Cable Guide Selection Is Critical to Data Center Future-Proofing

Here’s a statistic to ponder: in 2017, tech leader Dell noted that, 
20-plus years into the internet age, 90% of the world’s data and digital
 footprint had been created in just the previous two years. The reason 
behind that stunning growth – which has only accelerated – is the 
enormous demand for remote computing. Today, internet-connected 
manufacturing lines, streetlights, thermostats and refrigerators all are
 pumping data to third-party servers in increasing numbers, boosting 
requirements for flexibility and scalability in data center design. Legrand

Chuck Ross

Here’s a statistic to ponder: in 2017, tech leader Dell noted that, 20-plus years into the internet age, 90% of the world’s data and digital footprint had been created in just the previous two years. The reason behind that stunning growth – which has only accelerated – is the enormous demand for remote computing. Today, internet-connected manufacturing lines, streetlights, thermostats and refrigerators all are pumping data to third-party servers in increasing numbers, boosting requirements for flexibility and scalability in data center design.

Remote – or “cloud” – computing has become a huge profit generator for Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others. In 2019, alone, Google is expected to spend $13 billion in new data center construction. With that level of investment, developers now require their facilities be designed to adjust and grow, as demand and equipment technology shift over time. And designing flexibility into cable-management plans plays a central role in such future-proofing efforts.

Data center designers use raceway and cable tray as the major thoroughfares for data-carrying cable and fiber within a facility. Unlike closed conduit, raceway and cable tray allow easy access to cabling, making future moves and changes easier to accomplish. Of course, every highway needs entrance and exit ramps, and that’s where cable guides come in. Designers and contractors specifying these guides need to consider a range of performance issues in their selection process, including:

  • Protection. Guides need to protect fiber and cable from being knocked or jostled as nearby equipment is repositioned or adjusted. And any transitions should avoid sharp edges or drops to minimize cable wear and tear.
  • Adaptability. Guides could be repositioned, themselves, multiple times over a data center’s lifetime. They should be designed for attachment to the full array of cable pathways a facility might include.
  • Accessory availability. Having adapters, covers and other accessories to choose from for future moves and changes can ensure the usefulness of cable and fiber guides over the long run.


Photo courtesy of Legrand

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