Data Center

Ladder Racks: The Cable Management Factor

Denis Blouin

In data center design, a lot of attention is given to power and coolingairflowcabling and hardware. But sometimes the little things make the biggest impact. If cables aren't properly supported and safely routed from point A to point B, their performance can be compromised.


Ladder rack runways are effective, widely used cable management systems that support and deliver bundles of cable between cabinets, racks and closets, as well as along walls and suspended from ceilings. The right ladder rack runway system speeds up deployment time, maximizes space, optimizes cable bandwidth and provides for maximum cabling density.


Let’s cover a few key elements of ladder rack runways that ensure successful cable management and a safe pathway from point A to point B for high-bandwidth cable.


Proper Cable Routing

The closest distance between two points is a straight line – but, as we know, obstructions like pipes and ductwork make that impossible. Ladder rack systems that offer accessories such as 90-degree bends, waterfalls and retaining posts allow cable to be routed without damage. By respecting cable bend radius, the number of cables placed in a tray and the weight placed on the cables, damage can be minimized and downtime can be prevented.


When cable bend radius is compromised, near-end or far-end crosstalk error conditions may be introduced into the cable, impacting electrical characteristics. Accessory devices allow the cable to be routed properly, accommodating for bend radius.


When too much weight is placed on cable, structural return loss (SRL) may be negatively affected due to ladder rungs pinching the cable at specific intervals. This impacts the ability of the cable to carry the amount of data it was specified to carry.


Fast Deployment

Ease of installation makes life easier for installers and end-users. When ladder rack runways enable fast installation, it’s easier to stay on schedule and within budget. If cable runway installation takes more time than originally quoted, it creates issues of time and money. The faster the pathway can be deployed, the happier the end-user will be. Ladder rack runway features like flexible swivel design simplify installation by making it easier to route around plumbing and electrical systems.


Color Options

Although black has been the color leader for years, the color white is being used more often in data center cabinets and enclosures because it makes spaces feel bigger and requires less light (hence, less energy) to illuminate the area. Runways that are available in both black and white offer options that match your data center design.



Late last year, Belden added to its end-to-end solutions with its first pathway solution: new ladder rack runways that route cable safely from point A to point B. Belden’s ladder rack runways come with helpful accessories, such as butt and junction splices, corner brackets, retaining posts and waterfalls, to get high-performance cable where it needs to go – all while respecting bend radius, the number of cables in the tray and the amount of weight placed on the cable.


Belden’s time-saving installation features help contractors install ladder rack systems faster and without mistakes. Black and white color options let data center managers decide which will work best in their environment.


For More Information

To learn more about Belden Ladder Rack Runways and other product innovations visit our New Products Page and be sure to sign up for new product notifications!