabling, and also provides vertical separation.
Another benefit to placing communications cables just below the raised floor is easy access to these cables for maintenance. Standard ANSI/TIA/EIA 942 indicates that the top of the tray should be no greater than .75″ (20mm) below the floor. Placement of the power cables close to the floor in the cold aisle allows…>>Read More