Which Standard? Cat5 – 10gb
Many business owners overlook the critical importance of the IT infrastructure that their company runs on. The demands for bandwidth continue to rise as video and multimedia become more essential, and these systems will play an even greater role.
Things like phone systems, consistent cleaning of the offices, and proper recruiting of new workers are all essential in their own way, but before you can have any of that, you need to have cabling infrastructure that is capable of handling the needs of your business.
You can visualise cabling as the “roads” that your data must travel on. Everyone knows that a poor road network slows down traffic and causes damage to the cars over time. You should be applying the same thought process to how you manage your office cabling.
Getting high quality cabling that is up to the industry standard is the top way to ensure your cabling solutions are going to deliver for your company.
Cabling Evolution in the Industry
It used to be that 1Gb cabling was considered to be plenty for businesses, but with the growing consumption of bandwidth, 10Gb Cabling has emerged as the basic requirement for businesses everywhere.
Connecting servers and storage to switches using 10Gb Ethernet cables is quickly becoming the standard for businesses. These solutions are built using either copper or fibre cabling, and often run through a networking device (e.g. a switch or network interface controller).
Adoption of the 10Gb standard has been slower than with previous standards for Ethernet, and this has largely been due to price issues, but this is continuing to improve over time.
Cat5e cables were often used in the past to support networks with requirements around 1Gb, but these cables are not up to standard for 10Gb networks. The use of copper cabling for 10Gb Ethernet solutions is becoming more widespread, with the most popular solution being Cat6 cabling.
Cat6 10Gb Cabling comes with many benefits including:
- Backward compatible and may be paired with devices created for slower cables
- Can support distances up to 55 meters
- Generally cheaper than many of the other solutions
Other cables that have 10Gb cabling capabilities
- Cat6a and Cat7 (natural evolutions of Cat6 cabling)
- CX4 (the first 10Gb Ethernet copper standard, but comes with the disadvantage of a form-factor that is too large)
- SFP+Direct Attach (often used to connect servers and storage devices in a rack because of its low cost)
- Multi-Mode MMF (fibre cabling solution that covers up to 260 meters)
- Single-Mode SMF (currently the industry standard and has the highest range)
Getting in the Right Mind-set
Cabling is not typically something that should be done in house. Not only could that affect the current performance of your network, but any errors you make now may negatively affect any attempts to scale you make in the future.
Constant investment and the proper mind-set around it is the best way to always be pushing your company ahead. Having a well-planned and strongly organised cable strategy is a crucial part of the IT infrastructure of your company, and you would be best recommended not to overlook it.