Why is Structured Cabling Important
Why is Structured Cabling Important?
So why is structured cabling important? A structured cabling design for your infrastructure allows all linked hardware to work over a common data cabling system. Thus, it builds a complete telecommunications' infrastructure. You can then use this infrastructure for your telephone services, transmitting data through your computer network, or for other purposes such as CCTV, AV, Access Control, and BMS where you may need cabling.
When your business has structured cabling, you can enjoy consistent and predictable performance. Furthermore, it improves system accessibility and streamlines your cabling infrastructure. Also, it provides fault-finding and quick replacement for anything if something goes wrong. This is done by utilising spare ports that were once used for other hardware but can be moved to serve others
Structured cabling involves designing and building the best practices for your telecommunications infrastructure. This exercise helps to standardize your telecom cabling infrastructure by facilitating collaboration, current requirements, and future possibilities into one cabling system and hardware design
What is structured wiring?
Described as building or campus telecommunications cabling, structured cabling is an infrastructure that consists of several standard components, such as patch panels and multi-fibre or multi-copper data cables. Regardless of manufacturer, the industry standards are ratified to provide a certain system performance to match the chosen cabling infrastructure to install. Furthermore, this system standard will be able to handle the transmission of all hardware systems equally regardless of system type and function
Through standardization and design, the required fiber and copper ports are deployed and distributed throughout the office or working area. These generally go back to a central communications room. In addition, local communication rooms are used and linked back to the main room in larger spaces. These IT rooms allow for immediate need and future development. This enables active ports to be managed, operated, or taken out of service in an inactive environment.
This maximizes system availability, redundancy, and future proof cabling system usability.
Structured Cabling vs. Conventional Cabling
An alternative to structured cabling is something called "point-to-point cabling", which you can also call "conventional cabling". This would be where each system has its own dedicated data cabling and doesn't link together.
For example, the following systems might have their own dedicated data cabling
The main difference between the two is when the main distribution area is used for structural cabling. In structural cabling, there is the main distribution area, or communications room, where all the cables in your structural cable network come together. This makes it easy to make any changes, additions, or adjustments with just a few patch bones.
In legacy or point-to-point cabling, on the other hand, each piece of hardware is connected to a separate cabling network. This was commonly seen in legacy telephone systems where the phone system might not be in the communications room but rather at the entry point. In addition, it was commonly seen with CCTV systems where the cabling would go directly to a security office rather than the main communications room
The problem arises where the different systems cannot access one another hardware. Data cabling links would be installed to link them together. However, with a structured cabling system, all data cabling goes to a central point and the linking together is done through the same switches and within the same cabinets. Thus, much more efficient and less room for error and problems
Who needs structural wiring, and where and where do you need structural wiring?
Which businesses require structural cabling? If your business has a computer network and/or telecommunications system, you will require structural cabling. Furthermore, you should install cables throughout your entire cable structure. The more you can bring all hardware onto a common cabling infrastructure, the better the overall design will be.
Even if you now have a small business with a phone line and two computers, if you ever want to grow or expand your business, you should invest in structured cabling. When you're starting, it's a good time to think about your structured cabling. Thus, it will be just as easy to add new cables and hardware to your growing system when it starts with a future-minded design and standard of cabling
What Does Structured Cabling Look Like?
The overall data cabling system consists of the following elements
- Data Cabinets
- Patch Panels
- The physical data cable and its standard (Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7, Cat8)
- The backbone links connecting multiple cabinets
- The user outlet module
- The Patch leads to connect the cabling to active hardware
The cabling will run from the central cabinet or multiple cabinets in larger spaces to each outlet regardless of hardware. For example, an outlet will be the same for a PC, Telephone, or CCTV camera.
The single cable from a central point is called a "Star Network". This way if one cable is damaged the whole system isn't compromised.
The cables terminate at individual outlets at the user end. At the cabinet end, they terminate onto 24 or 48 port "Patch Panels". This combines outlets into compressed panels to fit inside data cabinets.
Patch leads are used on both ends to connect to active hardware. At the user end a patch lead will go from the outlet module to the PC, Telephone, etc. Furthermore, at the cabinet, the patch lead will connect that individual patch panel port to the active switches and routers
Finally, when more than one cabinet is present, "Backbone Cabling" is installed. This is copper or fibre cabling that links the cabinets together. Generally, this is undertaken patch panel to patch panel
What Are the Benefits of Structured Cabling? Why is structured cabling important?
Again, the organization is the keyword here. The advantages of a well-organized cabling system are:
- Movement, augmentation, and transformation within the same user space. Multiple systems can use a single cabling outlet
- Time-saving; With structural cabling systems, cable and port tracing becomes an easy task. This logical, organized approach not only makes the changes easier but also saves you time.
- Aesthetics. Never underestimate that an organized cabling system will look much better than several systems installed with their own dedicated wiring. This is especially true at the cabinet and patch panel end where they can be combined and patched in a common system
- One of the most important benefits of structured cabling is that it can reduce human error and time-lapse. In a structured cabling system, if there is a disconnection or damage on a single port, the whole system isn't affected. Also, any spare data ports can be immediately used to move that hardware and get it running quickly