General design question

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Aug 17th, 2012
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Hi Guru's


I was wondering what everyone considers to be best practice for network cab cable colour coding?


Our network is very fluid and gets patched and repatched as the offices get moved around, this can happen 4 or 5 times a year, I currently use different coloured cables for users, phones, printers etc.

This is proving a be a bit of a pain to maintain, do you guys recommend sticking with this approach or just use a single colour for everything?


Many thanks,

Zeb.

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Leo Laohoo Fri, 08/17/2012 - 18:58
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We use a variety of colors for our network.


Users (PC and phones) use blue.  Purple for dedicated printers.  WAPs and uplink switches use RED.


Servers use a different set of colors:  white for servers NIC ports and iLO/DRAK use yellow


The cable has to be a minimum of Cat 6/6A and snagless.  If we catch any "hand-made" ones we take our pliers out and cut the cable in half.

Edwin Summers Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:18
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It can be a pain at times, but isn't all work a pain? 


My philosophy: It depends on the value.  Is the color coding providing (or do you anticipate it will ever provide) value for your effort?  Perhaps you don't see the benefit on a day-to-day perspective, but if it has ever "saved your bacon" from a major incident once, perhaps it is prudent to continue.  Maybe it makes MACs easier...techs on either side can cross-check before moving patches ("I'm moving the four workstations...move the four blue cables from these ports" "Those aren't blue...they appear to be phones." "Oops, wrong port numbers...")


If it is providing no value at all other than something pretty to look at while you're staring at patch panels, then perhaps its time to re-evaluate the need for color coding and put the effort elsewhere.  I've had to do that before...what seemed like a great idea at the outset turned into work with no useful results.  If you have the power to change that, it's probably best to do it sooner than later as time allows.  Sometimes those above you that don't have the knowledge or work with it on a daily basis resist changes even though there is no benefit to continuing the original action.  I fight that battle frequently.  (Another point: If it's simply work with no benefit, and there are others touching these patch panels, then likely someone may have already thrown up their hands and patched willy-nilly.  At that point, the color code becomes near useless.)


Leo - I really like your hands-on, positive method of standards enforcement!  I wish I could enact such measures some days to keep things "clean".

Zebedee007 Tue, 08/21/2012 - 05:42
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Many thanks for your input guys, it is a difficult dicision to make sticking with or going away from, as both methods have their values.


I appreciate your valued input.


Zeb.

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