Gartner estimates the global IT market to grow by 3.2 percent in 2019 or a total of $3.8 trillion. This reflects the continuous digitization of business processes. And as business transactions and processes move to the digital space, businesses must be ready with necessary technology to stay abreast with this migration.
One way of keeping pace with rapidly evolving cyberspace is through having a structured data cabling.
Regardless of the size of your business, services or products offered, or volume of data handled, structured cabling can help provide reliable, fast and efficient data transmission. It also ensures a highly flexible, scalable, and adaptable network to meet your current and future data needs. Many business owners fail to realize the cost of downtime due to poor network cabling.
Basically, structured cabling is a proactive approach in meeting a business’ IT networking requirements. It removes minimizes the possibility of poor network performance and downtimes and the risk of being outdated.
Installing a structured cabling network is not a DIY thing. Although anyone can do most of the manual installation tasks, such as cutting cables, drilling and attaching jacks, an expert from Firewall Technical reminds “DIY-ers” that installing a successful structured data cabling entails many complex considerations.
It involves working on hundreds of feet of network cables and multiple networking devices. Add to that, you also need to consider other variables such as existing data cables, power lines and electronic gadgets, cords, and pipes. You’d also need to consider minimizing disruptions in your operations as well as the anticipated future data needs of your business.
If you are planning to install structured cabling by yourself, follow these tips to ensure a successful structured data cabling installation.
1. Plan your structured cabling network well.
Planning is a vital step in any cabling project. Without a sound plan, you run the risk of failing to meet your business’ data needs. It also increases the incidence of network problems and downtimes and overspending due to faulty purchases.
Some of the many things to consider during the planning stage involve the type of cable to be used, the number of terminals, the intended speed of the network, the amount of data to be transmitted, and the physical layout of the workspace. It’s also important to keep in mind the future needs of your business.
2. Consider future cable maintenance and management.
The use of cable management equipment, such as racks, isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Once the cable network is installed, you’ll need to perform periodic cable maintenance, upgrade, and troubleshooting.
Without appropriate cable management equipment, troubleshooting, replacing and upgrading your cabling system can be a major challenge. Although cable management equipment means additional expenses, it is a worthwhile investment in the long run. The use of color coding and labeling can also help make troubleshooting easier.
3. Minimize exposure to interference.
Interference caused by electronic devices is the most common cause of slow network performance. As much as possible, design your structured cabling network in a way that it avoids contact with interference-emitting devices such as fluorescent lighting, motors, and other electronic gadgets.
4. Avoid running cabling network alongside electrical cables.
Aside from interference, you’d also have to worry about the magnetic field produced by electricity cables. Network cables are composed of an unshielded twisted pair of wires. During data transmission, these wires generate a magnetic field. However, these unshielded wires do not have any protection against magnetic field produced by electric cables. Running your cabling in parallel with electricity may cause the signal to slow down, become static, or worse, won’t run.
5. Follow cabling standards and safety precautions.
The TIA/EIA structured cabling standards help to ensure the efficiency and performance of network cabling. Aside from these standards, there are some standards that are specific to your needs. Be aware and follow these standards for a successful cabling installation. Local regulations are also put in place to ensure the safety not just of the users but also of local responders in case of emergencies, such as fire.
6. Test before you run the network.
Testing is an important step in the installation process that you shouldn’t skip. Don’t get too excited about your newly installed cabling network. Before running or using it, make sure to test it with appropriate tools. Aside from ensuring that every cable is installed and working properly, the initial test also offers a starting point for all future testing and troubleshooting.
These are just a few tips to help you as you install your structured data cables. But perhaps, the best tip is for you to seek the help of a professional structured cable installer to guide you throughout the process. This should help simplify things and ensure everything works perfectly!