Structured Cabling in Data Centers

The Importance of Structured Cabling in Data Centers

structured cabling

data centers

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Structured cabling, also referred to as building or campus telecommunications cabling is an infrastructure of high importance. It consists of various standard components, including multi-fiber, multi-copper trunk cables, patch channels, and port applications. You can even the trunk cables customer-length cut. 

So, you can see that the structured system cabling in I.T. denotes the entire cabling structure along with its associated hardware. This comprehensive infrastructure helps build up a robust telecommunication system within an organization. As a result, you get a broader range of use along with faster data transmission within your computer network. 

Moreover, the fiber and copper ports deployed offer higher scalability for future growth which is crucial in a data center. It helps interconnect the main distribution areas (MDA) and the EOR, ZONE, and much more. With its help, you maximize the system availability and make your cabling system future-proof. Moreover, it also helps reduce downtime within your organization. 

What is a Structured Cabling System?

Do you want to know what is structured wiring? It is the design and installation of the cabling system technology for connecting several hardware. It solves all the modern cabling needs within a productive space and offers higher scalability for the future.

A faster network cabling system that delivers a low-cost and high-efficiency network is an essential part of the infrastructure for any business. There are different types of network cable layouts that help you achieve this. Together, they can be referred to as structured cabling.

If you ever wondered about the transmission methods in an organization, these cablings are its backbones. Now you can establish such cabling within the computers, the routers, and even the storage systems. These are set up through internet cable installation to link all the systems within an organization.

Not only does it ensure faster connectivity, but it also helps businesses achieve a singular system for interconnective all the peripherals. This type of integration is highly important for achieving a seamless workflow.

If you want to understand how structured cabling systems can be so important, you need to understand the range of communication requirements. Also, there are a few other things to consider.

What is Cabling of This Type Used For?   

First thing first, why do you need structured cabling in the first place? Simply put, it is the single solution that helps connect and transfer data throughout an organization seamlessly. Cabling means the networking process that allows the cabling connection to flow between different devices and peripherals.

This includes, but is not limited to, switches, storage, networks, routers, and of course, computers. In short, an entire organization's performance, workflow, and productivity depend on structured cabling, directly or indirectly. You can say that it is the glue that binds all other components together.

Speaking of components, let’s have a look at the different Structure Cabling components.

 

Different Components of a Structured Cabling System

Before getting into any more details, let’s understand that there are six components of a network defined by structured cabling. In a structured cabling system, these are determined by the standard given by the ANSI/TIA-568-C.0  and the ANSI/TIA-568-C.1.

The ANSI/TIA-568-C.0 is the standard for Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises. On the other hand, ANSI/TIA-568-C.1 is the standard for Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard.

If you wonder which standard describes structured cabling, it is the Commercial Building Wiring Standard.

Now, let's have a look at the different components. These include:

  • The Entrance Facility: The space where the internet service provider installs all the cabling and customer premises equipment. It is the office building's access point to the outside world.
  • The Server Room: This section houses the servers, routers, firewalls, and other equipment. It also consists of the main cross-connect (MC), intermediate cross-connects (I.C.), and horizontal cross-connects (H.C.).
  • The Telecommunications Room: The telecommunications room (T.R.) and telecommunications enclosure (T.R.) are the secondary connection between the hardware to the horizontal terminals and backbone cables.
  • Backbone Cabling: This space connects the entrance facility, telecommunication rooms, and other facilities together.
  • Horizontal Cabling: Also considered as cabling subsystem 1, this component helps connect the primary work area's telecommunication information outlet to the T.R. or T.E.
  • The Work Area: Work area or W.A. components consist of multiple outlets that support all devices and peripherals across the work floor. It begins from the end of the telecommunication connector of the horizontal cabling systems and ends at the work area equipment.

 

Why is Structured Cabling Important?

There is no substitute for a well-designed and perfectly installed structured cabling system technology. Not only does this provide a robust cabling infrastructure that delivers unmatched performance, but it also offers the flexibility you seek. You no longer have to worry about moving, accommodating, adding, making changes to your systems.

Structured cabling helps you maximize the system availability, increasing the usability of your cabling system along the way. Now to understand its importance better, you need to take a look at the various benefits it offers in detail.

