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Network Cabling Tidy Up

spaghetti network

If you are supporting this network, how you think about this?

Simple question : Where do i start for making this look better?

Advance question(answer if in the mood) : tools and practices to map it from the beggining and document the mappings.

Reason #1: To Maintain Efficiency

The more disorganized the telecom cables are, the harder it is to make changes, troubleshoot problems, and upgrade equipment. If patch cables are a tangled mess and hanging in front of equipment, then accessing the equipment is much more difficult when something needs to be added or repaired. It also makes things more difficult in case a workstation cable needs to be troubleshot or new cables need to be added to the telecom room. All of this just wastes time and resources that could be better spent on tasks that are more critical to the organization.

Reason #2: To Improve Network Performance and Stability

The messier the data cables are, the more likely it is that equipment connections can become loose, disconnected or damaged when performing routine maintenance. It is also likely that some of the cables and connections are of poor quality, which can contribute to network outages or decreased performance.

A dangling mess of cables in front of equipment can also impede the circulation of air and cause switches, servers, or other active equipment to work harder and potentially overheat.

Furthermore, when performing moves, adds, and changes (MAC) work, having messy and disorganized data cables increases the risk of someone mistakenly disconnecting or even causing permanent damage to a vital piece of equipment.

Let’s face it, most people don’t really care until they start to feel the impacts themselves—in the form of slower e`mail, garbled phone conversations, intermittent or unplanned network outages, or slow Internet. Each of these things are a nuisance at best—but for most organizations, it could severely impact employee productivity and affect the bottom line. For other organizations, such as financial institutions and hospitals, these outages could pose a more serious threat and have a significant impact on the people those organizations serve.

Reason #3: To Reduce the Risk of Electrical Fire

In a messy, disorganized telecom room, electrical connections to active equipment will likely be a similar mess. It’s a rare case when the network patch cables are a complete mess but the power cords are properly organized and connected. The “daisy-chaining” of extension cords and power strips can easily overload an electrical outlet, which in extreme cases could cause electrical sparking or overheating that may ignite a fire.

Performing a telecom room cleanup will help reveal improperly-connected power cords and allow for the proper distribution of power to critical equipment—reducing the risk of fires and accidental power outages.

Reason #4: To Maintain a Professional Appearance

Appearances matter to employees, customers, and visitors—a clean, tidy, and organized space provides a positive impression at every level. For this reason, much attention is given to the design and layout of the overall office space, furnishings and especially the reception area.

A clean work area is one that employees can be proud of and be more inclined to take extra care to keep neat and organized. It also projects a professional image for visiting clients or other guests.

Although most clients, visitors and even employees may not see or be exposed to the telecom room, the same principles apply. A messy and disorganized telecom room can be misunderstood as being a reflection of the entire organization and could impact the organization’s ability to recruit or retain qualified IT personnel.

A side benefit of cleaning up telecom room cabling is that it makes things much easier to clean and maintain—which helps improve the appearance, performance and reduce fire hazards.

Common network cabling problems

 

As with many business technologies, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to small- and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs) networking needs. However, there is one thing that holds true for all networking infrastructures: A highly efficient, well-functioning network relies on a well-structured cabling system.

If your SMB has been experiencing slow internet connections or total connectivity loss, bringing your business to a grinding halt, you may have improper cabling to thank. And since network issues are some of the biggest productivity killers in any organization, it’s a no-brainer that you should partner with a reliable managed services provider (MSP) to handle your structured cabling problems, which includes the following:

Your cabling does not meet standards

Your network’s cabling must meet the performance standards set by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Most manufacturers meet these requirements, but there are some that exceed minimum standards, providing consumers with cabling that can support their bandwidth needs for years.

Your network’s inefficiency may be caused by cables that don’t comply with the latest EIA/TIA standards. If your cables aren’t Category 6 and 6A (Cat 6 and 6A), which have been increasingly used in recent years, then that’s probably why your network is underperforming. Cat 6 cables can support bandwidths of up to 250 megahertz (Mhz), while Cat 6A can support up to 500 MHz.

Additionally, it may be that your cables are made of copper clad aluminum (CCA) rather than solid copper. While definitely cheaper, CCA cables are not compliant with EIA/TIA standards. They also oxidize and corrode easily, which causes failed terminations that lead to connectivity issues.

Your cabling is outdated

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that old cables, particularly your backbone cable, can cause network problems. The backbone cable connects your network to the internet, bringing in signals from your internet service provider to all users on your network. If it’s been five or more years since it was installed, it most likely doesn’t meet current bandwidth standards, causing bottlenecks and sluggishness. And if you have a lot of users, or if they access bandwidth-heavy apps or websites, these problems may be exacerbated and lead to complete downtime.

