Structured cabling is a cabling infrastructure which consists of several smaller standardized elements or building blocks. It is a system of wiring that is complete and provides a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure in a way that smaller segments are designed in standardized ways leading up to the whole infrastructure. This system can then serve a variety of uses including providing data and telephone services via a computer network.
Based on the definition by the Fiber Optic Association, it is the standardized architecture for all components used for communication cables as specified by EIA/TIA TR42 committee. It is a standard used by manufacturers to ensure smooth interoperability.
When properly designed, it brings about predictable performance and provides flexibility that allows for changes and additions to the system. It also provides redundancy and maximizes availability while future-proofing its usability.
Talking in terms of ownership, structured cabling starts where the service provider ends which is called the Network Interface Device (NID) or the point of demarcation (demarc). This can be seen in the installation of telecommunication systems where the service provider provides service lines at the demarc based on the requests of the customer.
It supports the use of multiple hardware and meets both current and future uses in the sense that even when any hardware is added much later, it will be supported. This is possible because the installation is governed by some standards, specifying ways for wiring buildings and offices for voice and data
communications. It defines the proper methods of laying cables such as category 5e (Cat 5e), category 6 (Cat 6), and fiber optic which are used with modular connectors to meet customer needs. You can check out this article to learn more.
What It Looks Like
In this kind of system, different patch panels and trunks are employed to create a structure where ports on hardware are connected to a patch panel which in turn is connected to others via trunks. All these happen in the Main Distribution Area (MDA) which is an important aspect of structured cabling. The MDA is where all additions and changes are made.
Unlike “point-to-point” which is another form of wiring that utilizes a method whereby patch cables, otherwise called jumpers, run directly to and from hardware, structured cabling is more organized.
The Sub-systems of Structured Cabling
When talking about structured cabling, there are 6 sub-systems. They are:
Entrance Facilities: This is the point where the connection from the access provider or telephone company ends and it includes all associated devices and wiring for on-site connection and wiring.
Equipment Rooms: These are the rooms where the main equipment serving the building is located.
Telecommunication Rooms: This is where the various telecommunications and data equipment are located. It houses the connection of horizontal and backbone cables to the connecting hardware which can include patch cords and jumpers.
Backbone Cabling: This is what provides the interconnection between the entrance facilities, service provider spaces, equipment rooms, and the telecommunications rooms.
Horizontal Cabling: It is the subsystem that provides wiring from the telecommunications rooms to individual floor outlets.
Work Area Components: These extend from telecommunication outlets of the horizontal cabling and connect to the end-user equipment. At the minimum, two telecommunication outlets, called permanent links, should be provided for every work area.
Advantages of Structured Cabling
Using this method of wiring has several benefits. While you can see some of these benefits in this article here: http://www.fiber-optic-transceiver-module.com/what-is-structured-cabling.html, we will quickly list a few below.
Structured cabling is straightforward and involves running everything from a single system. Because different businesses use different devices and IT equipment at the same time, it removes any form of complexity associated with using an infrastructure with multiple wiring.
It is Cost-Effective and Time-Saving
Having your cables organized leads to less maintenance and spending. You can avoid overhead costs that are associated with restructuring, rectifying, or relocating the cables or hardware devices when they are clogged. You are also likely to experience efficiency in power usage when your cables and systems are organized.
Additionally, because it is designed to accommodate future additions, you save money and time on installation and the building of further infrastructure to accommodate any additions and changes.
Structured cabling provides easy troubleshooting when there is an issue. Because the cables are neatly organized and arranged in a segmented way, the problem can easily be narrowed to a particular segment, discovered and resolved.
Humans can make mistakes and these can lead to disruption in the network causing downtime. This is the case when your cables are not properly organized. It will ultimately result in downtime a lot of the time. Mistakes such as using incorrect ports can occur and removing or untangling cables can be stressful and can also affect other ones leading to errors in the network and channels that can be difficult tracing.
This is drastically reduced when things are well organized and structured. Because you can easily spot and troubleshoot where the issue is, you can quickly get things running in no time leading to more productivity and revenue.
It is Pleasing to the Eye
This may not look like so much when it comes to productivity but structured cabling provides a clean, aesthetically pleasing look. It also provides consistency in design, easy expansion, conformance with standard transmission lines and physical requirements while promoting proper documentation.
A structured cabling system provides a simplified, standardized, and organized approach to cabling. Businesses such as newscomcabling.com.au can help you with its installation.
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In a point-point system, there can be a congestion of cables that can obstruct the flow of air needed for hardware like switches and routers to operate efficiently. Congested wiring can also affect airflow to the computer and hardware room which needs a lot of air, resulting in cooling issues.
Also, your choice of cabling solution may impact your transmission speed, cost, power consumption, and network performance. It is for these reasons and more that a structured cabling method is great as it will help you enhance all of these for maximum throughput and productivity.