Structured Cabling System
A structured cabling system is a complete system of cabling and associated hardware, which provides a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure serves a wide range of uses, such as to provide telephone service or transmit data through a computer network. It should not be device dependent.
The structured cabling system begins at the point where the service provider (SP) terminates. This point is the point of demarcation (demarc) or Network Interface Device (NID).
Every structured cabling system is unique. This is due to variations in:
- The architectural structure of the building, which houses the cabling installation.
- The cable and connection products.
- The function of the cabling installation.
- The types of equipment the cabling installation will support — present and future.
- The configuration of an already installed system (upgrades and retrofits).
- Customer requirements.
- Manufacturer warranties.
The methods we use to complete and maintain cabling installations are relatively standard. The standardization of these installations is necessary because of the need to ensure acceptable system performance from increasingly complex arrangements.
Structured cabling installations typically include entrance facilities; vertical and horizontal backbone pathways; vertical and horizontal backbone cables; horizontal pathways; horizontal cables; work area outlets; equipment rooms; telecommunications closets; cross-connect facilities; multi-user telecommunications outlet assemblies (MUTOA); transition points; and consolidation points.
What Are the Benefits of Structured Cabling?
Once again, an organization is the key word here. With an organized structured cabling system the benefits are:
- MAC’s are much quicker due to the fact that they are done in the MDA versus running long patch cords from equipment racks.
- Potential for downtime is reduced as the potential for human error is drastically reduced due to this organization.
- Time savings: cable and port tracing becomes a much easier job with a structured cabling system.
- Aesthetics: Never underestimate the looks! A structured cabling system will look much cleaner than a point to point method. Since the changes are done in the MDA versus at the hardware, the hardware can be cabled up and not touched in most instances. This allows the cabling in front of the switch to remain aesthetically pleasing.
What Are the Risks Of Not Switching to a Structured Cabling System?
Downtime: With an unorganized messy cabling infrastructure, mistakes are commonly made. Incorrect ports are unplugged. Even worse is the messy cabling that gets in the way. Trying to remove a single cable from a large tangled mess can cause stress on the other cables. This stress can lead to network and channel errors in the hardware that is very difficult to trace.
Airflow: If a point to point method is used, the front and potentially the sides of the switch are congested with cabling bulk. This impedes the airflow that the switch needs to operate. This also translates to under floor cooling; cabling congestion in this space hinders the airflow of the CRAC unit and can cause cooling issues.