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How to Implementing Structured Cabling

The cabling infrastructure will be under a raised floor or overhead-or both. This is where the bulk of the horizontal cabling will be installed. Most likely you will hire a reputable cabling contractor to survey the environment, plan out the cabling routes, and install the horizontal runs. Ensure that copper and fiber runs are separated, because the weight of copper cables can damage the fiber.

Also, ensure that the cabling contractor:

  • Allows room for future growth
  • Is careful about cable bend stress
  • Uses plenum-rated cable where needed
  • Is aware of and bases installation on industry standards (see the next section on standards)
  • Tests the cabling consistently during installation

Using color to identify cable

Color provides quick visual identification. Color coding simplifies management and can save you hours when you need to trace cables. Color coding can be applied to ports on a patch panel: patch panels themselves come with different color jacks or have colored inserts that surround the jack. Cables are available in many colors (the color palette depends on the cable manufacturer). Apply these colors to identify the role/function of a cable or the type of connection.

Below is an example color scheme for patch cables.

Color Type Application (connections may by through patch panels)
Aqua OM3 fiber LAN/SAN device to device
Yellow Single Mode Fiber LAN/SAN device to device over long distance
Orange OM1 or OM2 fiber LAN/SAN device to device
Blue Copper LAN device to device
Green Copper KVM host to KVM switch, KVM switch to LAN switch, KVM switch to KVM switch
Yellow Copper Serial host to Terminal Server, Terminal Server to LAN switch
White Copper Power strip to LAN switch