Computer Network Wire Management Tips

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Why use network cable labels?

Network Cable Labels Keep You Organized

Labels are a good idea in any system of cabling or wiring. That's because they provide security, traceability and allow for future maintenance upgrades. So if you want your network cable labels to work best, you'll want to get the best type of labels for your wires.

You can mark wires using labels, sleeves or tags. There are many options for labeling your cables. Here is a look at three of them, courtesy of

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP) sleeves are great for networks that need a high resistance to chemicals, solvents or ultraviolet (UV) light
  • Flex-tag markers are designed for bendable wires and cables
  • Rip tags are installed with cable ties instead of adhesives, so they are a good choice for wire and cable labels that are subjected to fuel, lubricant and solvent spills
If none of these fill your needs, look for tie-on cable markers, laser wire markers, shrink tag markers, cable identification marker plates and more.

What should I consider when designing a cable management system?

Designing Your Network Cable Management System

Computer wire management advice: If you are a network engineer and you are seeking a solution for the morass of wires that your growing company has saddled you with, you may want to consider the various wire duct solutions at your fingetips.

The most important aspect of wire solution design is scalability. You want something that will grow with your company so you aren't hampered with an entire system conversion down the line.

Additionally, you want to choose a network cable management system that will be gentle on your cable, or else you risk network performance degredation and ultimate increases in costs due to cable replacement. Make sure you design your cable wiring system with these things in mind and you are sure to create a successful solution.

How can a wire loom help organize my cables?

Cord Covers

It's a fact of life; sometimes you have just put together an office or you may have an ongoing project that end up forcing you to run computer cables across halls, floors, or other areas with foot or even vehicle traffic. You risk damage to your cables, your floor, and it creates a potentially dangerous tripping hazard. There are alternative solutions you can consider. Look at light capacity cord covers to protect your cables and your employees! You can even get more innovative and consider a raised floor cable management systems. Think out of the box!

How can cable raceways help me organize my office?

Managing Your Office Environment

If your office environment is either:

A. growing like crazy
B. in a cool old building
C. awkwardly laid out

you may be facing a cable and wire organization nightmare. Obviously you want to protect your employees from tripping and your equipment from being damaged, but how do you proceed when you have cables running to and fro and a mass of tangles wires everywhere you look?

Take a deep breath and look into versatile cable raceways. They are entirely customizable, right down to the fact that they can be painted and they can be designed, by you, for the most eclectic of office spaces.

Perhaps you are in an older building with a lot of character but not enough jacks? No problem!

Maybe you have to come up with some temporary solutions for an influx of staffers and the computers that have come with them? Also not an issue.

Look at a product like the Panduit cable raceway, and you will probably be able to create an excellent custom solution with their cable raceway and accessories.

I need a good broadband solution.

Free Space Optics Broadband

If your office has to set up a branch in another building, how will you transfer your data? If you can run a network cable, consider Free Space Optics technology. This system uses laser technology to carry up to 2.5 Gbps of information a distance of up to 4 km. Transmit voice, data, or video clearly and inexpensively.

What should I look for in a computer cabinet?

Computer racks and cabinets

Equipment security is a major concern in today's marketplace. There are many wall mounted computer cabinets that offer space saving techniques as well as locks for security. Most larger companies choose a server room which is also secured and climate controlled. Stay organized and stay secure!

hand tools, hand tools, Klein Hand Tools, Klein Tools, Kline Tools

EZWIND Extension Cord Organizer

When you are setting up a piece of equipment, how much time gets lost unwinding or untangling the extension cord? How many new swearwords have you invented while doing so? The EZWIND Wire Organizer is a very clever tool for managing extension cords. You can easily wind and unwind just the right amount of wire, and it allows you to unwind from either end of the cord. It can also add years to the life of your cords because the special center post helps you avoid aggravating twists and curls that seem to creep into most extension cords.

How can I secure my office's computer equipment?

Computer and Server Racks

Modern offices are often concerned with security in regard to computer equipment. A computer rack or computer server rack is an affordable and sensible options for securing valuable equipment in a fixed place. Losing a computer server could bring the entire office's network down, not to mention cost a bundle. Also, computers themselves can be stolen or vandalized without the security of a computer rack. Made of a durable steel alloy, some computer and server racks can hold up to 1000 pounds.

I need a good broadband solution.

Free Space Optics Broadband

Do you need a slightly larger than “local area” network? Free Space Optics offers serious communication power with a minimum of fuss. This laser technology system requires no spectrum licensing. It is easy to upgrade and supports equipment from a variety of vendors. Free Space Optics requires no security software, and is unaffected by radio frequency interference or saturation. Free Space Optic systems can even be deployed to transmit through windows.

What should my company do about laptop cases for our travelling staff?