Standard Benefits of Structured Cabling

Structured cabling systems are the most adaptable technology available today that are constantly being updated. These help in better communication. With their help, networking becomes more user-friendly and makes the cabling in your office more organized.

The functionalities are immense when looking at it from the perspective of telecommunication solutions and unified communication systems. Moreover, the low cost of ownership further adds to its attractiveness.

Let’s have a look at the various standard benefits of a structured cabling system in detail for your reference.

Easily Manageable

This is perhaps one of the most prominent and sought-after uses of a structured cabling system. It has become so important because this system makes it effortless to use. When you seek a solution to increase the effectiveness of the workspace, nothing works better than a structured cabling system. How so?

It's simple! When you don't have to spend too much time on managing, maintaining, and connecting your cabling system, you can focus on the more critical tasks at hand. On top of that, your company makes profits thanks to faster connectivity and more productivity. This is a massive gain from a one-time initial investment.

Increases Productivity

Are you wondering how a robust structured cabling system can increase your company's productivity? Then, you first need to understand the problems due to unorganized cabling systems. With a cabling system that is not organized, it can be very difficult to identify and resolve errors quickly.

Moreover, disorderly cabling systems will most likely cause a lot of errors during the initial structured cabling installation, delaying the process further. Think about the times when your telecommunication systems go down! No matter how compelling your I.T. department is in troubleshooting, it will require some time to fix it.

This isn't good for company productivity, and as a business owner, your goal is to reduce the downtime in your organization. What's more, troubleshooting through jumbled-up networking cables is a nightmare. Structured cabling is important since it allows for a more reliable and effective infrastructure that allows faster repairs.

 

Better Cost-Effectiveness

Now, when you have a fully engineered and properly installed robust infrastructure that increases productivity, it may sound to be expensive. This is where structured cabling surprises you, as this technology is highly cost-effective. Whether you plan to make routine moves, additions, or changes to your existing system, this will have more intangible and tangible benefits.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Enhancement in productivity
  • Faster rollout of strategic applications
  • Less time spent in troubleshooting

All of this accounts for better and more successful business processes. So, you can see that the return on investment is very high for these systems.

Highly Adaptable and Helps in Future-Proofing for Scalability

One of the key factors behind the build of structured cabling that makes it so important is its adaptability and scalability for growth. These systems are designed to support a highly accurate and super-fast bandwidth. This is a great blessing for any business.

Whether conducting video conferences or taking high volume calls, a higher and more accurate bandwidth can solve all disruptions. No longer do you have to worry about accommodating functionalities, either!

The ability to upgrade your telecommunication system consistently without any overhaul further saves a lot of time and money. Furthermore, transferring the existing cabling system and reinstalling the network infrastructure becomes more achievable.

You Enjoy an Enhanced Flexibility

Another importance of structured cabling systems is that they offer a higher level of flexibility not found anywhere else. Apart from scalable and consistent growth, it supports fast and straightforward accommodations and swift changes.

If you wish to witness high-quality performance and business growth, this type of flexibility is crucial. It also helps in decreasing the time to install and adapt to any network infrastructure within a stipulated workspace.

Supports All Applications and Equipment

Structured cabling systems not only help you achieve seamless integration and a manageable system but also remove any scope for confusion. With the help of such technology, your organization easily becomes a display of all the valuable assets. How does that happen?

Imagine a single unified system with tremendous flexibility in letting you add, change, or move the components. Whether you need to add video conferencing applications, audio-visual enhancements, or VoIP systems, structured cabling can make it less complicated.

Moreover, the scalable and adaptable nature makes adding new equipment and technologies easy. The modern fiber structured cabling systems also relieve you from all future bandwidth headaches.

These systems also support multiple systems and applications simultaneously, making this ideal for any business. It is very easy to hold meetings, especially when running operations at various locations.

With Voice over I.P. (VoIP), you can convert your voice easily into a digital signal. That is the technology used to make calls via computers. With structured cabling, installing and using this becomes more accessible.  

Better Protection, communication, and Cybersecurity

As a result of the factors mentioned above, you can easily streamline communication via commercial phone systems and other data-driven devices. So, you can see how having a structured cabling system is vital for maintaining better communication within an organization.

