If you look at the previous posts, you can see the old – in some cases, really old – network cables that I was using in the rack. Some of these were even older than my son! They were a mix of various lengths, colours, and ratings. Some were CAT5, some were CAT5A and a couple were even STP (Sheilded Twisted Pair) CAT5. Those STP cables are really stiff. I have no idea where I accumulated them over time.
I was looking to replace them not only because of their age and ratings but also because many of them were too short. It may seem strange that to make your wiring neat that being too short would be a problem. The issue is that you cannot route and arrange short lengths neatly or efficiently. As well, given that both servers are now using the appropriate sliding rails, you may not have enough length to pull a server out.
After looking around, I found some SlimRun CAT6A cables from Monoprice. These cables are really thin! Four of the SlimRun cables take up only slightly more space than the old CAT5 cables as you can see with the two types of cables next to each other.
These are great cables because they also have hoods so the clips don’t snag when pulling them through the rest of the cables. The hood also allow you to easily push the clip down when removing a cable.
Now, this is much better. It is easy to route the cables through the loom and you can now see the switch’s indicator lights.
I bought three colours (3 sets of 5): red for the ESX server (that’s the DL360 G7 under the switch); yellow for the FreeNAS server (the Supermicro server under the DL360) and purple for everything else. (Why purple? I donno…)
All that is left is to replace the two keystone wall plate with a six keystone version to make get rid of the wires still hanging down from the ceiling.