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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Beautiful Network Cable Trays?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the get-clear-optical-cables dept.

Networking 250

First time accepted submitter murpht2 writes "My company prides itself on an office environment that follows a modern design aesthetic: open floor plan, bold colors on the walls, cool lamps in the corners. We're now engaged in a significant upgrade to our IT systems and we have a clash: the IT team leader wants to run network cable in trays hanging from the ceiling so all the client computers have high-speed access to the new servers; the guy in charge of the office design wants to keep things looking clean and the cable trays don't fit the bill. We're in a building made entirely of bricks and concrete, so we lack some of the between-the-wall spaces that are used in other settings. Any suggestions for beautiful cable trays or other alternatives?"

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Lucky you (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45584525)

My company prides itself on an office environment that follows a modern design aesthetic: open floor plan, bold colors on the walls, cool lamps in the corners.

My lame company only prides itself on stupid shit like making good products and pleasing its customers.

Re:Lucky you (2)

Havokmon (89874) | about a year ago | (#45584705)

My company prides itself on an office environment that follows a modern design aesthetic: open floor plan, bold colors on the walls, cool lamps in the corners.

My lame company only prides itself on stupid shit like making good products and pleasing its customers.

Right. What stock should I be selling?

Q: Any suggestions for beautiful cable trays? (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#45584999)

A: Live, nude women.

Re:Q: Any suggestions for beautiful cable trays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585565)

A: Live, nude women.

Two out of three ain't bad...

Re:Lucky you (1)

BattleApple (956701) | about a year ago | (#45584927)

That's great, as long as your company isn't in the business of designing offices

Re:Lucky you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585419)

Or design / marketing, where image is everything as your office literally is part of your portfolio, showing your sense of design.

Re:Lucky you (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#45585021)

My lame company only prides itself on stupid shit like making good products and pleasing its customers.

Submitter never said what his company actually does.

Perhaps having a "nice office aesthetic" is a requirement in the field they work in - perhaps it's even ... design! Last thing most customers looking for design work want to do is walk into a butt-ugly office that's full of drab (but functional) office furniture.

And there are many fields where yes, the office aesthetic does matter, especially in creative industries. And customers expect it, nay, demand it - they want to see what sort of creative "product" the company has, and office design is one of them that's visible, beyond existing products on the market.

Apple has shown that form is important - if not as important, as function. Having function is necessary, but so is form, as function without form is a complex mess no user desires. Though of course, sometimes they lean too far towards the "form" part at times.

And sometimes, it's actually GOOD to work in an environment that's not just beige cubes in a beige office with beige tables and beige equipment.

Re:Lucky you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585289)

Apple has shown that form is important - if not as important, as function.

Actually, Apple has shown that if you keep slapping people upside the face and telling them they're stupid, they will eventually start to worship you for it.

Re:Lucky you (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45585581)

My lame company only prides itself on stupid shit like making good products and pleasing its customers.

Yeah, but these are Hipster Companies, where the design aesthetic of the network trays is far more important.

I'm betting there's an awful lot of pretentious sense of how awesome they are, equipped with turtle-necks and the ability to win buzzword bingo by 9am every day.

This makes me think of those Herman Miller chairs, which became the symbol of the .com era -- if your company had them, it was likely going out of business soon. :-P

Me, I'm looking at a request for beautiful networking trays to be indicative of a company more focused on style than function.

And, in my experience, most companies are only worried about making a good enough product that meets the deadlines, and only somewhat worried about happy customers as long as it isn't below a certain threshold.

use wifi (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#45584529)

the guy in charge of the office will love it, no wires. very pretty

Re:use wifi (4, Informative)

PktLoss (647983) | about a year ago | (#45584629)

Wifi is.. nice, but I wouldn't use it in a full office environment for everyday access. It's a big brick room, lots of computers, lots of interference. Not only is WiFi slower, but you end up with less throughput as interference requires random packets to be retransmitted.

Re:use wifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585391)

Just add more access points with more channels and bond the wireless NICs on each client. Then ban cell phones, microwaves, etc.

You must be the most gay network tech ever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584553)

Really.

Re:You must be the most gay network tech ever (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45585269)

Having some aesthetic taste does not mean that someone is gay.

