DataCenter color-coding cabling schema

Aled Morris aledm at
Mon Mar 14 10:15:48 UTC 2016

On 14 March 2016 at 00:23, William Herrin <bill at> wrote:

> 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?
> For patch cables, it's common to pick a color for each type of
> physical signaling

I used to support this view too, but over the last few years, as everything
has (basically) become Ethernet, I've taken to a different scheme.

For copper patching, I now recommend my clients simply invest in a range of
colored patch cables and use them randomly.

The length of the patch cable is much more important than the color (too
little length will make it difficult to re-route cables if you need to
remove cards etc. and too long will mean tangles and space taken up with
loops of excess cable.)

The benefits of my "rainbow" scheme are:

1. easier to identify both ends of a cable, reducing disconnect errors.
When tracing a cable in a bundle or on a patch bay, it's easy when they're
different colors.

2. no need to police the cable scheme - if you have a strict color regime,
what do you do when someone uses the wrong color?  especially if a
disconnect would be service affecting.  It's really hard to justify
"maintenance downtime" to an account manager on the basis of you not liking
the color of a patch cable.


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