Given the tremendous amounts of data that flow through a typical business every day, having an efficient IT infrastructure is critical to remaining competitive.
Modern IT systems require a lot of cabling, and an efficient cabling system ought to be both scalable and modular. A good system optimizes space, allows for proper cooling of hardware and minimizes energy use.
For decades, organizations used point-to-point cabling, which involves directly connecting one device to another. While this approach might be adequate for a home technology system, the number of devices and connections in a typical business makes a point-to-point cabling system messy to the point of being impractical. In addition to making employees deal with rats’ nests of cables, a point-to-point system is hard to maintain and upgrade.
Putting the cumbersome nature of the system to one side, point-to-point cabling also leads to technical problems. For example, reduced airflow and greater stress on cables both negatively impact the flow of data and can lead to equipment breakdowns.
Structured Network Cabling: A Better Approach
Instead of directly connecting devices together, structured cabling is based on a central main distribution area (MDA), through which all connections are passed.
Revolving around an MDA, structured cabling is laid out systematically. In addition to accommodating all of the hardware and IT infrastructure of an organization, structured cabling is also designed to accommodate future needs.
Structured cabling includes five subsystems:
- The demarcation point. This is the location where the Internet provider connects to an organization’s wiring.
- The equipment room. This is the location where consolidation points are housed.
- Vertical cabling. This is used to connect equipment rooms, which are often located on different floors.
- Horizontal wiring. This is used to link equipment rooms and individual outlets or work areas.
- A work area. This is where equipment connects to outlets.
Each subsystem includes cabling that is laid out in a defined form that typically includes equipment cords, a permanent link and a work area cord. The permanent link consists of solid conductor cabling, and it is an essential feature in any subsystem. For instance, a permanent link may run from a call center work area to a patch panel. A permanent link enables testing to ensure both the connection and any connected devices are performing correctly.
This modular and flexible approach is very different from a point-to-point cabling system. When an entire system is based on lengths of cable, it requires long connections that lead to lower overall conductivity. Furthermore, using hundreds of unstructured cables leads to a massive amount of sprawl. Connections are much more difficult to track, making maintenance and updates extremely arduous.
The Business Benefits of Structured Network Cabling
While the operational benefits of structured cabling may seem obvious, the business benefits of this system may seem less obvious. However, because the installation and maintenance of structured cabling require a significant investment, it is critical to identify the business benefits of the system.
First and foremost, the transition to a better-designed and organized IT infrastructure leads to higher productivity. When wires, cables and devices are all well-organized, mistakes are avoided. It's more difficult to make bad connections, trip over stray wires or waste time searching through a tangle of cables.
Switching to structured cabling also reduces downtime. Corporate networks go down often, and downtime can be costly. With structured cabling, it's easier to identify the root cause of downtime and quickly address it. Regardless of whether a fix is complicated or simple, less time is lost searching for the root cause.
A structured network cabling system is also designed to evolve with technology. With current business data speeds often reaching the 10-gigabytes-per-second speed, more sophisticated future systems will inevitably require even higher data rates. A structured cabling system allows for new cabling and devices to be easily swapped in for outdated equipment. Administrators can also take a modular approach to upgrades and make incremental investments based on need.
Also, businesses often change locations. Structured cabling makes moving to a new office relatively easy, minimizing downtime and the stress associated with any transitions.
At the end of the day, structured cabling provides greater dependability, flexibility and scalability. The result is higher productivity, less downtime, fewer repairs and a massive return on investment.
How Taylored Systems Can Help
At Taylored Systems, we specialize in structured network cabling in Noblesville and Central Indiana. Our certified installers are capable of providing systems that meet some of today’s highest industry standards.
After installation, our team tests the entire network to ensure it meets both manufacturer and BICSI requirements. The physical infrastructure we provide is backed by manufacturer warranties that span from 15 years to the entire lifetime of the product.
If you would like to learn more about our dedication to providing Central Indiana businesses with quality IT infrastructure, please contact us today.