Sure (2)

Stargoat (658863) | about a year ago | (#45584573)

If it's a small office, you can use Ethernet over power lines [techrepublic.com] . I have not used it before, but it seems to be what you are looking for.

That being said, it's difficult to give up the 1000 Mb connections from modern ethernet cables, along with POE for phones, etc. The designer by not putting ethernet cables in place did your business a disservice. A secure business requires secure ethernet.

Re:Sure (3, Insightful)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#45584891)

If it's a small office, you can use Ethernet over power lines [techrepublic.com] . I have not used it before, but it seems to be what you are looking for.

That being said, it's difficult to give up the 1000 Mb connections from modern ethernet cables, along with POE for phones, etc. The designer by not putting ethernet cables in place did your business a disservice. A secure business requires secure ethernet.

Ethernet over power lines? Yikes, that's about as bad as WiFi for security and it will be SLOW, SLOW, SLOW if you use a lot of devices in a small space...

The ONLY solution that is workable here is to plan to wire up everything that doesn't move. Everyplace you put a power plug, plan for a network drop next to it with one or more ports.

Talk to a good carpenter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584577)

He can give you what you want. (or if you wan't high tech, a CNC shop)

Re:Talk to a good carpenter. (2)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45584945)

I'd second the recommendation for a CNC shop. Anodized aluminum, whatever color you want, or if anodizing isn't up to snuff, powder coating, or having it dipped.

Your choice of shapes, fasteners, how things attach. Combine this with pairs of holes for zip ties, and it will be a fairly neat server room.

Another thing I've seen was fiber optic multiplexers that would take a rack of 10gigE signal, run it along one fiber to a de-muxer near the router. That way, there is one, and only one network cable from each rack. If power is done so it comes from underneath (preferably 2+ PDUs), this will make things fairly tidy... well until people start stringing cable for their pet projects again.

Re:Talk to a good carpenter. (1)

drakaan (688386) | about a year ago | (#45585063)

Good idea, but this is for an entire office, not a server room.

3D Print (2)

hellkyng (1920978) | about a year ago | (#45584579)

Buy typical cable trays, and 3D print some sort of fancy colorful casings for them. You can use a variety of designs and colors for aesthetic appeal. Plus even if it doesn't look all that great it will still be "cutting edge" technology in use, which will likely appeal to your business folks. Plus you can throw a 3D printer in your budget...

Re:3D Print (4, Interesting)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#45584639)

Buy typical cable trays, and 3D print some sort of fancy colorful casings for them. You can use a variety of designs and colors for aesthetic appeal. Plus even if it doesn't look all that great it will still be "cutting edge" technology in use, which will likely appeal to your business folks. Plus you can throw a 3D printer in your budget...

Interesting idea, but given that it takes the average 3D printer hours to create something only a few inches across it's not terribly practical.

It would be more practical to hire a basket weaver... ooh... woven trays...

Re:3D Print (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45584817)

It would be more practical to hire a basket weaver... ooh... woven trays...

Or, even better, a NATIVE AMERICAN basket weaver! Very hip. Very chic.

Re:3D Print (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year ago | (#45585467)

WITH BEADING!

Re:3D Print (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585103)

3D PRINTING SKEPTICISM DETECTED!!!! Mod parent down immediately and warn 3D printing headquarters!

Re:3D Print (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#45585283)

Interesting idea, but given that it takes the average 3D printer hours to create something only a few inches across it's not terribly practical.

Maybe these hobbyist printers, but the industrial-grade printers can churn out a lot more than that. We rapid prototype critical parts of our product*, and we sell tens of thousands each year.

*Technically, we are just rapid prototyping the shape for the investment casting.

Anyway, the ideas is sound - just make pretty cable trays that fit within the aesthetic of the office. A competent cabinet maker should be able to make nice woodwork, and if the space is more industrial you can make something out of metal or just modify existing trays.

Re:3D Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585341)

Interesting idea, but given that it takes the average 3D printer hours to create something only a few inches across it's not terribly practical.

It would be more practical to hire a basket weaver... ooh... woven trays...

What if you use the 3D printer to print part of the casing, small enough that the production time lines up with the basket weaver's estimate and have a whole "old meets new" thing going on? Unique look. Plus, still get the 3D printer in the budget, haha...

