How to Plan for Structured Cabling Installation
A strong structured cabling system is the backbone of a well-functioning network. That’s why it is so important to take the time to design the right structured cabling system for your business’s unique needs. As you plan out your system, there are many factors to consider, bandwidth requirements, equipment types, anticipated node growth, code compliance, cable paths, and aesthetics. Without proper planning and continued maintenance, functionality could be drastically diminished.
Indoor or Outdoor Installations
One of the biggest considerations when planning and installing a structured cabling system is the location of the cabling itself. Whether they will be installed inside or outside determines a variety of factors. Indoor cabling, for example, must be installed in a way that maintains the aesthetic of the building, while also not interfering with existing wired systems, like AV or communications. Outdoor cabling, on the other hand, will be exposed to the elements. Depending on the climate and topography of your location, structured cabling systems that will be installed outside may need to be housed in conduits to protect the infrastructure.
Before you begin the planning and installation of your structured cabling system, it’s important to understand the bandwidth requirements for your unique application. This consideration is especially required if you plan to transmit a large amount of data through the network. Without the proper bandwidth, even the best hardware cannot function effectively. Talk with your contractor to ensure that the cabling system you hope to install will support the equipment and data transmission rates you plan to use on Day One. Keep in mind, that requirements may change over time, and forethought in your design can save additional capital expenditure in the future.
State and Local Regulations
As with any major installation, local building codes will play a factor in the system’s design. Guidelines will determine whether cables need to be installed in conduit, or if they need to be plenum or non-plenum. Prior to planning and installing your structured cabling system, check your state and city regulations. Your contractor should be well aware of your locality’s requirements, but it’s always a good idea to verify that they are up-to-date before you begin your design.
The design and installation of a structured cabling system can be costly and time-consuming, and some businesses assume that the job is done once the network is up and running. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cable management and maintenance will still be essential as long as you continue to use the network. As upgrades to your equipment occur, changes may need to be made to your cabling system, and regular inspection and maintenance could reduce the likelihood of major issues in the future. Consider color-coding and cable administration drawings and records of cable certifications to assist you in troubleshooting when problems arise, as well.
Planning Installations for Structured Cabling
Whether you need to run the network for a school, a medical facility, an office complex, or a warehouse, your structured cabling system must be properly installed to function well. Take the time to carefully plan your system prior to installation. For inside cabling, consider the building’s aesthetic and existing wiring, while outside cabling may need to be laid in PVC for additional protection from the elements. Be sure to factor in your required bandwidth, and follow any local and state regulations, as well. Proper planning before installation will likely lead to fewer issues well into the future.
Contact Layer One Technologies for more information on planning your structured cabling system.