To know whether or not you need structured cabling, you need to know what it is, and why you should care. Let’s start with a definition. Structured cabling is building, data center, or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure. A properly engineered and installed structured cabling system provides a cabling infrastructure that performs to meet your current needs and has the flexibility to handle additions and changes when and if needed. Let’s take a deeper dive into the features and benefits of structured cabling and find out if it makes sense for you.
How is Structured Cabling Different from Standard Cabling?
Structured cabling is an organized and flexible approach to cabling infrastructure. In many data centers, for example, the cabling method is defined as “point-to-point.” This method runs patch cables, or “jumpers” directly to and from hardware that needs to be connected.
In a structured cabling system, a series of patch panels and trunks are used to create a structure that allows for hardware ports to be connected to any patch panel. A patch panel can be connected to another patch panel via a trunk in the main distribution area. The MDA or main distribution area is a defining feature of structured cabling. This is where all the moves, adds, and changes can be easily and quickly accomplished.
What are the Benefits of Structured Cabling?
When you think about structured cabling, the main thing to focus on is organization. When you choose an organized, structured cabling system, you benefit from:
- Quick Adjustments – Because all moves, adds, and changes are done at the MDA instead of running long patch cords, you can quickly make the adjustments you need.
- Downtime Dramatically Reduced – Because it’s an organized system, the potential for errors and downtime is nearly eliminated.
- Time Saver – Cable and port tracing is a much easier job with structured cabling systems.
- Better Aesthetics – Yes, looks matter. A structured cabling system looks much cleaner than point-to-point.
Risks of Using Point-to-Point Cabling Systems
- Downtime – When your cabling infrastructure is unorganized, mistakes are more likely to occur. The cabling can get in the way, and incorrect ports get unplugged. Trying to remove a single cable from a giant tangled mess stresses other cables and takes a lot of time. Errors are harder to trace in point-to-point systems. This all leads to more downtime than necessary.
- Airflow – When a point-to-point method is used, the front and sides of the switch are congested with cabling bulk. This blocks or reduces airflow that the switch needs to operate efficiently.
Want to Find out if Structured Cabling is Right for You?
Communications Solutions, Inc. specializes in analyzing and providing customized voice and data cable installation in Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida area. As a licensed and insured cabling contractor, we bring expertise and years of experience to every job. We know each client is unique and needs a customized solution. Give us a call today, and let’s start a conversation about how we can help your business or organization.