Why I'm not a designer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584581)

Problem : bricks and concrete does not fit cable tray
Solution : build a cable tray in brick and concrete!
Now gives me 1000$ in consultation fees ;)

802.11ac (0)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45584585)

If you want aesthetics, go wireless. 802.11ac is probably much faster than your internet connection which is all most people care about.

Re:802.11ac (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584675)

What's not clear in "high-speed access to the new servers"? Or are you assuming all servers are on the other side of the internet?

Re:802.11ac (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45584969)

What's not clear in "high-speed access to the new servers"? Or are you assuming all servers are on the other side of the internet?

What's not clear in "If you want aesthetics" -- without a drop ceiling or hollow walls to hide cable in, it's going to be exposed.

In my office (with substandard wiring that can only support 100mbit for most people - I get better throughput on the 802.11n Wifi network if no one else is watching cat videos on it), no one ever complains that the fileserver is slow, but people complain daily that the "internet is slow".

Re:802.11ac (4, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#45584847)

NO NO NO NO NO. Wifi is not a direct replacement for wire, its just not. Wifi should be supplemental to the network, not the basis for the network. If you are choosing wifi for aesthetics in a business setting, you are in the wrong line of work.

Re:802.11ac (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585177)

NO NO NO NO NO. Wifi is not a direct replacement for wire, its just not. Wifi should be supplemental to the network, not the basis for the network. If you are choosing wifi for aesthetics in a business setting, you are in the wrong line of work.

My line of work is aesthetics, you insensitive clod!

And why would you say this without knowing what exactly the submitter does? 300Mbit wifi, if it is not saturated with things like constant peak speed file transfers, will run great for dozens of users. Too many users? Add a few more APs and let them loadshare (just use good Cisco APs and not some cheap TP-Link or AirPort Extreme++ shit.) The effort that Cisco has put into balancing high capacity wifi networks should not be overlooked.

Re:802.11ac (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585453)

+1

1) It's a security risk.
2) It'll be slower. The quoted network speeds are when there's no congestion, which won't be the case when an office has 100 PCs all on the network.

Buy plain, decorate (5, Interesting)

PktLoss (647983) | about a year ago | (#45584607)

I might not bother trying to find beautiful trays, but instead find regular ones, then decorate!

Take something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AU3HG6?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B003AU3HG6&linkCode=shr&tag=preinheimerco-20&qid=1386087250&sr=8-5&keywords=wire+tray [amazon.com]

Then put these underneath: http://www.whatisblik.com/shop/explore?theme=77 [whatisblik.com]

Turn your office ceiling into a pacman arena!

Re:Buy plain, decorate (1)

PktLoss (647983) | about a year ago | (#45584711)

amazon link was for rack cables, something more like this: http://www.metsec.com/cable-management/cable-tray/ [metsec.com]

Re:Buy plain, decorate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584803)

I like these trays better. [amazon.com]

Re:Buy plain, decorate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584997)

Thanks.. perfect xmas gift for someone I know!

Re:Buy plain, decorate (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#45584837)

Same idea though, just get some coloured plastic or fancy stickers and decorate the underside of the trays. You're pretty limited in what you do here, WiFi or Cables.

Re:Buy plain, decorate (1)

beschra (1424727) | about a year ago | (#45584887)

Then you could post your project on pinterest!

Form over Function? Really? (2)

ausekilis (1513635) | about a year ago | (#45584611)

Did this same person complain over the HVAC system? The only way I'm aware of to get away from seeing cable trays is false floor or false ceiling. If you don't have that option, your only choice is to try to make the cable trays "pretty", which is more or less making it look like the HVAC with large metal trays... it's up to you if you want solid or mesh, and you could probably paint them... You could also get creative with panduit for running down support beams or walls, just integrate the colors and make sure the panduit is thick enough to accomodate more than you currently have, running new wire is a pain in the ass.

Re:Form over Function? Really? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#45585429)

I'd also add that beyond the HVAC system there will need to be power outlets everywhere to power all this computing equipment. Power outlets require wiring too. You cannot run power and network in the same conduit by code, but you certainly can use something that looks the same as what they where planning to use for power....

You mean they didn't think of power? It's time to abandon this job if they didn't have a plan for power and the budget to pay for it because you work for idiots.

