Network_cables_and_switch.jpgWhat You Need To Know About Intrabuilding Cabling

If you’re in charge of information technology or facilities management for a large organization, expanding into a new building or upgrading your current intrabuilding cabling can be a challenge. There are a thousand and one concerns to address. Your cabling- the extensive system of large scale wiring that allows everyone in your to use your IT resources effectively- is a complicated animal. Get a basic handle on the issues in this blog entry.

Intrabuilding Cabling Basics

The fiber optic or copper cables that carry data, voice, and video into your office come in a wide range of sizes and types. The “riser” or “backbone” cabling, like an actual spine or backbone, provides fast and efficient back and forth communication between all the devices on your network. These high-volume lines connect your building’s central telecommunications room to distributed telecom closets – typically one per floor, plus the connection to the entrance facilities The term “riser” was first adopted in the telephone industry because these cables rose out of a ground-floor or subterranean switching room to connect to the higher floors. Ironically, modern fiber optic cables are installed from the top down to minimize cable stress. They’re unlikely to be renamed “fallers” any time soon, though!

The entire backbone consists of the actual cables arranged in intermediate and main cross connects. Also included are the patch cords between switches or hubs, the mechanical terminations, and any runs that terminate or originate with the entrance facilities.

The backbone cabling system provides interconnections between telecommunications rooms, equipment rooms, main terminal space, and entrance facilities. It includes backbone cables, intermediate and main cross-connects, mechanical terminations, and patch cords or jumpers used for backbone-to-backbone cross-connections. The backbone also extends between buildings in a campus environment.

While telecommunications cable is every bit as important to your infrastructure as power, water, and HVAC systems, it needs to be handled separately. Risers have their own specific requirements for structural support, acceptable turning radii, and maintenance accessibility. Telecom risers also need to be isolated from other services — especially electrical lines — to minimize interference.

Why Professional Expertise Counts

Although you’re probably quite familiar with your organization’s data flow needs, it’s still very important to consult a professional company that specializes in cabling installation to make sure those needs are seen to properly. Depending on budget and space constraints, the design and type of backbone cabling you use can vary tremendously. Cabling pros are completely familiar with better and possibly cheaper equipment, and industry best practices for installation and maintenance.

It’s crucial to get things straight during the installation process because faults and omissions at this stage can be prohibitively expensive to correct in the future. Keeping an IT installation on schedule is a tricky job, so you should start thinking about intrabuilding cabling as early as possible. The sooner you bring an expert installer on board, the easier you’ll find it to stick to your schedule and budget.

Budgeting For The Future

Sometimes the most challenging part of installing or upgrading backbone cabling is paying for it. Almost no organizations operate with an unlimited budgets, so you should be prepared to justify your spending plan in specific terms, and highlight the return on investment your cabling plan can yield. This is another reason why it makes sense to bring your cabling installer on board as soon as possible. Your cabling installation company’s expertise can be invaluable in justifying the necessary expenditures for an up-to-date backbone and data distribution system. With expert backing, you might even b able to come in under budget and on time.

Overseeing A Cabling Installation

Once you’ve selected your installer and the project is under way, it’s important to strike a balance between micromanagement and neglect. You don’t want to slow down the installation team by staying underfoot all day, but oversight by the end user is vital to ensure that your needs are addressed properly.

Every installation project will include a final walkthrough inspection once the work is done. don’t let this be your first look at your new risers! Schedule a regular series of progress checks to make sure your installer is meeting your goals or making the adjustments you discussed. True professionals are grateful for this type of oversight and understand that it serves to keep the project on track.

Of course, this brief introduction can’t cover every aspect of backbone cabling installation in detail. You’ll want to conduct more research before you make any binding decisions regarding your IT infrastructure. As long as you understand the importance of working with professional installers and know how to do it productively, you should be able to set up a cabling system that meets your organization’s needs for many years to come.

NetQ Media has a ton of experience fulfilling Law Enforcement & Military Telecommunications Contracts, Contracts for Educational Institutions, Counties / Municipalities and the State of New Jersey NJ government telecommunications contracts. Since 1999, we’ve been a leader in the vital service of planning and installing dependable, scalable and efficient structured cabling. Call us today!