Teledata Technologies

Cabling Standards in Data Centers

The Use of Industry Standards

There are different cabling standards present in the industry. The aim of these standards is to ensure safety and provide the basis for creating an integrated infrastructure. These standards also describe the guidelines that govern the performance of the installed cables. The use of industry standards ensure that current cabling structures remain effective in the future as well, because they allow for future expansions as new cable technologies are implemented. Simply conforming to industry standards ensures that there will be no compatibility problems in the installed equipment at a data center.

These are the important standard organizations that currently govern cabling around the world:


  • The ANSI/TIA/EIA-568 from TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) describes the cabling mechanism for use in the United States.
  • The ISO/IEC IS 11801 is also known as the Generic Customer Premises Cabling standard and used internationally for different cabling needs.
  • The TIA-942 standard from TIA describes the industry guidelines for designing and implementing data centers.

Note: An important point to keep in mind is that all cabling standards are reviewed and modified every five to ten years. This allows them to keep pace with the modern technology and also ensure that future advancements can be supported in the current designs. The knowledge of these three standards therefore is essential in terms of being able to design, implement and test cabling in modern data centers.

Implementing Color Coding

Cable color coding is essential, as it offers a visual guide for identification. The use of simple color codes allows the management of otherwise complex cabling projects. It makes it easier to trace the cables in case of a problem. The coding can be used on the ports as well as patch panels. The use of colored jacks ensures that an easy visual code can be employed. You can get cables in different colors and then create a scheme of these colors, either to identify a particular function or describe its type.

cabling labeling.png

A common color scheme which is ideal for patch cables is described below:


Cable Type



OM3 Fiber

Device to device in LAN/SAN


OM1/OM2 Fiber

Device to device in LAN/SAN


Single Mode Fiber

Device to device over long distance in LAN/SAN



Device to device in LAN



Host/Switch to switch (KVM), KVM to LAN switch



Power strip to LAN switches



Host to terminal (Serial), Terminal to LAN switch

Figure 6: A Sample Color Coding Scheme for Cabling

This cable coloring scheme can easily be expanded by using color bands attached to the end of the cables as well as employ colored sleeves. The additional bands and colored ports allow for more details to be implemented in a visual aid model. One issue with color coding is that you should also implement a redundant setup to allow people with vision deficiency to also understand the cabling infrastructure.


Many conmpanies will advertise that they adhere to cabling standards but ofter leave a job with proper labling, cable color coding, You can read here what can go wrong when cabling to data centers goes wrong.  


Check out our two previous posts 

Planning Cable for a Data Center Part 1

Planning Cable for a Data Center Part 2




data center, Structured cabling, network infrastructure, cabling las vegas, fiber cable, optical fiber technology


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