Lower the ceiling (1)

tommten (212387) | about a year ago | (#45584643)

use ceiling plates to cover the cabling, also probably might dampen the accoustics in your office

Re:Lower the ceiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584923)

or raise the floor

Same old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584657)

Not much difference in ceiling mounted cable tray, In my personal opinion cage trays with bright uniform colored cable look fine in the more open modern office spaces, just don't use gray or otherwise dull cable and it wont matter too much ( so long as you comb the runs out so they look half neat)

Contrasting rattle can colors (4, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | about a year ago | (#45584663)

Use brightly colored cables, get metal cable tray and rattle can spray paint it a contrasting color. I've seen it done very well, and it does add a near technical feel to a space.

Any interior designer could help you; if you're going for image, then that's probably not a bad idea anyway.

If you're not going for image.. drop tile. :)

Re:Contrasting rattle can colors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585061)

You could even throw in some electroluminescent wire to make it look futuristic.

https://www.google.com/search?q=EL+wire&site=imghp&tbm=isch

Don't know if that would cause EM interference; the wire is coaxial and runs at 400hz AC.

Best Of Both Worlds? (2)

marienf (140573) | about a year ago | (#45584671)

They're both right: The network guy about trays being a great solution, and the office designer about trays being butt-ugly.
However, why not work some type of panelling below, rising to the sides of the trays? I'm not a designer by far, but is seems to me that
hiding the trays cannot be exceptionally difficult, and can be done with much freedom of style. And all of that should be open from the top,
and far enough from the ceiling to keep easy access.

Next, the cables coming down. The covering should accomodate cabledrops without these having to "spill over", and in a way that keeps them very accessible. simple holes? Also, the cables themselves could be surrounded by some spiral or other form, lending them style and possibly even some strength. The spiral could even be strung between the casing and the desk, making it an active element of design, rather than a trick to 'hide the ugly cable'.

the panelings could be cut/painted in a themes shape/color, of be kept elegantly simple, depending on the design of the surrounding office.

-f

How much cabling do you need? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about a year ago | (#45584677)

Is this a tray requiring 100s of connections or 10? Is this in an office environment, or the datacenter? How much time and money do you want to waste, I mean spend, on this?

Either way, take a standard metal lattice cable tray and get it in black. More importantly, make sure the cables are laid out neatly, as in if they all fit on the bottom of the tray, keep them on the bottom, not piled up on each other.

Use fiber trays instead. These are typically troughs. CNC some designs in them and install LEDs inside.

White plastic skirting boards (1)

amalcolm (1838434) | about a year ago | (#45584681)

Design to take power and cat5 in separate bays + sockets for all, available widely.

Train the office pets? (3, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45584693)

You do have office pets, right? Just give them a collar with clips that hold SD cards, then train them to go to the server room and fill up the cards with data and return them to you.

Latency is a little high, but bandwidth can be pretty good - as they say, never underestimate the bandwidth of a Golden Retriever with a collar full of SD cards.

Re:Train the office pets? (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45584871)

The dogs should be rescues also. Store bought dogs are so last century.

Re:Train the office pets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585003)

If bandwidth is a problem, try greyhounds (long corridors) or border collies (high avg. transmission rates). Whippets might be an option if the office has a mixture of long corridors and serpentine cubical spaces and you want to stick to a single dog breed vendor.

(captcha: rectum?)

get your plumb on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584699)

I have seen some people run white UPVC pipes in suspension along a large open room with a drop pipe to each desk, if fitted well and hung with strong tin cables looks quite good. the verticals vanish in to the top of the desks.

Re:get your plumb on (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45585005)

I've wondered about clear UPVC pipes as well.

Other than just between walls (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584717)

Most places just waste the space above ceilings (and below floors). You're not using brick ceilings, are you?

If you have fluorescent lights, just lay your cables over that. Just make sure that you are using non-plenum cabling.

* Obligatory serious note: make sure to research these ideas before implementing anything in the second paragraph!

Re:Other than just between walls (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about a year ago | (#45585297)

* Obligatory serious note: make sure to research these ideas before implementing anything in the second paragraph!

Yeah, like googling "electrical interference" and "fire code".

Look at rain gutters... (5, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#45584723)

Some years ago when I moved my company into a new office and wanted to keep the cost down, I installed rain gutters (and occasional downspout) on the walls inside to run telephone and ethernet. It was inexpensive compared to official cable trays and hid the wiring nicely.
Gutters are standard architectural details and since they are very visible you can find nice looking designs and colors.

