Playing an important role in airflow management (AFM) in a data center, cable management significantly influences the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of a data center. There are two chief factors that determine the relationship between cable management and PUE as discussed below.

1) As cable management deteriorates with the passing of time, an increased flow rate of conditioned air will be needed for the prevention of hot spots. Greater density of equipment inside the computer room can conceal the issues related to poor cable management.

2) In attempting to improve PUE, a data center may raise the temperature settings and decrease the speeds of cooling units. What may not be understood is these adjustments can be increased after cable management is improved.

The following will review several typical problem areas of cable management, along with the best practices required to address them.

Through the Raised Floor

Conditioned air escaping through cable openings turns into bypass air. Bypass air is blown around by cooling unit fans, but there is no contribution to the cooling of IT equipment. Mismanagement of raised floor openings leads to 50% of the conditioned airflow escaping because of improperly placed perforated tiles and poorly sealed cable openings, requiring the need for more fans and negatively impacting both AFM and PUE.


• Every cable opening beneath a rack should be sealed.

• Every opening beneath power equipment, like a power distribution unit (PDU), should be sealed.

• An opening beneath a PDU is typically quite large, allowing up to a one third of a cooling unit’s capacity to escape, so it is crucial to ensure this is addressed.

• Every supply tile that is not located at the front of IT equipment should be replaced with a solid tile. This will result in improving the conditioned air’s flow rate through supply tiles.

Part 2 will discuss Under the Raised Floor Cable Management, In the Rack Cable Management, and Overhead Cable Management.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking cost-effective solutions. Working together, Progressive teams are committed to getting your data cables installed and operating while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.