Wall-mounted rack - ideal entry point of 50+ cables

saltwater

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I'm currently in the process of building a house, it's nearing lockup stage. At present, I've laid all the cables, 50+, and they all originate from a storeroom under the stairs. The storeroom is yet to be plastered.

I have an 18RU Wall-mounted rack with a swivel unit, the unit can open up and be swung right so makes for easy access to the rear if need be. I'm now thinking about the best or most ideal way to put the cables into the rack.

1. Enter from the top of the unit, therefore the cables can be seen entering from above. Under this option, the cables would either drop down from a ceiling hole or from a wall hole near the ceiling.

2. Enter the rack unit directly from behind, therefore no cables seen and effectively locked away.

3. Enter the rack from underneath and have the same issues as point #1 above, except the wall hole will be close to floor level.

I'm am tending towards option #2, not having any cables visible. This option also makes it a little harder to maliciously cut cables.

I'm wondering if there is a possible gotcha or something I haven't considered could be an issue. Any suggestions welcome.

Steve.
 

lukyjay

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If someone can access your rack, cutting the cables isnt the only malicious thing they can do. It would be the least of your concerns since cables are cheap (in comparisson to your other equipment).

You should instead lock the room that the rack resides, and if possible lock the rack.

For these reasons I would suggest option 2 with a patch panel so it looks neat and tidy, is easy to lock up and will be easy to maintain in the long term.

Hope this helps.
 

saltwater

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Yes, the rack itself is lockable and the storeroom will have a lock on the door. I know that if somebody is hell-bent on causing damage/theft, then damage/theft will occur but at least not make it easy for them.
 
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I did option one. No rack, just sat my poe switch on a shelf in the top of a closet in one of the bedrooms.
 

DewMan

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I've worked in numerous enterprise sized data centers over the years where the # of wires (electrical, fiber & CAT5/6) number in the thousands. A perfectly wired no slack left cabinet looks awesome until you have to trouble-shoot a bad cable.

One thing I've learned is always plan for having to trouble-shoot or replace a cable, at some point, in your layout.

If your wires come out directly behind your rack you need to have your rack mobile to access the rear of the rack/cabinet and/or the holes the cables are enter through the wall/ceiling. If you need to pull a new cable having easy access to the entry holes will save you a lot of cussing. if it was me I'd choose option 1.

Good luck with you planning. Hopefully it all goes smooth. :thumb:
 

saltwater

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I've worked in numerous enterprise sized data centers over the years where the # of wires (electrical, fiber & CAT5/6) number in the thousands. A perfectly wired no slack left cabinet looks awesome until you have to trouble-shoot a bad cable.

One thing I've learned is always plan for having to trouble-shoot or replace a cable, at some point, in your layout.

If your wires come out directly behind your rack you need to have your rack mobile to access the rear of the rack/cabinet and/or the holes the cables are enter through the wall/ceiling. If you need to pull a new cable having easy access to the entry holes will save you a lot of cussing. if it was me I'd choose option 1.

Good luck with you planning. Hopefully it all goes smooth. :thumb:
Yes, your comments make sense. The wall-mounted unit is one of those swivel types and I will have room to be able to swivel the rack unit 180 degrees. I'll have to manage and make sure I have enough slack, probably a little in the rack itself, to the swivel feature and a little more left behind the wall.

In my storeroom (Comms Room under the stairs) I still have to feed the cables into the storeroom, can't at the moment as the stairs need to be finished first. I know I'm going to have a lot of off-cuts but I erred on the side of caution, rather have too much than not enough. Anyway, I was thinking when feeding the cables through to run it tight and at the point of where the cables come out of the wall socket, place red tape around each cable, thus indicating absolute extent that a cable could be pulled through. Then mark off, say every 500mm or maybe a 1m white label with measurement, thus indicating how much to play with. Then feed the cable back into the wall, probably a little left up in the ceiling.

Question is, how much slack overall? I'm thinking around 2 metres. Years down the track if, for some reason, something has to be done to the cables, I'll know precisely how much to play with. Hopefully, never see the red tape.
 

DewMan

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Yes, your comments make sense. The wall-mounted unit is one of those swivel types and I will have room to be able to swivel the rack unit 180 degrees. I'll have to manage and make sure I have enough slack, probably a little in the rack itself, to the swivel feature and a little more left behind the wall.

In my storeroom (Comms Room under the stairs) I still have to feed the cables into the storeroom, can't at the moment as the stairs need to be finished first. I know I'm going to have a lot of off-cuts but I erred on the side of caution, rather have too much than not enough. Anyway, I was thinking when feeding the cables through to run it tight and at the point of where the cables come out of the wall socket, place red tape around each cable, thus indicating absolute extent that a cable could be pulled through. Then mark off, say every 500mm or maybe a 1m white label with measurement, thus indicating how much to play with. Then feed the cable back into the wall, probably a little left up in the ceiling.

Question is, how much slack overall? I'm thinking around 2 metres. Years down the track if, for some reason, something has to be done to the cables, I'll know precisely how much to play with. Hopefully, never see the red tape.
I suggest you'll want enough slack for every cable to reach from the top to the bottom of your rack while fully rotated that 180° at minimum. That way when you replace your current GB switch with some future new tech switch and it has to be mounted differently in the rack you'll have enough slack to move the existing cables. and then add an extra ft just incase you're really bad at terminating RJ-45s. :lol:

I suggest keeping the slack in the back of the rack if possible. You'll be happy you did if you ever get a angled knot in your wall trying to fish a new wire. Don't ask me how I know.

Of course that's just my suggestion. Other may have ideas better than mine.

Good Luck. I envy you getting to prewire your new place. My house is 60 yrs old and wiring anything is a female dog.

P.S. Racks are like toolboxes....Always get one twice as large as you think you'll ever need because that's probably still not big enough. ;)
 
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