We’ve all seen network cabinets that should be renamed “Spaghetti Junction”, with a tangle of cables that is destined to ruin someone’s weekend in the near future. One way to avoid that issue is to actually adopt a style guide for all network cabling.
Picture: Aaron Paxson (image cropped)
That's the approach used by Microsoft in its Azure data centres. "Microsoft has style guides for wiring," the company's Michael Atalla noted during a presentation at the Office 365 Summit in Sydney this week. "This perfectly lined up cabling environment is a result of very hard work and a style guide that's really thick and detailed."
According to Atalla, that's not just needed from an aesthetics perspective. "Any inconsistency is a potential point of failure."
Obviously Microsoft has a lot more cash to develop and document cabling to that level, and a bigger incentive not to get things wrong. You might not need a super-thick guide, but some basic rules can go a long way.
What (if any) cabling rules apply in your server room? Tell us in the comments.