A strong structured cabling design is the foundation of a reliable IT network. It’s vital to take the time and money to design a properly structured cabling system for your organization’s requirements and goals. There are many things to consider – the locality of your operations, bandwidth requirements, code compliance, indoor aesthetics, and more.
Without proper planning, design, and maintenance, there is no scaling your business or operations.
What is Structured Cabling Design?
Companies and organizations love structured cabling design because it’s the best solution for a fast network and lower power consumption. Structured cabling design refers to limiting wires used for your network system at your company while increasing high-speed data transfer.
A structured cabling system itself refers to the wiring network that handles your communications systems – unified communications, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), data, multimedia, security, PoE (Power Over Ethernet), and wireless. The structured cabling system spreads those communication systems through company and organization grounds.
The meticulous design of this infrastructure absolutely impacts daily operations and can help companies scale their business. With structured cabling design, companies can say goodbye to confusing bunches of tangled wires. That makes the job of network managers easier – thanks to organized cabling structures, they can spot problems quicker. Moreover, structured cabling design limits the overall risk of mistakes in cabling. That also contributes to less downtime.
5 Things to Consider When Planning for Structured Cabling Design
To maximize the chances of business success with structured cabling design, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Let’s start.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cabling Systems
Will the cable system be indoors or outdoors? That choice has a significant impact on the type and layout of your cables. For instance, indoor cabling must be installed in a way that doesn’t interfere with the appearance of a building’s interior. For outside wires to operate as much as efficiently, you should approach such cabling design with a different installation method. The wires must be sturdy and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. If installing cables outdoors, consider direct burial cables.
Cable System Lifespan
Plan for your organization’s anticipated structured cabling system lifespan.
The minimum life span to plan for is 10 years, the average life expectancy is 15 years, while you should probably strive for a lifespan between 10 and 20 years. Although network cabling makes for just 5% of the entire network budget, replacing it is the hardest and costliest part of the network to replace. The labor it takes brings significant disruption to an organization. So of all the network elements, the cabling system should have the longest life cycle.
Are you a company and organization that regularly transfers large files? It’s important to understand such basic needs of your organization before you install your cable system. And that includes knowing the bandwidth you require. Proper and robust equipment means almost nothing if you don’t have the bandwidth to match your needs. So talk to a contractor or your outsourced IT experts to make sure your structured cabling system design matches the data transmission rates and hardware.
Bear in mind that you should maybe aim for a slightly wider bandwidth than you currently need. That goes for all organizations and companies that plan to grow their operations or business in a few years.
Based on the design of municipal electricity networks, certain states and cities mandate the use of a particular type of cabling system. Before you set up your cabling system, make sure you are fully aware of the legalities ruling the locality.
If you have any questions concerning the legislation of cabling in your area, contact the authority that controls such regulations and ask them for directions. For instance, find out which cables should be in the conduit. And thoroughly research which ones should be plenum and which ones non-plenum.
The design phase doesn’t end with installation. After finishing the initial structured cabling design, you should test it with testing equipment you can find on the market. That way, you’ll know if you’re ready to set up your cabling system or make some tweaks and other changes.
Without testing, you risk startup delays, downtime, callbacks to the manufacturer, and other problems that can lead to unplanned expenses
But if you test your design and do well in tests of scheduled shutdowns and other scenarios, you’ll be more protected from sudden issues.
As we’ve seen, when setting up new building projects or adding wiring to existing structures, there is a myriad of things to factor in your structured cabling design. If you’re unsure how to set up a cohesive system with uninterrupted service and no downtime, consider enlisting the help of proven IT experts.