Re:Look at rain gutters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584851)

Did you use plenum rated gutters or standard?

Re:Look at rain gutters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585459)

You don't understand what a plenum is, do you?

Ummmmm Thunderdome perhaps??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584727)

Two men enter one man leaves!! And it's entertaining for the rest of the company.

Use conduit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584747)

Using rigid (or PVC) conduit as a raceway for your cables, paint them any color you like. Paint the walls a dark gray charcoal and data conduits bright orange.. everything exposed (ductwork, conduit) and use industrial surface mount boxes for the data jacks (with a black wall-plate).

Looks bad-ass.

Expensive as hell.

Re:Use conduit. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45584919)

Using rigid (or PVC) conduit as a raceway for your cables, paint them any color you like. Paint the walls a dark gray charcoal and data conduits bright orange.. everything exposed (ductwork, conduit) and use industrial surface mount boxes for the data jacks (with a black wall-plate).

Looks bad-ass.

Expensive as hell.

PVC is not really that expensive so that's not really such a bad idea (10 feet of 4" PVC is around half or less the cost of a wire cable tray), but it makes adding additional cables or rerouting existing cables much more difficult -- make sure you pull spares and leave pull strings because you'll always need more -- and don't overfill the conduit.

Easy! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584759)

Simple: Ditch the servers and move to cloud. Then fire all your IT staff and replace them with contractors from India.
1. No need to work about the aesthetics of the server room.
2. Your office will now have additional space with the removal of all that ugly looking IT equipment.
3. Your managers will no longer have to listen to petty arguments by the IT workers.
4. You company will save money by hiring cheap IT workers from India.

Its a WIN-WIN situation for everyone!

Look at what you are doing for power... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584777)

... and do something similar.

Try running the cables below. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584779)

If it's not too late, consider a timber raised floor. This should also allow you to hide the power cabling.

a series of tubes (1)

Duncecap (1576549) | about a year ago | (#45584781)

brightly coloured, thin metal/plastic pipes. Cheap & effective.

Re:a series of tubes (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45584877)

Drainpipe should be ideal.

Get some catalogs (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45584787)

And look for existing tray products. In spite of some of the ideas proposed for custom made trays keep this in mind: the electrical/fire code in your jurisdiction probably will insist on the trays being "listed" for the intended purpose. Anything else may require some sort of engineering sign off and UL certification. You don't even want to know what that will cost.

Sure, it seems like a pretty trivial issue. But if your inspector throws a fit, you are screwed.

Industrial look get industrial looking cable trays (4, Interesting)

Que_Ball (44131) | about a year ago | (#45584791)

You can get really nice industrial cable trays.  Mount them high enough that they aren't immediately noticeable but they maintain that industrial and exposed look.

The good ones are powder coated so you can get a colour of your choice to match the office.

Use a tool called a cable comb when you are running the cables to put the cables into very straight and neat bundles.

Here is the manufacturer of a good quality system for cable trays:
http://wiremaidusa.com/
(they have many resellers.  Your cabling contractor likely deals with a supplier who can get this)

Here is the cable comb tool for making straightened bundles of cables that look neat in they tray:
http://www.acomtools.com/

If you want something more enclosed then you can go to full conduit installation using metal pipes.  The pipes can then be painted to match your ceiling colour.

Re:Industrial look get industrial looking cable tr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585181)

I don't know, if I was looking for aesthetics, I would probably go for ladder rack.
I doubt that he needs the typical use of high weight limits, but it does make IXCs look impressive as compared to basket racks.

Beautiful to the eyes, but what about the ears? (3, Informative)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#45584823)

"My company prides itself on an office environment that follows a modern design aesthetic: open floor plan, bold colors on the walls, cool lamps in the corners."

I'm happy for you that your office is pretty. But where do you go when you need to stop "collaborating" and get some actual work done? Or when the group at the bench across from yours is "collaborating" so loudly that your group can't hear each other talk?

Open floor plans may be great for some jobs, but they are poison for work that requires concentration, especially when that work also entails remote collaboration. If you find this isn't true, I'd like to hear more -- especially about how you handle conference-call participation when there's a loud discussion nearby.

(Yeah, I know I'll take an "off-topic" hit to my karma for this. Sorry; it's a hot button at the moment.)

