Whether it’s a private home, office floor, public building, or a data center, when it comes to structured cabling, labeling network cables is essential.
This is more true for businesses and data centers than private homes, simply because there is more cabling and often complex. Regardless of a new installation, upgrade, or change of location, wherever you place network cables, you must be careful to label them correctly.
But why exactly is it so important? Let’s find out.
The Importance of Labeling Network Cables
Imagine you start a new business. You have an office floor filled with employees, all using computers to meet your business demands and generate revenue for you. You’ve installed new hardware, racks, enclosures, switches, and servers to get your network up and running.
You’ve run cables all through your office to patch panels and connect everything. You’ve planned your structured cabling, but something is wrong. You haven’t labeled your network cables.
Without proper labeling, running and connecting cables can become a nightmare. Successful network cable installation requires labeling; otherwise, you will never understand which cable goes where.
Without labeling network cables, you’ll have to trace every cable to its destination manually and hope you don’t make any mistakes along the way. Because if you do, you’ll have an impossible time tracing back where you messed up your connections.
This is the importance of labeling network cables, but it doesn’t end here. Your network will benefit from labeling cables in the future too.
When you label cables, it helps prevent someone from unplugging the wrong cable at the wrong time, which results in unnecessary downtime and your business losing money. The alternative is much better because it won’t take you long to figure out which cable was incorrectly unplugged.
This way, no one will unplug the wrong cables, resulting in zero downtime. Think of the savings on downtime and business revenue you get from this small practice.
The best part is that you may not need to label network cables yourself. You can buy cables that are already labeled to your specifications or hire professional structured cabling providers, like Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, who do this for you professionally.
Labeled cables or labeling network cables is important for other reasons, like network maintenance, upgrades, and expansion.
· Network Maintenance
All networks, small or large, require maintenance from time to time. Often, something might go wrong, and you need technicians to solve the problem. With labeled network cables, your technicians would know exactly where each cable needs to run just by reading the label.
This will save hours of their valuable time from sorting and labeling and prevent wrong cables from being pulled out the wrong end. Once again, this saves you downtime from maintenance work and unnecessary mistakes by technicians.
· Upgrading or Expanding
Labeling network cables will also prove beneficial years after you label and install them. If you hire a new technician to install, expand, or upgrade your network and its cables, labeling will help the new person easily pick up where others before them left off.
This means their job becomes simpler and does not result in a complex mess of unidentified network cables and connections.
To help you with the network cable labeling process, we have some best practices for you.
The first thing you want to do is choose the right labels
· Correct Labels
Labeling network cables requires you to choose the right type of labels. There are plenty of options out there, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. When picking a label for network cabling, you must make sure they are:
Durable – Your labels must stand the test of time and be able to remain in place throughout your cable’s life. They must be legible for proper usage as well. Typically plastic, vinyl, or other such durable materials is always a good option.
Lasting Print – You need to print text on labels that won’t come off easily, which is why your best option is to use an industrial label printer. This will ensure that your network cables are labeled with print that is permanent and won’t smear or fade over time.
Placement – Placement is important because if you can’t find the label, it’s as good as not having one. When labeling network cables, make sure you apply them to each end of the cable so that they can be easily identified for connecting and disconnecting. You must do this for new cables for new devices as well.
· Accurate and Consistent Labeling
In addition to using correct labels, you must also follow best practices and standards when it comes to filling the labels with information. Here are some key best practices and standards that will help you accurately label your network cables:
Consistency – You must label all your network cables in a consistent labeling format that does not change and accounts for all cables in your network. This makes it easier to trace any cable anywhere.
Essential Information – All your labels should include essential information about the cable they are placed on. This consists of the building in which the cable is located, room number, cabinet, rack, enclosure, and port details. You can print all of this directly on the labels, but if there isn’t enough space, you can use number codes or bar codes for referencing from a digital ledger.
Color Coding – Color-coded labels are incredibly popular and work similarly to color-coded cables. You can choose colored labels to identify the type of network cable, which area it belongs to, or some other key piece of information.
Match Structured Cabling Plans – Your labels should match the information on the plans saved for your structured cabling or facility. This makes it easy to identify and find cables whenever you need to work on the middle of cables instead of the ends.
Labeling network cables may take some planning and some time at the start, but its importance and benefits are well worth it. It ensures that your network system is easy to use, maintain, repair, upgrade, and expand for years to come.
It is a simple structured cabling practice that will save you tons of money on unnecessary downtime over the years.
If you are unsure about labeling network cables or would rather have professionals handle it for your business, we highly recommend Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, as they are the best structured cabling providers in Florida.
If you want to learn more about the importance of labeling network cables, how to do it properly, or if you want the best professionals in Florida to do it for your business, Contact Us Today.