What’s Better Than Advil For Datacenter Headaches? An Organized Datacenter!

By December 6, 2011How To, Networking

How does your datacenter, server rack or switch rack look? Like a rats nest? 

If you had a power problem how long would it take you to track down the bad power cord? Additionally how much time would you waste figuring out if it was a bad network cable, NIC, or switch port? 

Yes, it can be a daunting task to organize your datacenter, but if the time is spent now it could save you hours and many headaches later. As an IT professional, you put a lot of money into your datacenter and it is a valuable asset to your company. It is essential to keep it organized to reduce an outage window and maximize your investment in the technology you have implemented. Taking some additional time up front to plan and organize will protect your equipment, extend its life, and make management easier.


Labeling both ends of your power cables will allow you to easily trace a power cable.  Doing so has many benefits:

  • The most obvious is that in the event of a power failure your aforethought will allow you to easily trace the failed power cable
  • If the need arises to load balance power between different PDU’s, circuits or power supplies
  • When the time comes to decommission or move the equipment already in your datacenter, you will know with simply a glance which power cables can be removed.

Running power cables to the edge of a server rack or switch rack will eliminate clutter in the event that a failed power supply needs to be replaced. Thus making replacing the failed part a simple and fast process. Using either vertical or horizontal PDU’s will depend on the type of racks you have and will allow cables to be neatly routed and managed.


  • Labeling both ends of your network cables eliminates the need to trace cable when a problem happens, replacing cables, testing or moving to a different switch/port.
  • Once again – running network cables to the edge of the server rack or a switch rack will eliminate clutter and make replacing a failed part a simple and fast process.
  • Color coordinating your network cables assists in trouble shooting and moves, it is also a visual reference for the purpose of the cable.


Have you ever wondered where all of the hot air expelled from the equipment in your server and switch racks ends up?  The majority of the time it is out of the back/rear. If you have a rats nest of cables behind the fans, then they are not going to be able to expel the hot air away from the racks. This could lead to not only overheating of the equipment, but possibly the room.

  • If not expelled – stagnate hot air will, over time, cause your cables to become brittle and lead to failure. Unused cables can also pose a serious fire risk.


  • Troubleshooting, replacing, removing and adding new equipment, power or network will be a simple task if your datacenter is organized and clean.
  • Not only will the management be easier for you, it will also allow guests in your datacenter to easily figure out where a network cable goes. If a problem ever does arise where a technician needs to work on some equipment he/she would have easy access.

Photo Credit: mrtom