Use cable ladders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584831)

http://www.middleatlantic.com/dcm/equip/cladders.htm

tray problem? (1)

aurizon (122550) | about a year ago | (#45584835)

I assume a cable hangs from the tray to the desktop? I suggest adding some climbing vines, with pots, so it looks natural. You can also add a few spider monkeys to go up and down the cables, and their poop will fertilize the vines after you scrape it off everything??

The basic problem with trays is the cable from tray to desk.
If you used a dropped ceiling (aka ceiling plates), you could have a high BW bidirectional infra-red network from overhead to desk. In fact, with a few bidirectional emitters you might cover the office very well with even less intrusion, http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/october/wireless-data-at-top-speed.html [fraunhofer.de]

With IR reflectivity on all surfaces, coverage will come easy. The surface could look different at visible wavelengths for aesthetic reasons.

Convert to cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584845)

Why are you even in a physical building? You need to cloud, NOW.

Conduit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584859)

Use Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or metal if you like. It's easy, comes in lots of sizes, and creates an industrial look without exposed wires. I did this in an office and then used Levitron Quickport plates and connectors on the client end. The customer was pretty happy.

Be a man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584861)

Be a man, use minimal cable trays, and tie the cables yourself. Tons of color coded cables is beautiful too. /r/cableporn imo

Re:Be a man (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45585399)

And /r/cablefail. ;)

Find a new job, fast (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45584869)

"My company prides itself on an office environment that follows a modern design aesthetic..."

How about producing a valuable product? If this is what's driving the latest office war, your company's priorities are farked up.

Re:Find a new job, fast (1)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#45585335)

I've seen this type of comment several times. I wholeheartedly believe that producing valuable services or products is more important than aesthetics, but.... why do people assume they aren't? If you've got a company that is doing what it needs to be doing on the production side, why wouldn't you want to make the environment as comfortable and inviting as you can? Staff that feels comfortable is probably going to be easier to retain and if you have clients who see your workspace, then aesthetics are actually important to the bottom line.

B-line FlexTray System (1)

grilled-cheese (889107) | about a year ago | (#45584875)

We've been happy with our B-line FlexTray system running in our datacenter. It was easy to install, looks nice, and wasn't terribly expensive.

Cableporn ? (5, Interesting)

alexhs (877055) | about a year ago | (#45584899)

You might want to get some inspiration from reddit [reddit.com] / imgur [imgur.com] cableporn sections.

Easy. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45584907)

http://www.screwfix.com/p/square-line-gutter-114mm-white-pack-of-6/16271 [screwfix.com]

It's cheap, durable, hides the cables perfectly, is available in three colors (Black, grey, white), cuts to length and can be easily decorated.

Re:Easy. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45584993)

Also, it neatly attaches to vertical sections to carry the cables tidily from ceiling height down to the desks.

WiFi Directional Panel Antennas on the Ceiling (1)

Bulldozer2003 (824009) | about a year ago | (#45584913)

Using directed antennas attached to decent APs will ensure clients are connecting to the closest AP and reduce interference from omni-directional antennas spewing the signal everywhere. Attach flat-panel antennas to the ceiling pointing down over each cluster of workspaces.

Spray paint (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year ago | (#45584931)

Use standard cable trays.. but spray paint them some hip color that works with your designer... gold, silver, metallic blue, or whatever.. Lots of great colors to choose from. Will look great.. and be functional. And you won't spend a fortune. Guaranteed its the cheapest, most sensible solution. Don't forget to color coordinate with your CAT6.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584937)

Fire the guy in charge of the building design. Bold colours don't lend themselves well to a soothing environment and he's pushing looks over functionality.

Regular (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45584963)

Just run the cables along the roof like any normal socially functional people. Run additional cable so you can hang your office designer, proudly displayed. Should be good for morale too.

Art (1)

Sentax (1125511) | about a year ago | (#45584965)

Get regular trays, hire the CEOs trendy artsy friend (they can afford this because of how much pride they put into office design) to come in and paint some cool abstract design on them (even get more super cool by asking the people around the office for ideas on what to paint, even custom designs near their desks for that extra pretentious look to match their black rim glasses) and bam, you got what you want.

