Cable Colors

Owen DeLong owen at
Tue Jun 17 06:01:10 UTC 2008

I work around the mess issue by stocking in 1/2 foot increments.  Sure  
you sometimes
get a little extra at the ends, but, with a maximum of 6" extra to  
deal with, it's usually
not much of a mess and can mostly be absorbed within the width of the  
vertical and
height of the horizontal cable managers at each end.

Yes, it's a wee bit more expensive.

In long term deployments, custom-cut to length on site might make  
sense, but, I work
in dynamic and changing environments where a given cable's life-span  
unpredictably between a few days and several years.  In that  
environment, cut-to-
length requires more staff and cost than my budget allows.

Velcro cable wraps are your friend and the pre-printed serial/length  
labels at each
end help a lot in the long run, too.


On Jun 16, 2008, at 5:15 PM, Martin Hannigan wrote:

> This seems like a good demarcation for the colors, but two things.  
> Its a bit more expensive, and, it typically makes for a pretty mess.  
> You're talking pre determined cable lengths for the most part. I  
> tend to avoid patch cables like the plague and invest in long term  
> deployments cut to length.
> Intelligently strapping in mostly permanent wiring should be worth  
> the investment and reduce outages in the long run. The colors don't  
> hurt.
> Best,
> Marty
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Owen DeLong <owen at>
> To: Glenn Sieb <ges at>
> Cc: nanog at <nanog at>
> Sent: Mon Jun 16 22:56:45 2008
> Subject: Re: Cable Colors
> I don't know of any hard standard in use anywhere.  I've generally  
> taken
> to the following:
> Green == low-bandwidth straigh-through
> 	Telephone, T1, Serial, etc.
> Purple == Roll Cables (almost always serial, sometimes telecom)
> 	(8-1 7-2 6-3 5-4 4-5 3-6 2-7 1-8)
> Orange(C) == EIA-568b cross-over cable (ethernet xover)
> Orange(F) == Multimode Fiber
> Yellow(F) == Singlemode Fiber
> White == Clear (inside VPN concentrator network)
> Black == Crypt (Outside VPN concentrator network)
> Blue == Publicly accessible networks
> Red == Backend (usually OOB management) networks
> Pink == KVM (KVM switch <-> Dongle)
> Occasionally I encounter needs for greater specificity, but, these
> usually do most of what I need.
> I'm sure others use entirely different choices.
> Owen

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