Does this remind you of your datacenter?
Here are a couple of photos of a 20+ Dell server installation I did in the last year (click on image for larger size):
This was a fun project as I was given free rein to do it right. Neat, clean, and tight. Two of my special twists. The green tape is really cheap Velcro garden tie tape, $3 bucks a roll at home depot. It is cheap enough that I can use it with abandon and it is Velcro so it can be re-wrapped when you need to move or add a cable. The second twist are the metal shelves I made for holding the cables. You can just see them in the front photo underneath the Cisco routers and in the rear photo just above the top server. They are made of perforated angle iron from home depot and sheet aluminum from a scrap metals dealer at the end of Marsh road. A bit of my machining background come into play. I am really proud of this install and like to crow about it.
Here is a posting by Bren Chapman about cable management with a follow up about a really cheap velcro tie wrap product called "Plant Ties" available at home depot.
Coiling cables, the correct way
You would think that coiling cables would be a simple thing. But it is not. Most people do not know how to do this. If you give them an extension cord, the crook their arm and wind it around their elbo. Wrong!, wrong!, wrong! If you do this you introduce a spiral to the cable that makes it look like a spring when you uncoil it. This spiral leads to tangles.
There is a better way, the "over under" method. This involves alternating the direction of the loops when you coil the cable. There is a great YouTube video by Chris Barbbie called Professional Cable Wrapping showing how to do this. If you learn how to do the over under cable wrap correctly you will find that most of your cabling knots disapear when you uncoil a cable. I can reliably coil a 50 foot Ethernet cable and then holding one end throw the coil of cable and have it completely uncoil with maybe a coil or two left at the other end. I can do the same thing with 100 foot microphone cables.
Why do I make such a big deal over coiling cables? If you coil and uncoil your cables so they have no twists in them, you will find that they lay flat in the cable trays and don't want to kink up when you feed them through the racks. If you want some one to teach you how to do this go to your local club with live music and ask the sound guy/gal if they know how to do it. If they do, offer them a beer if they will show you how.
Uncoiling a cable for the first time
Have you ever noticed that the first time you uncoil a cable for the first time it looks like a sping and as you work with it you find yourself shaking the ends of the cables out to get rid of the extra twists? The problem is that when a cable is manufactured, it is rolled onto a drum to coil the cable. If you uncoil it by pulling on an end you introdue a twist for every rotation of the drum when the cable was made. So the first time you uncoil a brand new cable take a bit of time:
One end will have a slightly smaller loop and one will have a slightly larger loop.
The larger loop is typically the outside loop.
If you are installing a bunch of cables and want to make nice cable bundles check out Panduit Cable Bundle Organizing Tool. I have not used this tool yet, but it looks like a great idea.
Another "Harker's Helpful Hints"