The Importance of Structured Cabling For Modern Businesses

January 5, 2022

Structured Cabling

network

productivity

 

A clutter-free workplace is crucial for business productivity. These days, however, the word ‘clutter’ isn’t constrained to routine files and office tools.

In fact, with the rise in digital technology, electronic equipment can easily use much of your office space.

The concept of structured cable systems has become widely popular to organize such electronic tools. The numbers are enough to explain the significance of structured cabling.

With a CAGR of 4.3%, the structured data cabling market is expected to reach around $ 13.5 billion by 2025. Hence, if you haven’t considered structured cabling systems at your workplace, here’s what you might miss out on.

A Brief Look at Structured Cabling

It’s the era of modern gadgets. Here are solid reasons why technology rules the corporate world.

  • Growing demand for high-speed connectivity devices
  • The trend of data center convergence
  • Ever-developing robust communication infrastructure

Any business in today’s age grows exponentially with the help of technology that improves employee efficiency.

Structured cabling is simply the proper management of cable infrastructure at a workplace. However, the scope of structural cable systems is far vast than this simple definition.

Understanding A Structured Cabling System

It’s vital to simplify the concept of system cabling for every entrepreneur’s assistance. Here’s what you need to know about this crucial business requirement.

These days, almost every business relies on electronic and communication gadgets. Computers, laptops, phones, and other similar devices are the heart of hi-tech corporates.

A cabling system or network is ideal for connecting all these devices. A swift, robust, and well-organized network helps efficient connections.

Structured cabling builds smaller elements to bind all these devices together in an organized way.

Such a system is unique and contains subsystems with six essential components.

  • Horizontal cabling
  • Backbone cabling
  • Work area
  • Telecommunications closet
  • Equipment room
  • Entrance facility

With a reliable and experienced cabling vendor, you can organize this system for apparent benefits.

 

Structured Cabling Systems vs. Point-to-point Cabling

Conventionally, workspaces use point-to-point cabling systems. In this architecture, fiber cables connect one unit to the other.

These units can be a switch, storage device, or server.

If you need to add more devices, the number of ‘connecting’ points should undoubtedly increase. So, point-to-point systems become more complex, resulting in cabling confusion in such scenarios.

On the other hand, structured cable systems use distribution areas to connect equipment. These 'areas' provide flexible connections between the switch to a server, switch to storage, or switch to switch units.

 With a structured cable system, you get fast connections, the capability to install more devices, and high manageability.   

Overall, system cabling in an organized way proves lucrative in the long term. Hence, these systems have now become the go-to choice for data centers.

 

Why Structured Cabling Is The Fundamental Need Of The Hour?

Structural cable systems don’t just organize your wires. They provide several technical advantages for any business space.

Our reliance on digital infrastructure is growing with each passing year. In fact, the global spending on DX is projected to reach a staggering mark of $ 1.8 trillion this year.

This statistic is enough to justify our ever-growing dependency on digital devices. So, new businesses will profit immensely by investing in structured cabling systems. Here are the reasons explaining the benefits.

 

Highly Manageable Telecommunications Cabling

Manageability is a benefit associated with structured data cabling. A cabling vendor assesses your workspace requirements and installs such an organized system.

This process ensures a neat cable network that connects various devices hassle-free.

Such systems are easy to use, simple to maintain, and declutter your business space. Hence, ‘easy management’ is a huge advantage of a structured wiring system.

 

Flexible IT Cabling

Let’s consider you need to install new hardware. This hardware might be a brand-new computer, a server, or a data backup unit.

Irrespective of the device, you need to connect it for data transfer. Point-to-point cabling systems offer less flexibility. How?

You cannot move the new device. Also, you need to install this hardware as per physical constraints.

However, in the case of structured systems, the cabling equipment can connect to a patch panel. You can also add new network cabinets as per requirement. 

 

Reduced Downtime Risk

Nobody likes it when their communication lines malfunction in the middle of important work. However, situations like these aren’t unavoidable.

Troubleshooting such errors require time that can hamper your workspace productivity.

The repairer can quickly identify voice and data lines with structured system cabling. Consequently, fault finding and rectification become a swift process.

Also, an organized IT cabling infrastructure reduces disruptions due to human interference. These points contribute to the reduction in downtime, thereby saving valuable time.

 

Profitable Long-term Investments

Boosting productivity is a direct impact of structured cabling. However, some entrepreneurs might fret over the initial costs.

In simple words, structured cabling systems are flexible and scalable. Hence, a reliable cabling vendor can design a cost-effective solution for your business.

