Cisco 6509/6513 cable management...

Dylan Ebner dylan.ebner at
Tue Sep 21 16:01:34 UTC 2010

Justin really hit in on the head with points 4 and 5. You can have the the most organized cabling in the work and lack of labeling and documentation can kill you in a second. A long time ago I was introduced to the rule of 8s. 80% of network outages are caused by cable failure, 80% of the time to repair is finding the cable, and for a mid to large organization, it costs 80K per hour of downtime. 

We took this to heart and borrowed an idea from Sun. Every cable in our DC has two labels per end. One label for the near end and one for the far. This way you always know where you came from and where you are going. It takes a lot of time to setup, but it is worth every penny,


Dylan Ebner, Network Engineer
Consulting Radiologists, Ltd.

-----Original Message-----
From: Justin M. Streiner [mailto:streiner at] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 8:39 AM
To: nanog at
Subject: Re: Cisco 6509/6513 cable management...

On Tue, 21 Sep 2010, Positively Optimistic wrote:

> Do any of our fellow nanog members have experience with cable management on
> 6509/6513 cisco switches?   We're upgrading infrastructure in some of our
> facilities,..  and until it came to cable management, the switches seemed to
> be a great idea...   8 48port blades..  pose a challenge.. or a problem..

The biggest things with 6500s, or any high-density configuration for that 
matter, are:
1. Using racks/cabinets that have ample space for your vertical and 
horizontal cabling.  If you don't have this, things can get ugly in a 
hurry.  Make sure the kit you choose has plenty of wire management 
channel space left over even after the racks are fully populated.  Having
to tear overstuffed wire management channels apart to back-pull a bad cable
or jumper at 3 AM is no fun.
2. Emphasizing the importance of following established cabling standards 
to the people who will be touching this equipment.  Having visual aids, 
i.e. "Here are some pictures of the quality of work we expect", usually go 
a lot farther to drive this point home than handing someone a 20-page 
cabling standards document with no pictures.
3. Dont forget about your inter-rack/overhead wiring channels/trays.  I've 
seen a few places that had things neatly dressed in the racks, but the 
overhead channels were a complete mess... assumingly because they were 
hidden from view :).  If your overhead distribution has separate 
channels/lanes for power/copper/fiber, even better.
4. Labeling and documentation.
5. See 4.


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