Haphazard and cheap cabling is one of the first reasons why a company’s network isn’t performing up to par. Companies that want versatile cabling systems for their telephone and data communication needs have grown to love structured cabling systems. Their reliability and flexibility make them much easier for IT departments to navigate and troubleshoot, which in turn contributes to productivity. CableWholesale delves into each of the main components of forming a structured cabling system, in addition to how it works and the benefits of using one for your business.
What Is Structured Cabling and Why Does It Matter?
Structured cabling is essentially a hub for telecommunication components. It’s a building or campus used by companies to stow a variety of their smaller telecommunications elements called structured cabling subsystems. Structured cabling systems vary for a number of reasons. The following factors affect how each structured cabling system operates, though they’ll nearly always have the same selection of subsystems.
- The architectural features of the building that hosts the structured cabling system.
- The installation procedure for the structured cabling system, and the type of equipment installation requires for future expansion.
- Preexisting cabling materials and how they interact with newly implemented structured cabling equipment.
- Manufacturing warranties.
- The different functionalities of the structured cabling installation.
The Main Standards for Structured Cabling Systems
Structured cabling standards are essential to facility staff safety and quality performance of equipment. Without standards, cabling manufacturers and companies would not be held accountable for maintaining the quality of their products.
Standards keep cable design and installation consistent, ensure cables’ physical and transmission line requirements are met, support comprehensive cabling system expansion, and encourage dependable documentation. Learn which standards are used as a frame of reference for today’s cabling infrastructure.
In the mid-1980s, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) delegated the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) with the task of creating cabling requirements within telecommunications. Come 1991, the first evolution of the Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling System was published.
This specification was known as both the TIA/EIA-568 and ANSI/TIA/EIA-568. The standard promoted a more unified structure for cabling systems, making them safer and more effective for an array of industries. It has since evolved for several purposes:
- To support a greater vat of vendor applications
- To provide design guidance for telecommunications equipment.
- To offer a structured cabling system that supports voice and data.
- To establish basic guidelines for structured cabling system layouts and technology.
The ISO/IEC 11801 is the international standard. It helps regulate IT networks with structured cabling systems worldwide. Since the standards are universally considered, they’re reviewed for technical revision every five years. These routine revisions ensure the standard is up to date with all the newest cabling developments.
The reason section 11801 is significant is because it deals with commercial buildings. It outlines the standards for data, voice, video, and offers some basic guidelines for copper and fiber-optic cabling.
Standards and Cable Installation
Every IT professional who oversees the installation of a structured cabling system should abide by both ANSI/TIA/EIA-568 and ISO/IEC 11801 standards. From the physical installation to the cable configuration, the specialist should best align their procedure with that of the standards’ recommendations.
Adhering to these standards during installation is important because it makes the prospects of cabling system expansion feasible. Specialists who neglect the standards run the risk of having more complicated experiences why trying to troubleshoot or scale a system.
The Six Main Components of a Structured Cabling System
>The main components of forming a structured cabling system include entrance facilities, backbone and horizontal cabling, telecommunications and equipment rooms, and workstations. CableWholesale explores each subsystem in depth.
A structured cabling system’s entrance facility houses connections between cabling inside and outside of the building. The equipment you’ll find at the entrance facility includes the network demarcation points, or the point at which a public telecommunications company’s network ends and your company’s private network begins.
A few other features found in the entrance facility include cables, connecting devices, protection equipment, and other materials that attach to the private or public network provider.
The Equipment Room
What may come as no surprise due to its name is that the equipment room is the designated space for complex equipment of the structured cabling system. Telecommunications systems, such as servers and switches, and termination devices for wiring systems are often placed here. Compared to the telecommunications room, the equipment room harbors much more complicated technology.
Also referred to as vertical cabling, backbone cabling establishes connections between different rooms within the structured cabling system. The telecommunications room, equipment room, entrance facility, and access provider area are all reliant upon backbone cabling’s connection.
This type of cabling will cover much ground in any structured cabling facility. It can run all throughout the same floor, different floors, and has the potential to run between buildings. Because backbone cabling is asked to cover long distances, it’s best to opt for CableWholesale’s longest bundles of 100 ft Cat6 Ethernet cables for the job.
Telecommunications Area or Enclosure
In a closet or a room, your structured cabling system will need to place the rest of its telecommunications equipment. The size of your telecommunications room will depend on how much equipment, distribution frames, cross-connects, and cable terminations you need space for.
The system’s horizontal cabling lies between the workstations’ outlets and the horizontal cross-connect in the telecommunications room. Unsurprisingly, this cabling runs horizontal, either in the ceilings or beneath the floors. Like backbone cabling, horizontal cabling has some great demands as far as cabling distances.
Workstations or Areas
Workstations house all the end-user materials. So, think laptop, phone, computer—and pretty much any hardware that you’d need to get through your daily workload. Patch cables and communication outlets connect users with the network at large.
The Advantages of Using a Structured Cabling System for Your Business
So, after all this talk of structured cabling systems, what makes one worth it? CableWholesale explains the perks.
Structured Cabling Cuts Down on Downtime
Structured cabling systems are highly organized and labeled, which reduces downtime significantly. Because of their complexity, structured cabling systems typically have a greater resistance to interruptions as well.
Structured Cabling Is Amenable, Adaptable, and Scalable
Structured cabling can accommodate new equipment easily, enabling your company’s growth. The standards set in place make management, operation, and expansion a breeze.
Structured Cabling Is Easier To Manage and Highly Reliable
Structured cabling systems offer optimal telecommunication services for your business. Investing in a system is extremely cost-effective and promotes smoothly functioning technological operations.