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Cable Managment: Need your help!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Alright,

I currently am working at a school district. When I entered the school the first thing I noticed is that the cable managment is just the worst. I have a whole list of troubles that the kids cause me and could really use help in combating them. Plus, the wires are extremely messy as you will see in the pictures below. Here is how the setups work.

We have multiple computer (About 7 computers per row) stations. They all have these cables:

1. Power cable (x2)
2. Display Cable
3. Network cable
4. Mouse
5. Keyboard

Also, per 7 computers we have a switch, that needs to be mounted somewhere.

I need the system to do the following:

1. Hide the cables and appear nice
2. Make it so that the kids cannot uplug the USB devices and plug them into the front, I want all the cables to be in the back.
3. Allow for easy maintence by staff.

We do a lot of unplugging the computers and bringing them to the test bench when something goes astray, this would mean that we would have some sorta way of being able to unplug everything from the computer. I realize that by putting this in there we are making it extremely difficult to be able to mandate the kid's access to the rear I/O on the computers, however, it would be a nice feature to have. Anyway, let me know your ideas.

We have "Porches" by the way, each porch has 5 stations, each station has 7 computers and 1 switch. So that means we have 35 computers and 5 switches per porch. We have 8 porches. So that means we have 280 computers and 40 switches. That is in TOTAL.

Thanks,
Fremish


post #2 of 5
Hey! ,
I have helped set up many servers ( I am not certified but I did allot of school ones) and for a situation like like what you need to do is get some pipe tie down's and some small screws .
pipe tie downs look like this !


they come in many sizes , is all you need to do is make a straight row and run them through and one behind each computer this will make them not visible and neat!.


-ROG
post #3 of 5
I think I'd install cable trunking with power sockets and network ports etc. It won't be cheap but it looks massively better. Disconnect the front USB ports manually on each workstation and if necessary restrict USB access via Group Policy.
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Black Noise
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Elf View Post

I think I'd install cable trunking with power sockets and network ports etc. It won't be cheap but it looks massively better. Disconnect the front USB ports manually on each workstation and if necessary restrict USB access via Group Policy.

We don't want people unplugging the devices and physically moving them. We don't have issues with people entering foreign devices. We have the resources to do things. I'm personally getting really tired of having to go and fix the stations because people are physically messing with them.
post #5 of 5
Wow, those cables are a ****mess aren't they? I feel for you here, so I am going to throw out a few different options that will simplify your issues.

#1 - Buy a spool of network cable and custom fit the cables to your application. Using pre-made patch cables tends to lead to a ton of extra wire that needs tied up somewhere in the line, causing unnecessary clutter.

#2 - Instead of the extension cords and spike strips - have power bars installed into the bottom of the pods you use and hard wire them in. Makes for a much cleaner appearance AND gets rid of the extra wiring that is just hanging out. Something like this. Once those are installed, you can then use a small surge protector at each pc if it is needed. We use a surge protector at the base of each pod that is sufficient for everything that is plugged in, but that is up to you and whether or not they can spring for the extra cost vs. a cheapo at each spot.

#3 - It looks like the back of those tables already have a "cable management" channel at the bottom, so just get some velcro stripping that is used for cable management (cloth on one side, plastic grippy stuff?? on the other) and wrap the network cables up nice and organized and run them in that channel and just break each one out at its respective station. If it were me, I would have the kb/mouse and display cable run together right to the back of the pc and tied together so tight that the kids can't run anything to the front that isn't supposed to go there. Give just enough slack that you don't put tension on the ports and no more. Then, bring the monitor power cable down and mate it up with the pc power cable and tie those together as well. That way you only have two sets of wires and they are mated all the way from top to bottom.

These were some of the things we did when we setup a computer lab at my old highschool as a summer project for them. The kids will find a way to mess with your stuff, just accept it, they are high school ****s and will find a way to screw with you, especially knowing that you took the time to make it nice for them...kids are kids. If it comes down to it you can get the screw-in mountable zip ties and bring that cable bundle into the back of the pc with a short lead on it, and then zip tie and mount it to the back side of each cabinet so they can't pull it around front, this eliminates needing to shut off the ports via group policy or anything, because they can still use them for usb drives or w/e.
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