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Communications Room Data Cabinet


Comms room data cabinet Potential problems

A comms room cabinet, such as the above, is a regular sight we come across in the data cabling world. Quickly patching in that new network port with whatever colour, length or quality of patch cable to hand is certainly quick. However is it a recipe for disaster to your IT network.

The messier a communications cabinet data cabling is the worse it will continue to get. Inevitably as additional data cabling outlets and patch cable changes will only make the situation worse. Especially as technicians will not take the time to install neat cables in an existing messy cabinet

If the ports cannot be traced accurately then your system cannot be managed. Furthermore trouble shooting becomes a real difficulty

How should my Comms Room cabinet look?

  1. Neatly planned data cabinets
  2. Colour coded patch leads
  3. Correct length patch leads
  4. All equipment rack mounted on fixed shelves
  5. Correct power distribution units (PDU) and dedicated plug sockets
  6. All outdated an unused equipment (including patch leads) removed

Planning the ideal data cabinet

Ideally a communication comms room cabling cabinet will be racked in a neatly planned manner. Typically the patch panels separated every 2 panels with a horizontal cable management bar

Firstly the patch leads should be long enough only to reach form the patch panel outlet to the corresponding data switch port. Anything longer is spare cable to mess up the cabinet

Secondly the patch leads should be colour co-ordinated for identifying the different systems. I.e. Yellow for phones, blue for data / PC’s, green for WiFi etc

Furthermore Switches, routers, firewall and all active equipment should all be rack mounted or on a specified fixed shelf within the cabinet

In addition PDU’s (power distribution units) should be firmly fitted to the rear of the cabinet and not dangling or left slack on the floor

Finally old or inactive equipment should be removed and not left in the cabinet

Below we list some potential problems that you can encounter, if your comms room cabinet is looking like this or worse:

Potential problems from this haphazard data cabling and patching systems are;

  1. Somewhere amongst all that mess of cabling is your incoming ISP / broadband line. One snag/tangle which causes the wrong lead to break or pull out, could take down your entire office.
  2. If you have separate networks, there’s a very real DANGER that one stray cable can link 2 networks together allowing full access. (We have seen this in a school before, where the admin and pupil networks became linked and this led to the pupils having full access to all files, folders and un-restricted websites)
  3. The situation can only get WORSE! Anyone adding to this system are only going to add to what’s there, rather than put everything new in nice and neat. It’s only a matter of time before one more is too many!
  4. You’re WASTING MONEY on buying additional expensive hardware when it’s not needed. When the patching is this messy, you can’t see what ports on your switches are actually active and used; therefore when they are all full up you have to buy another expensive switch. If your patching was up to date the unused ports would be visible and these could be maximised.

Additional problems

  • They can become a FIRE hazard! Usually a comms room cabling cabinet like this will go hand in hand with a power system of extension leads and multi block power leads. Extension leads plugged into extension leads in a cabinet are a high fire risk. Better to have full size cabinet PDU’s for all of your equipment.
  • Having a multitude of patch leads running across the front of a cabinet, does NOT allow the heat created by your active equipment to disperse. This can SHORTEN the lifetime of this networking equipment by causing OVERHEATING!
  • It’s costing you DOWNTIME! When a phone, WIFI, PC or any hardware goes down, instead of quickly being able to troubleshoot the situation; additional time is required to trace where ports go and where the source of the problem is.
  • It’s COSTING your people TIME and you MONEY! With a fully organised cabinet, Adds/Moves and Changes are almost instantly SAVING your IT technician or Support Company TIME and you MONEY.

NM Cabling is a technology and structured cabling integrator working throughout the United Kingdom.

We have created a comprehensive Knowledge Centre for our industry which can be viewed at

For a free Cabinet survey and Quotation to Document, organise and re-patch your communications cabinet
Call NM Cabling on 01923 888588 or [email protected]