Cabling is cabling, right? This attitude to the design and architecture to your office cabling can mean you are left with confused, disorganized and ultimately, inefficient cabling. Structured cabling is a buzz word that gets thrown around a lot and represents a ‘better’ cabling system, but what is structured cabling and why does it matter to you?
What is Structured Cabling?
Structured cabling is a cabling system that’s been properly designed and installed for safe and predictable performance, and that allows for flexibility and growth. The technical definition from the Fiber Optic Association states that “Structured Cabling is the standardized architecture and components for communications cabling specified by the EIA/TIA TR42 committee and used as a voluntary standard by manufacturers to ensure interoperability.”
In layman’s terms that means your structured cabling system is carefully designed and installed by experts, so it consists of many smaller, standardized elements. This means your systems ‘talk to each other’, your cabling runs more reliably and efficiently, you can move, add to, or adjust your system easily, and your cabling is ‘future proof’ so you can build and develop your system as your business grows.
What Makes Structured Cabling Different?
Conventional cabling runs point to point, that means it directly connects hardware using patch cables or “jumpers.” In contrast, structured cabling uses a series of patch panels or trunks that hardware can be connected to. The patch panels are then connected to another patch panel in the Main Distribution Area (MDA) which is the central aspect of the structured cabling system. Moves, Adds and Changes (MACs) can be easily made at the MDA with short length patch cords.
Why You Should Switch To Structured Cabling
Structured cabling is the safer, faster and more efficient ways to connect your office. Structured cabling uses smaller, standardized patch panels connected to the common MDA which allows for easy changes and expansions. Because structured cabling is more organized, problems can be solved faster. Rather than rummaging through piles of tangled cables, troubleshooting happens much more quickly, so your issues get resolved with less stress and downtime.
Structured cabling ultimately aims at creating a cleaner and more organized cabling system that helps promote fast connections and cleaner, tidier server room. Better organization means your cables take up less space, for an improved aesthetic effect, and better airflow. This is also important for temperature regulation; which is critical for protecting sensitive server room equipment and hardware.
The advantages of structured cabling include:
- Time savings with cable and port tracing
- Less potential for downtime because of better cable organization
- Moves add and changes are easier thanks to the MDA
- Cabling looks cleaner and more organized
- Connections are faster, and troubleshooting is easier
- Cabling bulk is reduced to improve airflow and cooling.
Switching to structured cabling doesn’t just help your cable system to look better and become more organized. Structured cabling adds many benefits for your business; helping you run faster, more efficiently and more effectively.