Computers, Cases and Your Remote Staff

If your sales force is on the run, traveling with expensive computer equipment, and you have sent them out with just a standard case, you are asking for trouble.

Any company that doesn't invest in protective carrying cases, like a pelican laptop attaché case, should just wait for the call from their sheepish employee when the computer is destroyed because the travel case wasn't durable.

The pelican laptop case comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying and will protect your technology investment from being dropped, rained on or just mishandled by a clumsy bellboy - or even a clumsy employee!

If you have a cluster of laptops that get checked out for traveling employees, or you have folks that are always on the road, you should consider investigating protective travel cases. In the long run, the up front investment will ensure that the technology lasts longer. This doesn't fix the quick obsolescence of technology in today's marketplace, but at least you will have a shot at getting your money's worth!

How can I manage my power distribution needs?

Edge Mount PDC

Wouldn't you like to be able to access both power and data through a single outlet? The Edge Mount Power Data Center provides power distribution and data ports in the form of two simplexes to accept standard power cords or AC adapters and provides two ports for the installation of voice/data. It is typically attached to the edge of the work surface or table.

How can I protect my cables?

Color Code Your Wires

Here's some computer wire management advice: If you're adding or moving peripheral devices to your computer, dealing with cables and cords is always a bother. Heat shrink tubing in assorted colors can help you color code your cables, making it easier to manage your hardware. Quality heat shrink tubing is also a great way to protect your cables from abrasion or further strengthen them against mechanical stress.

How do I protect my cords when my office is always relocating or moving?

Temporary Offices Need Temporary Cord Protection

Offices exist in all shapes and sizes and you may be one of those lucky (or unlucky) folks who set up temporary digs all over the country and world. Maybe you are a lighting specialist on concert tour or a travelling carnival with electrical cords running all over a parking lot. You are going to need to protect cords from pedestrians, even if you are the one in the air conditioned trailer or ticket booth.

When you are planning for your equipment needs, make sure you fit drop over cord covers into your budget. They make them for light traffic and small cords to those that can take the weight of cars rolling over them. These cord covers are well rated and used in dozens of industries. They are entirely appropriate for outdoor use and they come in short interlocking pieces so they can cover a short or long distance. Don't waste money on cord replacement for small or large machinery.

I have a unique office configuration, how can I protect my cords?

Unique Office Environment? Unique Cable Organization.

In open office environments, aethetics may demand that your desk face out into a room, or that your desk be "floating" mid office. Not everyone is in a vast grid of cubicles.

This kind of environment can create a cable management nightmare. Phone and computer lines are probably running off in every direction of your desk and you may be tripping over them, sending your phone or your computer or your moniter crashing to the floor. Clearly you need to a solution to this before you damage yourself or have to spend money replacing your computer and phone.

There are wiremold cord covers that run along walls, but you need a solution that will cross open space and keep wires and cables neat while protecting them. You can consider a cord protector for this problem, they are flexible, come in colors that will most likely bland in with your carpet and can be installed by anyone. They are made of plastic and have a simple slit on the bottom in which to insert your cords. They can then be secured to the floor by double stick tape and they are engineered to stay flat so they won't trip you up.

Invest in a solution like this before you destroy something really valuable, not to mention potentially damaging yourself.

What should I consider when planning my server room?

Plan Ahead with Metal Over Floor Raceways

Large server rooms filled to the ceiling with racks and wires can change and get out of hand very quickly. When you are troubleshooting, who knows how many patch cables you will have to run from here to there.

When you are desiging your server room, you may want to incorporate metal over floor raceways into the budget. Create a grid like pattern allowing access to either end of the raceway between your server racks. You can run the cables, and pull cables through when you need to and they will be protected from wandering foot traffic or the occasional AV cart running through.

If the metal cord covers are too cumbersome, look at plastic or rubber cord covers as an alternative. They are lighter and easier to configure in a pinch, although they may not be as durable.

What is a KVM switch?

One Switch Does it All

Control four, 32 or even 512 computers from one keyboard, mouse and monitor with a KVM (keyboard/video monitor/mouse) switch.

A KVM switch is a great cable management solution if you have many computers to deal with. A KVM switch installation will save you money and space by reducing the amount of keyboards, monitors, mice, and cables or wires required to manage multi-computer information systems.

What are wire looms for?

Wire Looms Are Simple Lifesavers

One of the easiest ways to organize the various wires routed around the office is by running them in groups through wire loom. Wire loom are durable, flexible tubes that protect and group cords that may otherwise cause a problem. Easy to clean around, the allergens in the office will be reduced. Also, the wires that are protected by the wire loom are less likely to be damaged. There are various colors available, making it easy to color code wires for future reference. Also, they can be bought in bulk lengths for large offices, which saves a lot of money when organizing workspaces.

