There’s good spaghetti, and then there’s bad spaghetti. Everybody loves a big plate of spaghetti, and everybody hates when network wiring becomes so tangled that it looks like spaghetti. Preventing your network from being confused with spaghetti takes careful planning and maintenance. Here are four cabling best practices that will prevent bad spaghetti.

Label Your Cables
Labeling your cables only adds one extra step to your installation process, but it will save you a major headache in the long run. Don’t assume your memory is powerful enough that you will remember where every wire goes. When it comes time to install a new NAS device, you will have to unplug a bunch of wires, and then plug everything back in again. If you labeled your wires, then you will want to go back in time and give your past self a high-five for making installation easy.

Use Appropriate Cable Length
It can be tempting to use your 25-foot cable to connect two servers that are five feet from each other. You may think that you can roll up the extra length and save time from having to cut and patch the cable, but it’s shortcuts like this that will lead to major spaghetti problems in the future. By taking the time to measure your cables and only using the exact length that you need, not only will it make your server room look organized, but it will also increase overall efficiency.

Plan Network Expansion with Cabling in Mind
The difference between a planned and an unplanned network can be seen by how the cables are laid out. If network expansion is unplanned and new equipment is randomly added, then your wires will crisscross and turn into spaghetti. By carefully planning out your network, you can position existing and future equipment in spots that will use less cable length and have minimal overlap.

Install Larger Conduit Than What You Need
Conduit is one of the best ways to prevent spaghettiing of your network wiring. However, if you install conduit that only covers your current needs, then you will be facing a spaghetti situation in the future when it comes time to add new wires into full conduits. If you find yourself in this situation, then you will have to either buy and install new conduit, which is expensive and time consuming, or take a shortcut and run a cable along the outside of the conduit. This looks bad and leads to tangles.

Two overarching themes with all of these tips are: 1) do not take shortcuts, and 2) careful planning can save you a lot of headache in the future. One service that Think Tank NTG offers to help prevent spaghetti from piling up in your server room is network mapping. We will work closely with your business to understand your needs and come up with a network layout that will handle your company’s growth.

Another service that we offer is the de-sphaghetting of networks. If your network is one meatball away from being confused with real spaghetti, then give Think Tank NTG a call at 800-501-DATA. We can make sense of your mess!

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