Josh: Today we’re gonna talk about some cable management best practices. We’re also gonna re-cable up a switch that’s become quite the cable management nightmare. We’re gonna have our lab engineer Brittany help us out with this. Hey Britt, what do we have here?

Brittany: Hey, Josh. Well, the problem I’m dealing with today is I have to re-cable up this switch. It’s become such a cable disaster. A lot of the cables are way too long, a lot of them are way too tight. I have way too many colors in here and to be honest with you, some of them are actually going nowhere. And you factor all that together it’s going to lead to downtime sooner or later.

Josh: I know you can’t just rip everything out, so how do you prepare for something like this?

Brittany: The first thing I did was map out all the cables that I have to use. What I did was put all the cables into an Excel spreadsheet and then printed it out. Then, the next step was to inform all of the parties involved. I wanted to do this at a time when it was least invasive for everybody. Again we don’t wanna cause any downtime, and then one more important part… I ordered some more cables for extra stock on hand. Next time there’s a move, add, or change I’ll have the cables ready to go.

Josh: So what are your overall goals?

Brittany: My main goal here, JT, is to have a nice clean-looking switch. Of course, we want all of the hardware to be as accessible as possible.

Josh: Sweet. You know I love cabling jobs. Can I help out?

Brittany: Sure!

Josh: Another really bad idea is running fiber jumpers in some sort of basket tray. As you can see right here there are micro-bends in the fiber, and you incur insertion loss at this point. Anything bad can happen and it’s not a good idea. You want jumpers. You could run a trunk in a tray like this. They’re built for that. Or you use a solid tray to run these fiber jumpers.

As you can see, we’ve cleaned things up, it looks a lot more simplified and that’s really what you want. You wanna be able to trace a cable easily. If something happens, you’ll need to pull the blade out. You can do that a lot more easily.

Proper labeling is always a plus; we’re gonna come in and label this right now. It just makes things look more clean and more efficient.