How can I be sure that my office network server is secure?

Network Racks For Maximum Security

Network racks, such as server enclosures, provide maximum security for an office's computer system. When all of the computers in the office are networked, a little tampering with the server can do a lot of damage. Theft of computer equipment is commonplace in a high traffic, low security office. A network rack that is enclosed and locked can put a stop to vandalism or theft, which ensures productivity in the office. Many offices reserve a specific, private room to store a network rack in and only a select few have access to the equipment inside.

What is a network data center?

Network Data Centers

A network data center is a great space-saving tool for offices that require multiple data and power hook-ups. Installed on a desktop or table, a network data center is a series of jacks and outlets for any surrounding equipment that requires power or Internet connection. For boardrooms or classrooms, a network data center is perfect for laptops, telephones and fax machines. Also, one can be installed on a desktop with multiple machines nearby. By using the same data center for all machines, wires can be easily identified and organized. Bundling with cable ties is easier when everything is being plugged into the same area.

What kind of styles are available for computer racks?

Various Styles of Computer Racks

Computer racks are important tools in office wire management because they offer storage space for both surge protectors and cables. Also, computer racks secure valuable equipment that could otherwise be tampered with or stolen. There are various styles available, including wall-mounted and open racks. The wall-mounted computer rack is an enclosed cabinet with a hinged door that can be locked. There are many different sizes available and they can be customized to the equipment's specific height, width and weight. The most durable wall-mounted computer rack can support over 400 pounds. Open computer racks, while not enclosed, fix a computer in one place for added security. Like the wall-mounted racks, the open style can be fully customized for the equipment it holds.

How can I organize my ever changing office cable configuration?

The Answer to the Evolving Office Cable Conundrum

If your office is constantly changing and being reconfigured, you may want to consider implementing portable surface mount boxes that can hold several rj45 connections, but they are designed to accept fiber, copper and other wire types.

In many cases, if you choose a good solution, this box will mount to a wall via adhesive or screws, or with a magnet, to any magnetic surface. This flexibility makes it ideal for evolving office environments.

Also, if you are comfortable choosing a brand like Panduit, you can find Panduit surface mount boxes that are compatible with your Panduit cable raceways and other wiring solutions.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Cinch Strap Cable Binding

When duct tape or electrical tape isn't enough for your cable binding needs, or when you need to open or adjust strapping, look at a CinchStrap for a solution for your wire organization challenge. This heavy duty utility strap has extra strength and holding power. Solid double stitch construction ensures the CinchStrap wire organizer will withstand years of heavy use.

What is a good way to route cables inexpensively?

Routing cables and cords

More computer wire management advice: Running cables from your computer to a nearby printer or other peripheral is much easier if you use cable clips, saddles, or clamps. Using wire organizers to route your cables where you want them keeps everything clean and keeps your employees safe. Cable Clips can be quickly installed to organize and label up to twelve wires or cords neatly. Some high quality name brands include Belkin, CB and Hellerman Tyton.

What other problems to unorganized wires pose?

Unorganized Wires And Allergies

It is in the best interest of everyone at the office to ensure the environment is as free of allergens as possible. Many sick days are taken each year due to allergy attacks and messy wires around the desk can be a leading cause. It is next to impossible for a nest of unorganized wires and cables to be thoroughly cleaned. As a result, dust particles build up in unreachable nooks and crannies. With the use of wire management accessories such as pop-up outlets, computer racks and cable ties, allergens in the workplace can be greatly reduced.

Will my computer overheat in an enclosed rack?

Protect Your Computers From Overheating

Computer and server racks that are enclosed on all sides are prone to overheating if they aren't allowed to ventilate. Excessive heat can cut the life of computer equipment very short, not to mention pose a fire hazard for the office. Many computer, electronic workbenches, and server racks are installed with vents. However, for equipment that is on for long periods of time, a fan should be installed for maximum safety. There are computer and server racks available with pre-made attachments for fan installation.

What should I look for in a computer cabinet?

Computer racks and cabinets

In many IT offices, space is at a premium. Do you have all of your computers or servers on desks or tables? If so, you don't often have the option to allow room to access the back of a computer where all the slots and cable ports are located. Computer racks with slide-outs are a great way to both save space and allow access to computers for easy servicing and maintenance.

What should I look for in a computer cabinet?

Computer racks and cabinets

Electronics cabinets can be made to keep dust off your equipment and to coordinate with the decor. But when your equipment need to be truly secure, you need to consider security lock boxes. These security cabinets and shelves offer rugged security that will protect the contents of your machines from unauthorized access. These are espcially useful if you are using video monitering equipment that needs to be kept safe from prying hands.

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William Pirraglia