In addition, these systems can integrate hi-tech devices. Low maintenance and efficient troubleshooting save money in the long run.

Hence, structured cabling systems are a one-time investment for a future-proof infrastructure.

 

High Level Of Adaptability

Structured cabling components are highly adaptable. You can redesign the whole network without any issues.

In addition, the well-defined structured cabling standards ensure the system adapts to new devices and technology.

In a nutshell, you don’t need to keep remodifying your cable network. With a structured layout, implementing new commercial technology is possible with ease

 

Structured Network Cabling Standards

If you want to install newly organized wire cabling, it’s helpful to have a basic idea about the standards.

These international standards define your new cabling systems’ planning, design, and operations.

 

ANSI/TIA-568

TIA stands for Telecommunications Industry Association. This body revises structured cabling standards to keep up-to-date with emerging technologies.

This standard deals with the performance criteria of a structured wiring system. In addition, it lays down set rules for proper installation and testing of such cables.

Overall, the TIA-568 is vital for any commercial cabling system installation. 

 

ISO/IEC 11801

This international standard sets strict regulatory points for multi-vendor cabling systems. In a nutshell, they include standards for wire cabling.

The document covers crucial aspects like power supply, voice services, data, and video services for optimum installation. The ISO/IEC 11801 was last updated in 2017.

So, to install the best-structured network system, it is vital to choose a cabling vendor who follows these standards.

 

Role Of Structured Cabling Subsystems

All the above advantages to modern businesses directly result from well-defined subsystems. 

Together, these six subsystems of a structured cabling system establish a robust digital infrastructure.

 

Horizontal Cabling

This subsystem connects users with telecom resources. These cables run from individual user systems to the nearest telecommunications room.

You can observe the following components in a horizontal cabling structure.

  • Connectors
  • Cables
  • Patch panels
  • Cords
  • Jumpers
  • Consolidation points

The system makes efficient use of optical fiber cables for connection purposes.

 

Backbone Cabling

Like the name, backbone cabling is a vertical network subsystem that connects to each floor.

This subsystem establishes the connection between other aspects of the structured cabling components.

  • Entrance facilities
  • Telecommunication rooms
  • Equipment rooms

Moreover, this subsystem is vital for a high level of connectivity, especially in large-scale workspaces.

 

Work Area

This subsystem is the final element of structured cabling. It includes the actual working area of a professional or user.

In simple words, the work area comprises the electronic device and connector located on a wall. Any modifications are possible in the work area.

Hence, flexibility is an apparent advantage of structured cabling systems.

 

Telecommunications Closet

This area comprises a specialized room or enclosure. It contains hardware that connects user devices to the desired units.

In addition, a telecommunications closet contains jumpers that connect different cables to the patch panels.

In order to expand the flexible structured cable systems, this closet is of utmost importance. You can install ICs for further additions.

Note: Jumpers are cords that interconnect components in an electronic system.

 

Equipment Room

In this room, the cables connect to the internal wiring infrastructure. It requires a controlled environment for maintaining equipment in the best condition.

This subsystem contains patch panels that work as a bridge for establishing connections to other elements.

Overall, the equipment room has a large number of devices. However, this number depends on the requirement of a corporate organization. 

 

Entrance Facility

This subsystem is simply the location in the entire system where the cabling connects to the outside world. 

External cabling enters the building at a single point, termed the entrance facility. This subsystem contains a demarcation point for establishing telecommunication.

Significantly, proper positioning of entrance facilities enhances data and voice security. 

 

Sequence Of Structured Cabling

Generally, cabling vendors follow a proper sequence to establish the six subsystems. This sequence is as follows.

Entrance facility — Equipment Room — Telecommunications closet — Backbone cabling — Horizontal cabling — Work area. 

You can now understand that structural cable systems have a systematically designed infrastructure. Each component plays a distinct role in ‘organizing’ your electronic infrastructure.

So, it has become more vital than ever to install this type of cabling system before running operations.

 

Structured Cable Systems And Cybersecurity

Big or small, each company requires a reliable data transmission system. In the same way, every company is prone to cyber-attacks through such data channels.

The right equipment can save your organization from falling prey to such attacks. So, investing in a structured cable system makes more sense than ever.

  • Security Features: A structured wiring system has its own security features. For instance, access to crucial components is limited to authorized personnel.
  • Quick Troubleshooting: As mentioned earlier, fault-finding is quick in these systems. Hence, in case of a cyber-attack, you can minimize the time to rectify lost data.

It’s no doubt that data holds the key for any business. Installing structural cable systems establishes a layer of cybersecurity for additional digital safety.   

