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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

allow us to tighten our cables bundles easily so those bundles

Yesterday we did a cable pull. As an instrumentation worker this is probably as bad and as dirty as it gets. Most cables we pull are 18 gauge single pair. That means there is one black wire, one white wire, and a shield or ground cable. This is enclosed in a grey armored jacket. I’ve been involved in lots of those cables being pulled – not because I’m an apprentice but because it’s part of the job. The XFP to SFP+ cables we had to pull today were 2 – 18 gauge 24 pair cables. So inside the Grey cable there are 24 white wires, 24 black wires, 24 shield cables, and a ground for the entire cable as well.On this month’s Cable Talk, we discuss which cable components are critical and what the effects are of temperature fluctuations on sub-standard cables. We demonstrate how cable design, insulation and cable jacket materials collectively determine how effective a cable is in a  fast changing environment.As you might have observed in the “Cabling a Data Center Rack” video, SoftLayer uses nylon zip ties when we bundle and secure the network cables on our data center server racks. The decision to Negotiable use zip ties rather than hook & loop ties was made during SoftLayer’s infancy. Our team had a vision for an automated data center that wouldn’t require much server/cable movement after a rack is installed, and zip ties were much stronger and more “permanent” than hook & loop ties. Zip ties allow us to tighten our cable bundles easily so those bundles are more structurally solid (and prettier). In short, zip ties were better for SoftLayer data centers than hook & loop ties.

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