DataCenter color-coding cabling schema

Jay Hennigan jay at
Sat Mar 19 01:42:14 UTC 2016

On 3/12/16 12:15 PM, Joe Hamelin wrote:
> I know at Clearwire data centers we used gray for network, blue for
> management and orange for RS-232 console.  At least for the initial build.
> Later re-work or additions were whatever the tech had on hand ;)  They also
> had labels on each end of each wire showing the path through the system,
> sometimes up to six lines.  It did make it easy to bring up a data center
> and find cabling errors.  To see the system last more than a year or two up
> upgrades would take some strong rules and oversight.  I think it would be
> worth it if your management system can keep the religion.

That's the issue, keeping it that way. "Gray for network" is likely to 
result in mostly gray cables which won't really help to differentiate 
things in the long run. Breaking it down further can get tricky in terms 
of definition. Each network has a color, but then there's this trunk 

We had a customer who had a scheme involving five different colors. When 
they did the initial build their wiring vendor came in with barrels of 
new cables of various lengths and colors and it looked really nice with 
cable management and all.

After a couple of years it was pretty much random in terms of color 
coding. Keeping multiple lengths on hand for dressing in raceway without 
incurring either tons of slack or bow-string taut wires is tough but 
possible, doing that in half a dozen colors can be daunting.

The electrons on the inside can't see the jacket on the outside and most 
of them are rumored to be color-blind anyway.

Maybe a compromise of a single color for most things and a different one 
for specials.

Jay Hennigan - CCIE #7880 - Network Engineering - jay at
Impulse Internet Service  -
Your local telephone and internet company - 805 884-6323 - WB6RDV

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