Cable management, one end of a cable is terminated in the data cabinet. The other end of a cable ends at the desk. The cable management needs at either end are different.
Buildings and office furniture are often designed with cable management in mind; for instance, desks sometimes have holes to pass cables, and dropped ceilings and raised floors provide easy access. Some cables have requirements for minimum bend radius or proximity to other cables, particularly power cables, to avoid crosstalk or interference. Power cables often need to be grouped separately and suitably apart from data cables, and only cross at right angles which minimizes electromagnetic interference.
The organized routing of cables inside the computer case allows for optimal airflow and cooling. Good cable management also makes working inside a computer much easier by providing safer hardware installation, repair, or removal. Some PC mod enthusiasts showcase the internal components of their systems with a window mod, which displays the aesthetics of internal cabling as well as the skills and wealth of the modder.
Color-coding of cables is sometimes used to keep track of which is which. For instance, the wires coming out of ATX power supplies are color-coded by voltage.
Documenting and labeling cable runs, tying related cables together by cable ties, cable lacing, rubber bands or other means, running them through cable guides, and clipping or stapling them to walls are other common methods of keeping them organized. Above drop ceilings, hooks or trays are used to organize cables and protect them from electrical interference
Cable management is particularly important in powered equipment which must move large distances while tethered to a power source and control cabling. There are several common methods of cable management.
With a suspended sliding coil, the cables are coiled like a spring, with each loop of the coil attached to a sliding shoe on a track. As the cabling is played out, the shoes slide individually along the track and the coils expand. When sliding the other direction, the coils fold back together into a compact spiral.
Folded linear cable uses either a flexible backbone shell, or a flat cable folded into an arc along its long axis. This style of cabling is very common in computer printers to connect the printhead to the circuitry, but is also used in very large linear moving gantries. The cables are flexed only in a small region in a tight radius and so need to be very flexible.