Moreover, it does not overcomplicate things which is usual when a new technology is implemented within a workspace. Common issues involve system corruption and resources being misdirected. However, structured cabling systems can prevent this from happening.

The best part is that these systems allow for authorized access implementation. Therefore, you have no threat to your cybersecurity when you opt for a structured cabling system in your company.

Importance of a Structured Cabling System in Your Data Centre

With the industrial revolution 4.0, global I.T. and telecommunication companies will be exposed to the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The proliferation of this is why structured cabling can be considered the future of the I.T. and telecom industry.

When running a thriving data center, structured cabling has enormous significance as it directly impacts your data network design. This is extremely important in a day-to-day operation where you get a clearer view of usability and maintenance factors for your office networks.

Moreover, structured cabling systems are essential in maintaining a robust telecom infrastructure that all data centers should have.

If you are wondering about the real benefits of using structured cabling in a data center, there are plenty. Let's have a look!

Cable Lifetime and Maintenance Cost

When you plan on upgrading the cycles and consider the upfront cost, the bulk of the deployed cabling is a significant concern. With the fixed cabling of a structured cabling system, installation becomes easy.

Now you may feel that high-volume cable management is relatively straightforward, but the upgrade and management cost is very high. Data centers must opt for high-speed cabling that future proofs their infrastructure.  

Cabling Volume Vs. Port Volume

There are indeed many fixed cabling in structured cabling infrastructure. This may seem like a massive upfront cost initially. Then how are these cost-effective, you may ask!

If you look at the long-term usability of these systems, everything from equipment function to connectivity, there is a considerable change. No longer are you restrained within any physical location?

Moreover, redundant power supply outlets and dedicated network ports will not be a major concern any longer. In fact, depending on the equipment you use, it is possible to reduce your oversubscription rates by up to 50%.

Improved Cooling and Power Consumption

Cooling and power consumption are definitely two of the biggest concerns when running a data center. Since most local connections are shifted to the patching area, a structured cabling system lets you confine the cables to a single rack.

Now the routing is much more straightforward, whether these cables lead to local power outlets or the patching zones. As a result, this reduces the maintenance and administration efforts. Moreover, you can easily diagnose and adjust the patch panel connections, and labeling and documenting them becomes hassle-free.

How is Structured Cabling Different from Standard Point-to-Point Cabling?

The term "point-to-point" cabling usually refers to the data center cabling systems. In this type of system, there are "jumper" fiber cables. These cables help connect a single switch, storage unit, or server to another switch, storage unit, or server.

Usually, a point-to-point cabling system works perfectly for a smaller number of connections. The problem, however, arises when the number of connectivity increases. Now that is not unusual in a data center environment.

The problem with point-to-point cabling is that it can become bulky very soon. Since point-to-point cabling lacks the flexibility needed to make scalable actions within a data center infrastructure, there is a need for structured cabling.

A structured cabling system differs from traditional point-to-point cabling in its ways of connectivity. Point-to-point cabling offers a more direct connection to the devices and easily helps automate the control system.

In contrast, structured cabling allows the flexibility that point-to-point cabling lacks. Moreover, the traditional point-to-point cabling systems do not offer any scalability. This is a huge advantage of structured cabling systems.

Just imagine having to run a cable from one floor of your office to the circuit breaker box in the basement. It doesn't seem like the most optimal solution, does it? It is not when you are handling an enterprise-standard data center.

Moreover, the support for faster connectivity and a more intelligent network system is the reason behind the popularity of structured cabling systems. It may not be the complete substitution for point-to-point cabling, as the traditional system may still have a few uses in I.T.

However, structured cabling is the better choice when seeking performance, reliability, manageability, and flexibility.

Conclusion

Today, it is more important than ever to add more capacity to the data centers quickly. With global pandemic outbreaks and remote work becoming a norm, the time has never been more crucial.

So, the network and data centers need to act fast while still providing the original transactions and processes. Fiber optic and copper infrastructure cabling is, therefore, the solution. It allows you to add more capacity and redeploy assess much easier than standard point-to-point cabling infrastructure.

With better flexibility, adaptability, and long-term productivity, this system is highly important if you want to grow your business. Not just that, but your data center needs an upgraded and reliable solution to stay relevant in the changing technological environment.

With the help of a structured cabling system, you can further disaster-proof your system networks and data centers.

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