DataCenter color-coding cabling schema

William Herrin bill at
Mon Mar 14 00:23:46 UTC 2016

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 2:11 PM, Yardiel Fuentes <yardiel at> wrote:
> Have any of you had the option or; conversely, do you know of “best
> practices" or “common standards”,  to color code physical cabling for your
> connections in DataCenters for Base-T and FX connections? If so, Could you
> share  any ttype of color-coding schema you are aware of ?…. Yes, this is
> actually considering paying for customized color-coded cabling in a Data
> Center...
> Mr. Google did not really provide me with relevant answers on the above…
> beyond the typical (Orange is for MMF, yellow for SMF, etc)…
> Any reasons for or against it welcome too...

Hi Yardiel,

Patch cables or fixed cabling to patch panels?

For fixed cabling, it's common to pick colors which match the cable
type. Orange for multimode fiber, yellow for single mode fiber, blue
for four-pair cat5e, something else for cat6, etc. At each end, label
the location of the opposite endpoint twice, once on the panel and
once on the cable itself (cables can pull loose from panels).

With fixed cabling terminating in patch panels they'll tend to get
reused over time for different types of signalling so don't overthink

For patch cables, it's common to pick a color for each type of
physical signaling so you don't jam the wrong kind of signal in to a
port that doesn't match. Your gig-e switch may not like the voltage
from that ringing pots line. Blue for ethernet, white for POTs, green
for T1s, some other color for the rs232 serial cables, IP/KVM cables,

I find the easiest way to label patch cables is with color electrical
tape. Put the same bands of unique colors at both ends of the cable.
This will let you visually identify the cables without pulling on them
to try and line up tiny text on the tags with your eyeballs.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
Owner, Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <>

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