The cables and connectors are not compatible

Using different components from different manufacturers may cause compatibility issues that are sure to affect your network’s performance. This is especially true if they weren’t designed and manufactured to work with one another. You may also experience glitches in your network if you use cables and connectors with different performance levels. Even the highest-quality cables can’t deliver the performance level it promises if the plugs and jacks they’re connected with can’t support them.

The patch cords are of poor quality

Many SMBs operate on tight budgets and are always looking for ways to save a buck. But patch cords for your network aren’t something to skimp on. Just like copper clad aluminum cables, cheap patch cords can save you money, but they may not be manufactured according to EIA/TIA standards and cause performance problems down the road. Repairing or replacing them also costs a lot, so you may end up spending more money than if you’ve had high-quality patch cords installed in the first place.

The cables are not properly installed

Improper installation, whether it’s due to your IT guy’s lack of training or an honest mistake, can result in even more expensive, time-consuming network reliability issues in the long run. One common installation mistake to look out for is running data cables parallel to electrical wiring. The magnetic field generated in electric wiring can interrupt the signals in data cables, crippling network performance.

Proper cabling is key to a reliable, efficient network. Nye Technical Services (NTS) will provide you with the comprehensive cabling services and networking solutions you need to achieve just that. Since 2009, NTS has been trusted by SMBs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York to provide top-of-the-line cabling and networking services at affordable rates. Talk to our experts at NTS and see how we can work together.

UTP, S/UTP, FTP, STP AND SFTP

When it comes to copper cabling, choosing the level of shielding you want the cable to have can prove a minefield of confusing acronyms and perplexing industry technology. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you understand the meaning of some of the most common terms.

The shielding inside your cable acts as a barrier to protect the cable from electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio frequency interference (RFI) and crosstalk between pairs and adjacent cables. It also prevents the signal from the cable interfering with surrounding equipment. The various levels of shielding offer a range of different advantages suitable for a number of applications.

U/UTP: UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS

Also known as UTP, this is currently the most common and basic method of cable construction, consisting of pairs of wires twisted together. There is no shielding, instead the symmetrical twist in the wires create a balanced transmission line, helping to reduce electrical noise and EMI. In addition, the different twist rates of each pair can be used to reduce crosstalk. In higher category cables, a cross-web filler may be found separating the individual pairs to help reduce alien crosstalk from adjacent cables.

F/UTP: FOILED WITH UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS.

Often referred to as FTP, this type of cable features an overall foil shield wrapped around unshielded twisted pairs and a drain wire. When the drain wire is correctly connected, unwanted noise is redirected to ground, offering extra protection against EMI/RFI.

S/UTP: SHIELDED WITH UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS.

This cable construction has an overall braid screen with unshielded twisted pairs. This cable is often referred to as an STP, however this term should be used with caution due to other shielded cables also using this term. Always check whether the cable will have any shielding and whether individual pairs have their own shield. The cable is capable of supporting higher transmission rates across longer distances than U/UTP and provides better mechanical strength and grounding due to the braid.

SF/UTP: SHIELDED AND FOILED WITH UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS.

This cable has both an overall braid shield and foil shield with unshielded twisted pairs. This cable offers effective protection from EMI both from the cable and into the cable as well as much better grounding due to the additional braid.

U/FTP: UNSHIELDED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

This type of cable has no overall shielding but the individual twisted pairs are wrapped in a foil screen, offering some protection from EMI and crosstalk from adjacent pairs and other cables.

F/FTP: FOILED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

This type of cable features an overall foil shield with individually foil tape shielded twisted pairs. These are similar to F/UTP cables, with the addition of a foil shield around each twisted pair. The cable construction is designed to provide the assembly with greater protection from crosstalk from adjacent pairs and other cables, RFI and EMI.

S/FTP: SHIELDED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

Similar to F/FTP, the individual twisted pairs are wrapped in a foil tape before being wrapped in an overall flexible yet mechanically strong braid screen. The additional foil on the twisted pairs helps to reduce crosstalk from adjacent pairs and other cables. The braid provides better grounding.

SF/FTP: SHIELDED AND FOILED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

Offering the maximum protection from RFI/EMI, crosstalk and alien crosstalk, this cable has both an overall braid shield and foil shield, with individually foil tape screened twisted pairs. This type of cable provides the best level of protection from interference and better grounding due to the braid.

Common Industry Acronyms  ISO/IEC11801 Name  Cable Shielding Type  Twisted Pair Shielding Type  Example
 UTP  U/UTP  None  None
 FTP, STP, ScTP  F/UTP  Foil  None
 STP, ScTP  S/UTP  Braiding  None
 SFTP, S-FTP, STP  SF/UTP  Braiding & foil  None
 STP, ScTP, PiMF  U/FTP  None  Foil
 FFTP  F/FTP  Foil  Foil
 SSTP, SFTP, STP, PiMF  S/FTP  Braiding  Foil
 SSTP, SFTP  SF/FTP  Braiding & foil  Foil

Reference: universal networks