About the Author

Eric Leichter

Eric Leichter is director for business development for CommScope Mobility Solutions, focused on fiber and power solutions for remote radio deployments. He has over 15 years of experience with telecommunications and optical fiber solutions, including roles supporting application and field engineering, product management, standards and training. While supporting a mix of wireless, data center, campus, and outside plant applications, Eric has experience with a multitude of vendor and generic solutions sets. He is a multiple patent holder, has provided several dozen published articles and conference presentations, and is a LEED Green Associate. Eric has an engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and an MBA from Gardner-Webb University.

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3 comments for "Where to place your data center cabling? Overhead or Underfloor – Is one better than the other?"

Just happen to stumble across your blog on data center cabling infrastructure and was very impressed. Excellence analysis on the two different methods.

Peter Hudson

I feel that with a well designed floor void you can keep power and data well seperated, power from and data behind. With most cabinets leaning towards 1200mm depth due to server length. I also feel very strongly that it is more difficult to add cables over head than it is to install under floor. If you are on a ladder and you start to fall wouldn`t you grab the over head cable tray ? I`m not getting at you here, I personally thing you are promoting overhead cabling in way by not stating all the facts for under floor. You haven`t mentioned slack, and slack racks in most cases are just another place to hide a knot. The bigger issue we face is the bending radius of CAT6A and the server suppliers insisting on cable arm`s behind the server. Do you have a solution to that for us ? Thank You and you response will be appreciated as we are having a heated debate regarding what cable routes to go fo.


In the real world for most large corporates, positioning pathways will be dependent on the corporate standards for the infrastructure. Some choose overhead and some below, however this needs to be tempered with the Data Centre space into which the facility is to reside. In many instances, the DC space is not purpose designed and therefore ther will be limitations of vertical space (either above or below). Some other aspects to consider is that some co-location DCs do not like to have the floor tilesa lifted for any length of time, apart from OH&S issues, there is the issue of retaining the cool air flow to the locations where it is needed and where the Co-Lo provider has service level agreements to meet. Pathways above cause less disruption to the air flow of course but moreover, do not require either "cold-lock" or "cold boots" to limit undirected airflow through cable access panels from the floor to the cabinets.. On the negative for pathways above, one needs to consider the ventilation above where there are ventilation chimneys to exhaust hot air as part of the return air path. Food for thought?

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