Cabling system is essential in many companies, but it is often ignored. Huge complexities could occur when relocations or major renovations take place. Cabling is still considered as a low priority aspect and it is believed to take away much of the valuable resources. Connecting servers and hundreds of workstations or individual PCs could result in complex cabling arrangement.
Cabling should be considered as the backbone of reliable computing solutions. Cabling integrates all computers and related devices, such as printers, scanners, modems, hubs – into a single large entity. In large offices, professional services are needed to design, install and maintain complex cabling configuration. It is important to choose highly experienced professionals who have worked with similarly large installations. Professionals who have completed tasks of similar size and scope should be able to do the job satisfactorily.
It is also important to choose the right products when building a cabling system. Some larger companies like Leviton, AMP, Ortronics, Comscope and Belden provide various products needed for our cabling. We couldn’t go wrong with these big names in computer cabling industry. However, it is important to make proper standardization.
It means that components at one end of the cabling network are identical with those used at the other end. Components should be interchangeable to ease the maintenance and repair tasks. Good cabling products will also allow us achieve specific performance criteria. Poorly manufactured cables and connectors could have larger noises, resulting in reduced performance. We should do our own research and choose products that we strongly feel as capable. Good research should also allow us to avoid paying too much for a product.
Cabling products should match specific standards, such as Cat 5E and Cat 6. We could take a sample of the product and test its performance under different loads. By choosing products with reasonably newer standards, we could better future-proof our cabling system. It means that if we want to install new servers and networking technologies with much higher speeds, our cabling system could still accommodate them.
It also means that we should use a universal wiring standard as recommended by BICSI and EIA/TIA. Modern cabling system has improved much more than just a single voice-grade cable. By using common standards, professionals are in complete control of their whole infrastructure. It is possible for in-house computer technicians to perform some maintenance and repair tasks, if products and technology used are highly standardized.
In this case, we should make sure that our cabling system is properly planned. There should be CAD drawings for pre and post installations conditions. By creating post-installation CAD drawings, we could get an actual view of the newly installed cabling system. Often, the cabling system is somewhat different compared to what have been planned. By having visual representation of our cabling system, we will be able to perform maintenance and repair tasks much easily. Any changes in the cabling system should included in the CAD drawing.