Topology Or Architecture Of Structured Cabling SystemsTopology Or Architecture Of Structured Cabling Systems

A common complaint among network administrators is the network going down on a frequent basis. Network downtime problems can often be attributed to inferior cabling systems rather than hardware faults or issues and could potentially be significantly reduced by installing standards-compliant structured cabling systems.

A structured cabling system is a single mixed media network that integrates all information traffic flow and incorporates voice, data, audio, video and more. Structured cabling also provides administrative and management capabilities. This produces the high-performance networks that many businesses have come to rely on.

What Function Do Structured Cabling Systems Have?

Each workstation has an individual cable that feeds into a passive centralized cross-connect in the network room or server room. In most cases, network administrators can identify cables for each individual workstation or area with basic labelling and colouring systems.

The network room becomes the focal point for a central administrative panel with the ability to make additions, changes, and alterations to the network system. In this instance, structured cabling is independent of the technology it connects and feeds.

Benefits of Structured Cabling Systems

Along with the convenience of being able to perform hardware upgrades with a minimum of downtime, structured cabling systems also have the advantage of easier identification of network issues or problems.

Structured cabling systems also support future applications and upgrades, like adding multimedia applications or video conferencing or making changes to hardware with very little upgrade inconvenience.

The ability to access a centralised information source from multiple work stations simultaneously means administrators have the ability to implement internal staff email systems, internet access, general information automation, document sharing, printer sharing, file transfers and more.

Another excellent benefit to businesses is the ability to automate software updates across an entire organization via the structured cabling system. This means alleviating the need to upgrade each workstation machine individually, increasing productivity, and reducing down time.

Architecture of Structured Cabling Systems

Structured Cabling System design begins at the building entrance facilities, which provide the point at which outside cabling interfaces with the internal backbone cabling.

From there, the cabling systems need to meet in a passive centralised cross-connect in the network room and equipment room. The backbone cabling provides the interconnections between each of the telecommunications closets, the equipment rooms, and building entrance facilities.

The backbone cabling may include vertical connections between separate floors, cables connecting equipment rooms and building cable entrance facilities and may even incorporate cables between buildings for inter-building communication and access. Backbone cabling feeds to centralized hubs, from which each work group is connected via horizontal cabling systems.

Horizontal cabling sub-systems should then extend from the telecommunications outlet and network hubs out to each individual workstation. Individual workstations may encompass cabling requirements for station equipment such as computers, data terminals, and telephones, patch cables such as modular cords, PC adapter cables and fibre jumpers.

Network cables are the medium through which information usually moves from one network device to another. Commonly used with LANs, the type of cable used for a network will be related to the network's specific topology, protocol, and size.
by Derek Rogers
References and Bibliography
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For information on Network Cabling, he recommends Network 24, a leading UK structured cabling company.
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