Data Cabling Dos and Don’ts
We already talked about importance of proper cabling in 2015 in this article. However, in daily cases, when we see that expensive equipment beeing installed on poorly designed cabling kills all investment as a whole, we decided once again to stress out this optic, and drop in some statistics!
Your network will only ever be as good as the data cabling it runs on. It is the very foundation on which your network is built and if it’s not done properly, you can’t imagine the headaches it will cause you later on. The points listed below should become the standard against which you do any design and installation of a structured cabling system:
- Networks will always get bigger and more complicated.
- Make sure both data and voice can be accommodated on one cabling system.
- Although you may only need a specific number of outlets right now, always install more than what you need. The extra outlets are bound to come in handy sooner or later.
- When you build a new cabling system, always use cabling standards and don’t use anything that’s proprietary.
- Quality will make all the difference in how good your cabling is. Only use cabling components and cabling of the highest quality.
- For any specific category or grade of cabling, a range of pricing will be available. The highest price does however not always mean the highest quality. Rather take the time to investigate which manufacturers have the best reputation and for which components the performance has been proven.
- Installation costs should never be an area where you try to save money. Everything must be installed correctly, even if the components and cable are of the highest quality. Poor workmanship could result in the whole network failing.
- It is always a good idea to cater for higher speed technologies than what might be required right now. Although a 10G Ethernet might not be used to its full capacity at the moment, that does not mean it won’t be required in 5 years’ time. For us, we are ready to that with various 10G Fiber Media Converters.
- Although documentation can be a pain, it must be done while you’re designing and installing the cabling system.
Reliable cabling is important
Various studies over the years clearly show that reliable cabling is important.
- The cost for data cabling is typically less than 10% of the total network infrastructure cost.
- A cabling system typically lasts 16 years or longer.
- Up to 70% of problems experienced in networks are caused by poor cabling and cable-component problems.
- If the correct grade or category of cable has been installed, most cabling problems will be due to connectors, patch cables and termination methods.
If you have some experience with data cabling, the findings of these studies will not be news to you.
Countless hours can be spent troubleshooting cabling systems that are not standard, poorly documented, badly designed and shoddily installed.
Huge amounts of money is wasted on installing additional cabling and cabling infrastructure that would have been part of the original installation if the job was done properly in the first place. Irrespective of how you look at it, cabling is the network’s foundation and must be reliable!