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What Is Structured Cabling for Computer LAN Networks?

Structured Cabling for Computer LAN Networks

Structured cabling for computer for computer lan networks

What is structured cabling?

Modern Computer LAN Networks (local area network) wiring has the concept of structured cabling.

With today’s high speed networks, people realize that the networking system must be broken up into shorter chunks that allow workstation wiring to be concentrated, with each cable length short enough to support the high data rate.

Based on aforementioned reasons, structured wiring standard has been developed to help define a computer wiring system that stays within the maximum wiring distance for various LAN topologies. For example, the horizontal cable wiring length is 100 meters for 100 Base networks.

What do we do to observe the 100 meters wiring standard?

In order to achieve the wiring concentration standard, telecommunication rooms (wiring centers) are placed at planned locations in a building. These telecom rooms are then interconnected to provide the total network connectivity for the building.

This can be explained in a three stories building. At one same corner of each floor, a telecom rooms is constructed; these telecom rooms are then connected by backbone wiring (cables run vertically through the floors and link all telecom rooms together).

On each floor, a telecom room concentrates all workstation cables for that floor. Each workstation has a wall mounted jack. The network cable is terminated at that jack and runs directly to the telecom room. The cable may run in wire trays or conduit, or be draped over supports such as a drop ceiling. For larger floors, more than one telecom room may be needed.

Horizontal Cabling using Computer Lan Networks

The horizontal wires cables on Computer Lan Networks, which run from workstations on the same floor to the telecom room, are then terminated on punchdown termination, or directly onto a patch panel. The punchdown terminations or patch panels could be rack mounted (19″ or 23″ racks), cabinet mounted or wall mounted.

In the telecom room, network equipment such as a hub or switch is connected to each station cable, which electrically terminates the cable run. The hub or switch then passes the computer signal on to other work stations or servers, or even to other telecom rooms for ultimate connectivity with the entire network.

Vertical Cabling (Backbone Cabling)

Telecom rooms on each floor are then connected together by backbone cabling (also called vertical cabling for floor to floor connections). These backbone cablings typically are done from floor to floor to floor.

Usually telecom rooms should be located directly above one another in order to minimize the cable runs length, but this also varies from building to building.

With the emerge of Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, fiber optic cable is the most appropriate choice for backbone cabling since they provide much higher bandwidth than traditional Cat5, Cat6 or even Cat7 twisted pair copper cables. Another advantage of fiber is that fibers can run much longer distance than copper cable, which makes them especially attractive for backbone cabling.

The difference between backbone cabling and horizontal cabling

Since backbone cabling typically passes through from floor to floor, the cables used for backbone cabling have very different requirement than the horizontal cablings.

Fire ratings. Backbone cables must have standard imposed fire rating specifications. Typically this is OFNR (Optical Fiber Non-Conductive Riser) rated. If the backbone cable passes through plenum area (spaces in the building used for air return in air conditioning), the cable must be OFNP (Optical Fiber Non-conductive Plenum) rated.

Physical securing. Physical securing for vertical riser cables is also different than horizontal cables. So is the cable strength, since vertical riser cables need to have enough strength to support its own weight.

Read more about structuring cabling in our Structured cabling service page HERE.

What is the Role of Structured Cabling Infrastructure?

Structured Cabling Infrastructure

Brief explanation about the Role of structured Cabling Infrastructure

Modern technology has changed the Role of structured Cabling Infrastruture, and the growth of computer information technology systems in particular, has allowed for the rapid expansion of businesses in a variety of private sectors. Of course, as the business grows and its computer information systems become more complicated, various additional complex facets will be required in order to better handle the processes performed.

This is where structured cabling can prove helpful assistance, not least because it can provide much needed cohesion to a rapidly expanding and significantly complex IT system.

One of the areas people need to understand about their computer systems is that they are always expanding and modernizing. It simply is not a wise choice to maintain an old and outdated computer system in a world that is rapidly growing and changing. In some instances, there will be facets to computer systems that will need to be integrated into pre-existing models that most people never thought would be necessary. The inclusion of a number of multimedia components such as audio, video, and other integrated devices will eventually be required and this is just one of the areas where a structured cabling system comes into play.

Structured cabling can often serve as the epicenter to a network infrastructure. When you mix and match new systems or add and subtract them, the structured cabling system will allow you to do so without any unnecessary disruptions or potential downtime. Additionally, those that may have to physically move components of an IT infrastructure will discover that the structured cabling will aid in making the move less problematic for the overall performance of the network. In fact, the impact of any physical moves would be so minimized if would really not have an impact.

There is also the issue of congestion that must be addressed. Over time you will invariably add extra elements to your network, which could mean that you run the risk of overburdening the system. This, in turn, creates a scenario where the network could be slowed and efficiency diminished. Structured cabling can eliminate such a problem rather effectively which is why its use is so popular. Really, this is one of the main benefits of employing such a concept.

There may be concerns regarding the ability to integrate systems that are made from different manufacturers. This is a valid concern that many share and issues of incompatibility will certainly be ones that need to be taken seriously. Thankfully, the engineers responsible for developing structured cabling took this into consideration and the concept can easily and effectively bring together various components from different manufacturers with relative ease. Consider this a major benefit to working with such a system.

Of course, not all structured cable systems are identical and that means you will need to weigh various options regarding which ones would work best for your system. Careful consulting with a provider service will definitely allow you to arrive at the proper conclusion.

Ultimately, structured cabling works quite well for the operation of an IT system and computer network which is why exploring its availability and use is so highly recommended.