False flooring is the way to go. (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#45585033)

I think almost all places with masses of cables and the need for constant maintenance go for false flooring. Almost all the power grid control stations, space launch control centers all of them have the consoles full of switches standing up in the middle of a remarkably clean floors. Most workers "scoot" on the uncluttered floor on chairs on casters. Given the amount cabling these things need, how do the do it? Mostly by creating a false floor and running the cables under it.

Long back in a aeronautical facility (in India) I was surprised by the presence of toilet plungers in the corners of many rooms. When I asked one of the technicians he said, they are used to create the suction needed to pull up any tile on the floor, to access the crawl space below. Instead of providing trap doors at a few locations to get to the crawl space, these guys pull up any tile anywhere on the floor, reach in and grab the cables!

In USA if some one would make carpets or under-carpet padding that can accommodate cables without making the surface uneven on top, it would make a killing. Quick someone patent this.

Light it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585079)

I've been wanting to put several of those programmable LED strip lights above the cable trays. Some of them can be programmed to any color you like AND can show motion. Sorta like the airport tunnel light sculptures.
But wouldn't it look cool to have multiple colored light "packets" running inbound and outbound? You could even alter the rate to match your actual loading. I bet no one would notice the ugly racks.

Junket! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585099)

I would suggest proposing that the trays be made out of hollowed out exotic rain forest hard wood, new growth only naturally. Travel to Costa Rica and look for a cheap piece of retirement property while you are there or time a trip to Brazil during Carnival and get your tubes cleaned.

Never let a good interior decorating crisis go to waste!

Flat cable (1)

Indras (515472) | about a year ago | (#45585209)

Depends on how many connections you need, but hiding flat cable under the carpet can be a viable option.

http://www.vpi.us/cable-sf-cat6.html [www.vpi.us]

Then again, the poster doesn't specify whether this office has carpet.

Duck Tape (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45585233)

Paste to floor and you get StumbleUpon, Sticky Notes and Pastebin for free!

You simply have to pull the wire.. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#45585305)

How are they going to power all this equipment? Obviously they are going to have to put in power drops everywhere to power up all those handy devices, cell phone chargers, computers, laptops and printers, so just do the same thing for your network they are planning to do for the power.

You want to plan for at least one network drop for *every* power outlet they put in, plus put in two everyplace you currently plan to put desks. The two (network and power) do not go in the same conduit or cable ways by code, but I'd suggest you simply use the SAME thing you use for power, for network wires. Just dump all the network wires into a closet (hopefully separate from the breaker box) and terminate them into patch bays there.

DON'T: Try the WiFi thing for more than a small handful of devices. If you have to start using your toes to count the devices only an access point, it's going to start struggling with keeping up and I'm counting smart phones and laptops here. If you start doing any serious data transfers you can swamp a WiFi connection with ONE device.

DON'T: Put in network wiring that is not easily replaced. Where it is not likely you will outgrow Cat-5, technology may advance in ways where you would like to have other kinds of wiring in the future. Make sure to leave space in conduit to allow pulling more drops, or changing cabling types (I suggest not more than half full).

Personally, I'd go with the "steam punk" look in your case. This uses very industrial looking stuff, iron sheets, rivets and such. I'm guessing you could find some wrought iron company to make some cool looking cable ways or trays that would be the steam punk style. Then you can choose to go with wiring colors that are either bold or muted for your network infrastructure. If you want to emphasize your "We are technology!" image, go with bold colored Cat-5 and make sure it shows using open cable trays. Or if you want to look established, go with totally covered wire-ways and muted colors.

Of course, this isn't cheap... But if the primary factor is "cheap", buy a couple of rolls of Velcro and duct tape...

Model railroads (2)

stillnotelf (1476907) | about a year ago | (#45585433)

My office has exposed cable trays. Some of the length has a toy model train running through it. Perhaps you can leave the exposed cable runs but spice it up with toy trains and hamster tubes?

Electricity for computers (2)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#45585451)

Do you have electricity for the computers to use? If so, someone was once able to install wiring. Call that guy to install network wiring.

Raised floors... (1)

killfixx (148785) | about a year ago | (#45585473)

It was good enough in my day... :)

Why hasn't anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585487)

suggested Powerline Ethernet yet?

Just make use of infrastructure you already have in place. The adapters can be a bit expensive since the cheaper ones are meh on bandwidth, but I think it's the best balance between WiFi's anti-clutter and Ethernet's speed.

False Floors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45585567)

And everybody wins.

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