Cabling structure includes equipment, connecting hardware, office telecommunications rooms and work spaces, and wall jacks in addition to the cable. The proper structured cabling and network infrastructure provides service and support for home and offices. It is particularly important that business voice and data networks be flexible and scalable to support growth.
Designing the structured cabling system begins with consideration of users and their access requirements, particular location and environment, capacity, and usage. The structured cabling network and system must be functional for users (personal or business).
Consider the following to ensure structured voice and data cabling are appropriate for the customers they will serve:
• User location – location determines the appropriate switches, type of cabling (zone or centralized), functionality and scalability;
• Usage – applications must run flawlessly during peak load hours;
• Growth – the cabling and technology system, applications, and topologies must be scalable for anticipated expansions, innovations and upgrades; the structure must be flexible to accommodate location moves (home or business), and expansions or reductions in area where the cabling is required / desired; today’s technology is tomorrow’s dinosaur.
• Ethernet or Power transmittal – determine if power will need to be run over data lines; PoE reduces the need to run power and data lines together to each network device.
• Security – plan the home or business physical system as well as PoE, wireless, and emerging data network;
• Standards – all cabling structures must meet applicable standards for electronics, telecommunications, engineering, R&D, installation and maintenance.
High-quality cabling systems reduce maintenance and downtime, and improve performance. A complex structured (open-office) cabling system includes horizontal cabling (long runs up to 90 meter), backbone cabling (for media), a telecommunications room, work area patch cords and equipment cables (5-10 meters), and an equipment room and data center.
The type of network determines the cabling. Equipment changes and upgrades should be anticipated and planned for. Even the best of systems that do not undergo many major upgrades should only expect their cabling to last 10-20 years.
Distances between network switches and the most remote cubicle desk will determine the cabling and routing. Fiber optic cable is preferred for applications that will run long distances and require high bandwidth, and protection from electrical interference. Floor and ceiling pace must be adequate to accommodate the cabling without bunching multiple cables haphazardly that might create a fire hazard. Bends and bend radii should be considered. Existing cable should be abandoned and removed if possible.
Cabling that provides high quality multimedia and wireless voice and data is as important in the home as it is in offices and office high-rises. As a result, there has been significant residential market technologies developed that include structured cabling, home security and audio / video, intercom, phone, and paging systems throughout the residence. Structured cabling is necessary to provide instant access to fully-integrated media servers (home movies, iPod, etc.).
All new structured cabling designs and installations must still conform to high-performance cabling standards.
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