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Wireless Networks Thread, Is there a standard for patch panel cabling colour coding? in Technical; Currently I've made a lot of changes to my network with a view to support extra kit. We've also had ...
  1. #1

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Is there a standard for patch panel cabling colour coding?

    Currently I've made a lot of changes to my network with a view to support extra kit. We've also had a new 6th Form Block built which has all sorts of fun things in it. In the main school cabinets I only really need to differentiate between Curriculum, Admin, Uplinks and Servers. However in the 6th form things get more complicated with the addition of Analog Telephones, Staff Wifi and Guest Wifi links. Potentially in the future there will be additional types of link including CCTV and VOIP.

    Is there a standardised published colour coding scheme I can use that will sort this mess out for me, or should I just make one up?

  2. #2

    plexer's Avatar
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    Not that I know of we just use our own.


  3. #3
    tonyd's Avatar
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    Maybe this one - Patch Cable Color Coding Standards

    Patch Cable Color Coding Standards

    Color Use
    White Standard Category 5 Cable
    Yellow Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable
    Orange Multi-Mode Fiber Optic Cable
    Red Cross Over Cable
    Green Security Use Cabling
    Blue Standard Category 6 Cable
    Black Test Cable, Special Application

    Not sure it's really what you need though!

    Although, this sounds better: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hard..._23294074.html

    BiCSi Telecommunications Distributions Methods Manual, 11th Edition.


    The color codes for cross-connect fields are shown in Table 10.5.
    Table 10.5
    Color codes
    The Color& Identifies&
    Orange Demarcation point (e.g., central office connections)

    Green Network connections (e.g., network and auxiliary

    Purple Common equipment (e.g., connections to PBX, main
    frame computer, LAN, multiplexer)

    White First-level backbone (e.g., termination of building
    backbone cable connecting MC [CD] to ICs [BDs])

    Gray Second-level backbone (e.g., termination of building
    backbone cable connecting ICs [BDs] to HCs [FDs])

    Blue Horizontal cable (e.g., horizontal connections to
    telecommunications outlet/connectors)

    Brown Campus backbone (campus cable terminations)
    NOTE: Brown takes precedence over white or gray
    for campus runs.

    Yellow Miscellaneous (e.g., auxiliary, alarms, security)
    Red Reserved for future use (also, key telephone systems)

    BD = Building distributor
    C D = Campus distributor
    FD = Floor distributor
    HC = Horizontal cross-connect
    I C = Intermediate cross-connect
    MC = Main cross-connect

    NOTES: Industry practice varies according to local codes and practices (e.g., industry practice in Canada is to use white or silver for common equipment terminations and purple for first-level backbone terminations).

    Industry practices in some areas reserve red for life-safety alarm systems.
    Accepted methods for color-coding cross-connect fields include the use of colored
    backboards, connections, covers, or labels. These color assignments are for identifying only cross-connect fields. They are considered to be independent of media type and telecommunications services (e.g., voice or data) and do not
    apply to protection apparatus or other elements of the cabling system for which other (proprietary) color schemes may be used.
    Last edited by tonyd; 10th September 2009 at 03:33 PM. Reason: updates!

  4. #4

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    You need a cable colour dictator: Create your scheme, laminate a copy in network cabs, server room and it office. Beat anyone who doesn't conform to it.

    I use:

    Red for uplinks
    Orange for POE
    Green for servers
    Yellow for clients
    Blue or grey for switch<->panel patching.
    Black for storage connections.
    Grey w/green ends = crossover.

  5. #5
    mossj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    ... Beat anyone who doesn't conform to it....
    Is that what the lead pipe is for?

  6. #6
    budgester's Avatar
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    I use

    Red - servers
    Blue - Phones
    Green - Links
    Black - Student Network
    Yellow - Admin Network
    Purple - Door Access
    Pink - Camera System

    But that just my network.

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    We use the following:

    Blue - Data with combined VoIP / Data on non VoIP sites
    Orange - Standard data on VoIP site, eg. printers, pc with no VoIP phone
    Yellow - Other none VoIP phone systems
    Green - Router to firewalls and wireless devices
    Red - Firewall to switch and switch uplinks
    Black - Servers
    Grey - Major incident phone lines

  8. #8

    webman's Avatar
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    We use different colours in different cabs for client <-> switch connections in the cab and grey/white at the workstation end.

    Otherwise - servers are yellow, IP KVM are blue, and SAN connections are purple.

    Like other good advice, I'd recommend making your own scheme and sticking to it.

  9. #9
    gaz350's Avatar
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    colours :O all i see is grey grey and maybe some beige if im lucky

    oh well too late now new building next year.

  10. #10
    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    tbh i would say that if you work in a school the people paying for the patch cables will not care about colour coding. After all it's your job to know what goes where, and why should they pay for anything that makes your life easier??? agreeded all of us here think it's sensible, especially if you have multiple devices using the same cables as most of us do. i would do it cab by cab with a massive warning on the front of each. also it depends on who has access to the cabs. if it's one department, a scheme will be easier to impliment, if you have other departments using your cabs too then it's likely you'll face some resistance. well you would where i work anyway. as someone stated above yellow and orange are fiber colours and they are standardised so avoid them.

    we use mainly green for patch to switch for client,
    red for switch interconnect,
    blue for wireless,
    white for phone,
    purple for cctv in alot of places,
    All of our servers are labled so that you cannot unplug them without noticing a massive TAG with the server name on it.

  11. #11
    ronanian's Avatar
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    We don't use colour coding here, except blue usually means wireless APs. I have been trying to use colours to make my work easier, however. I tie the cables in groups and I don't use the same colour twice in a bundle. That way I don't have to untie the bundle or tug on the cable to identify it when I am trying to follow it from one end to the other.

    It's very colourful.

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