Network cable color mapping

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Rich Jordan
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Network cable color mapping

Postby Rich Jordan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:43 pm

Shot in the dark that someone here has had to do this.

We 'had' a standard that died:

Red: Firewall WAN connections (to modem/uplink/etc
Orange: Firewall DMZ connections (to switch with DMZ servers and devices
Standard Blue: Firewall LAN connections (to internal switches/devices)
Grey: Switch to patch for normal data connections (workstations, clients, printers)
Black: Switch to patch for VOIP data connections (or multi-VLAN, if VOIP VLAN was included cable was black)
Green: Inter-switch, inter-Rack

Pink: for prospective iSCSI or other restricted storage connections
Yellow: KVM (over Cat5)
iLO, iDRAC, and other 'sideline' management ports on servers got pale blue

Edited to add: another color (purple) for cables used to tie a high-availability firewall pair together using ports with dedicated configs.

On the device end, in-rack servers got white, and out on the floor, the clients used the same color as the patch (grey for desktops/printers, black for wired VOIP phones).

==

We're now supposed to decide on a standard to use both here and across customer sites that we are responsible for at the infrastructure level, and the examples I'm finding online are 'different' to put it mildly. All the cables connecting to the firewall are the same color (? found multiple like this...), VOIP and normal client lumped together as one color but PRINTERS get a different color; some use different color for patches connected to PoE capable switch ports instead of based on the type of client or VLANs or...

Some think our original was overcomplicated (may be it was) but I look at the 'standards' I find online and figure whats the point with so many uses overlapping ont he same color.

Anyone have an idea on best practices in this arena? We're not going to be doing very large environments; at most 3-4 racks with comm equipment/switches/servers/UPS. And we have to put in a cable order for our first recabling job pretty soon.

Thanks
Rich

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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby PawPaw » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:26 pm

No replies today. I guess you're free to make the standard and publish it.
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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby rightisright » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:15 am

I have trouble keeping electricians to use the same 4 wire colors...

Ok... not really problems with the electricians, but their helpers :)

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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby mekender » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:54 am

I don't know that there is a standard...

I don't really see much wrong with what you have posted so long as you can maintain it in the future. One note is that orange is typically used to denote fireproof/plenum so that might be one you change.
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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby Greg » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:09 am

There isn't a standard. But every place I've seen has their own conventions for what color gets used for what.

What's really fucked up is when a place *changes* conventions. And then only applies the new one going forwards. And then changes again... (Repeat 3 or 4 times.)
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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby Greg » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:10 am

Rich Jordan wrote:Shot in the dark that someone here has had to do this.

We 'had' a standard that died:

Red: Firewall WAN connections (to modem/uplink/etc
Orange: Firewall DMZ connections (to switch with DMZ servers and devices
Standard Blue: Firewall LAN connections (to internal switches/devices)
Grey: Switch to patch for normal data connections (workstations, clients, printers)
Black: Switch to patch for VOIP data connections (or multi-VLAN, if VOIP VLAN was included cable was black)
Green: Inter-switch, inter-Rack

Pink: for prospective iSCSI or other restricted storage connections
Yellow: KVM (over Cat5)
iLO, iDRAC, and other 'sideline' management ports on servers got pale blue

Edited to add: another color (purple) for cables used to tie a high-availability firewall pair together using ports with dedicated configs.

On the device end, in-rack servers got white, and out on the floor, the clients used the same color as the patch (grey for desktops/printers, black for wired VOIP phones).

==

We're now supposed to decide on a standard to use both here and across customer sites that we are responsible for at the infrastructure level, and the examples I'm finding online are 'different' to put it mildly. All the cables connecting to the firewall are the same color (? found multiple like this...), VOIP and normal client lumped together as one color but PRINTERS get a different color; some use different color for patches connected to PoE capable switch ports instead of based on the type of client or VLANs or...

Some think our original was overcomplicated (may be it was) but I look at the 'standards' I find online and figure whats the point with so many uses overlapping ont he same color.

Anyone have an idea on best practices in this arena? We're not going to be doing very large environments; at most 3-4 racks with comm equipment/switches/servers/UPS. And we have to put in a cable order for our first recabling job pretty soon.

Thanks
Rich


You're not using enough fiber. :p
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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby Cobar » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:11 pm

Bah! Colors are for people that can see them. :x :lol:

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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby Cybrludite » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:01 am

Where I work it's yellow from the switch/router to the wall, gray inside the wall, and blue from the wall to the computer/printer/phone/network enabled medical device/etc. Pretty much if a user can see it, it's blue, if only we're supposed to see it, it's yellow, if no one but the roaches in the wall see it, it's gray.
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Rich Jordan
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Re: Network cable color mapping

Postby Rich Jordan » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:25 am

Cybrludite wrote:Where I work it's yellow from the switch/router to the wall, gray inside the wall, and blue from the wall to the computer/printer/phone/network enabled medical device/etc. Pretty much if a user can see it, it's blue, if only we're supposed to see it, it's yellow, if no one but the roaches in the wall see it, it's gray.


Thank; I know that won't work for us because we have a definite requirement to have the management network cables (in the rack), the WAN-side cables, and the DMZ cables being different color than the 'rest' of the cables. There is a WAN switch and a DMZ switch in place and they have similarly color coded and clearly marked labels on them to keep people from plugging the wrong things into them.

A couple of customer sites that have separate data and phone networks (all wired cat5 or 5e) also have color coded sockets on the patch panels and wallplates from when they used separate switches (because they couldn't do VLAN or QoS). Likely as the switching gets updated that color coding will be abandoned.


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