 

Structured Data Cabling Case Study

This example explains how a non-profit healthcare system in the US benefited from structured cabling.

 

Before Structured Cabling

The healthcare system had many individual fiber runs. Furthermore, it didn’t operate efficiently due to a lack of TIA-942 cabling infrastructure.

Also, the point-to-point cabling network caused challenges in monitoring the network traffic. How did the healthcare organization meet these challenges? Of course, with the right infrastructure cabling.

 

After Structured Cabling

The cabling vendor installed a layered structured data cabling system. Interestingly, the results speak for themselves.

There was a rise in efficiency, reliability, and scalability of the data center with proper implementation.

The IT staff could monitor traffic more effectively. Hence, there was an overall improvement in the patient-caregiver experience.

 

What Can You Learn From This Example?

If you are a modern entrepreneur, you can invest adequate money to find suitable structured cable systems.

In this way, you will save periodic costs of expansion and maintenance activities. In addition, your workplace will operate at a greater level of efficiency from the start.

On the contrary, existing businessmen can modify their systems. You can replace the conventional point-to-point cabling with structured wiring.

Importantly, you can notice a rise in efficiency like the mentioned case study in this section.

 

What Are The Common Uses Of Structured Cabling?

Structured cable systems are useful for almost every business. From healthcare to IT, hospitality to education, every sector can profit from proper structured cabling design.

 

Managing Data Center

Business expansion is a desirable and inevitable process. So, to cope with the growing data, you need a system that can manage the information efficiently.

In such cases, structure cabling proves benign. You can easily assemble or port your data center with a well-organized cabling network.

 

Security Applications

Structural cable systems can manage and operate surveillance equipment through integrated connections.

So, you can have control over the security of your premises. Also, a high level of flexibility helps you connect more security gadgets through the system.

 

Streaming Support

Remote working, hybrid workspaces, and teleconferencing are the new normal of the corporate world.

A robust and structured network cabling supports effective live streaming and video calls. Hence, you don’t need to fret over connectivity issues.

 

Cable Upgradation

It’s a fast-paced world. Hence, you need faster transmission rates to get the job done quickly. Most cabling vendors will suggest replacing your existing cables with fiber optics.

However, you need a suitable system to utilize these fiber optics cables. Structured cabling helps in this process and extracts the best performance from connectivity cables.

 

Support To Distributed Antenna Systems

A distributed antenna system (DAS) supports wireless services like Wi-Fi, PCS, and cellular to users.

Importantly, DAS is compatible with a structured wiring system. Hence, a business can make the best use of DAS for wireless communications.

 

Summing Up

‘Organize’ is the essence of structured cabling. Modern businesses need to pay attention to their digital infrastructure for the best results.

A structured cabling system is now mandatory for getting the best results from hi-tech telecommunication devices. In addition, these systems offer a wide array of benefits to all types of businesses.

It is crucial to invest in these cabling systems. Importantly, you should include structured cabling in the basics of modern-day entrepreneurship. After all, optimum productivity can skyrocket your business immensely.

However, it is always imperative to contact a reliable cabling vendor for the best advice.  

Frequently Asked Questions

This section covers common additional queries related to the concept of structured cable installation and systems.

What is the general procedure of structured cable installation?

A vendor will start by conducting a site survey of a business workplace. This survey will consider the number of users, buildings, and end utility.

Next, the technical team will initiate the structured cabling design. This includes all major and minor components in the system.

With proper communication, the vendor will suggest the correct type of cabling for your needs. The standards play a vital role in this step.

Finally, the physical installation of the cabling equipment will take place. Hence, the overall process is complete in four steps.

What is the difference between Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables?

Cables are essential tools for data transmission and connectivity. Depending on the throughput speed, the cables have different code names.

The throughput speed of Cat 5 is 10/100 Mbps. On the other hand, Cat 5e’s throughput speed is 1000 Mbps/1 Gbps. Hence, the latter is ten times faster than the former cable.

Is there a limitation to horizontal cabling length?

The maximum allowable distance for horizontal cabling from a telecommunications room is 90 meters.

This distance is fixed, irrespective of the type of cable media. You can further study the details of cabling under ANSI/TIA-568-C standard.

Which cables do technicians use in system cabling?

Generally, fiber optic data cables are prominent in the modern era due to better bandwidth and latency. However, other types like twisted pair cables and coaxial cables find extensive use.

Notably, the selection of cables depends on the cabling network’s size, topology, and end utility. The architecture of a building also plays a paramount role in selecting cables for structured cable systems.

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