How DCIM Helps You Manage Your Infrastructure Cabling

‘Spaghetti’: it’s a funny word for a not-so-fun problem facing many data center teams today. If your cabling is in a state of chaos aka spaghetti, you may need to consider DCIM to get your cabling under control.


Data center cabling
messes, or spaghetti, can truly wreak havoc on your operations: you end up dealing with incomplete equipment installs, prolonged troubleshooting, and problems maintaining your equipment. Just as concerning? Messy cabling can impact your safety profile resulting from reduced airflow to the racks and accumulating dust.

Bad cable management practices don’t start out with bad intentions, rather, data center administrators often work with what they have as the data center and IT infrastructure continues to evolve and grow bigger and more difficult to manage. As a result, managers and teams end up treading water and bad practices result from this.

Though data center cabling messes can be ignored for periods of time, they can create significant issues when not addressed. For example, adapting your data center to modern practices can be problematic when you don’t know what cabling you have and where it all connects. When it comes to the important work of capacity planning, you’re fighting an uphill battle to keep IT equipment right-sized and plan for the correct amount in the future when what you currently have is spaghetti and hard to plan around.

Not that much time ago, the importance of prioritizing managing IT assets started to become understood by organizations and managers; today we are seeing more and more admins and managers who realize they need to get their cabling under control with a solution such as DCIM.

Bottomline? Cabling in today’s IT infrastructures is complex.

DCIM can help data center teams ensure best practices are established and can be easily adhered to throughout the lifespan of your cabling — from implementation to maintenance and finally to decommissioning of cabling.

netTerrain DCIM has functionalities that help data centers and IT infrastructures get their cabling under control in the following ways:

Use DCIM to Build Out New Networks
How you plan a new network’s cabling is based on a number of factors such as how your IT equipment will be configured. DCIM allows you to build the network ahead of time, and get a virtual understanding of how the configurations will need to be set up. Using floorplans, you can see exactly how the space will be used, which assets you will use, and how they will all be connected. With these insights, you can then identify exactly what cables (and lengths) you will need to ensure you don’t overspend or end up with zombie cables that eat up space but perform no functions.

dcim-software-example-1Example: Data Center Floorplan in netTerrain DCIM

Use DCIM to Maintain Accurate Cabling Documentation
Accurate documentation about everything living inside of the ecosystem otherwise known as your IT infrastructure is crucial to successful daily management of it. Documenting cabling by hand, using whatever existing documentation you happen to have, can be difficult — especially as your data center is constantly changing and what you document one day may not be relevant the next day.

Automated documentation software can help you take on this Herculean task and ensure your documentation stays up-to-date: visualize down to the port level, document your current cabling installs, and get actionable insights that reduce troubleshooting time, headaches, safety issues, and wasted money.

Use DCIM to Understand Your Connectivity
Beyond giving you an understanding of your connectivity, DCIM can give you thorough insights on your connectivity’s capacity. With DCIM, for example, you can understand which cabinets have free ports for placing new equipment (rather than buy equipment you don’t actually need), understand when you may run out of ports based on past use and current capacity. You can also make sure that you don’t have cabling occupying ports but not performing any functions.

Connectivity Dashboard in netTerrain DCIM

Use DCIM to Manage Your Entire Plant’s Cabling Inside & Outside
With netTerrain DCIM, you have the option of adding on the outside plant software module. With outside plant, you can manage your outside plant’s cabling and fiber with ease. Instead of sending a limited team out into the field, you have the information you need to solve issues, plan, and so on — at your fingertips.

If cabling spaghetti is leading to incomplete installs, troubleshooting that goes on and on, and problems updating/maintaining your equipment, it may be time for your organization to consider a DCIM solution, such as netTerrain DCIM, which includes robust cabling management functions.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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