The Best Pratices to Identify Cables in Rack

Good cable identification is very important for data center infrastructure. It helps users install and route cables in an easier and more accurate way, as well as reducing time required to identify and trace a cable in troubleshooting or MAC (move, add, change). This post presents the best two basic good practices to identify cables.

Use Color Coding for Quick Visual Identification

Use of color coding is an ideal solution to simplify management of equipment inside the rack, as it can provide quick visual identification. Users can easily and rapidly trace cables according to the specific color coding. Furthermore, to apply color coding to ports on a patch panel, such as different colored jacks or inserts that surround jacks, can also help users simply the management. It is the best practice to apply color codes to identify the role or function of a cable or a type of connection. Besides, use of different color cables for similar equipment is also a good practice to simplify management.


An example color scheme for fiber optic cable are shown below:

Color Type Application
Aqua OM3 Fiber LAN/SAN device to device
Yellow SMF LAN/SAN device to device over long distance
Orange OM1 or OM2 Fiber LAN/SAN device to device
Blue Copper LAN device to device
Green Copper KVM host to KVM switch, KVM switch to LAN switch, KVM switch to KVM switch
Yellow Copper Serial host to Terminal Server, Terminal Server to LAN switch
White Copper Power strip to LAN switch

Note: the color scheme depends on the cable manufacturer and your color coding plan. If you use colors to identify cable functions or connections, be sure to build in redundancy to accommodate individuals with color blindness or color vision deficiency.

Label the Cables and Panels

Labeling system can clearly identify all components of the structured cabling system including racks, cables, panels and outlets. The ANSI/TIA 606-B labeling standard has been approved since April 2012 and provides clear specifications for infrastructure labeling and identification for cables, racks, electrical and custom panels, patch panel, and punch blocks. It is always a good practice to label both ends of a conduit, cable or wire with identical tags.



Use of the color coding or labels is the best practice to identify cables in a rack. They are extremely important for keeping your power, voice and data cables organized and running effectively, by helping you quickly identify the cable when issues occur or network upgrade is required.

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