What is Structured Cabling, and Why Does it Matter?

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The equipment that keeps your facility running relies on an intricate, and potentially vast, network of data cables to keep it all running.  Computers, phones, printers, CCTV cameras, servers…you name it.  And if your facility is more complicated than a typical Edmonton office environment (like an Edmonton refinery, for example) then the list of equipment that relies on your cabling infrastructure only gets longer, and the need for reliability only increases.

The original solution to keeping all these devices connected was something called point-to-point cabling, and it’s still used today in simpler networks.  Point-to-point cabling is pretty much what it sounds like – a device, like a computer, is plugged directly into the network it will be using.

That was great back in the early 1990’s when the workplace only had a few network-dependent devices.  That environment is a far cry from today’s modern office or industrial work environment.  Today, even a moderately-sized operation has dozens of devices,

So, What Is Structured Cabling?

 

In a nutshell?  It’s the practice of designing and building a facility’s telecommunications cabling network in a series of smaller, standardized components.

There are a lot of benefits to having a well designed, built and installed cabling infrastructure. Performance is predictable, maintenance is far simpler and easier to handle, and there’s a greater degree of built-in redundancy and future-proofing for your system.

 

What Are the Benefits of A Structured Cabling System?

 

Simply put, structured cabling is organized, planned, and well thought out.  Take a look at this setup to get an idea.

There are several benefits of setting up your data network this way.  Here are just a few that spring to mind:

 

1.      It Just Looks BETTER

 

Aesthetically speaking, structured cabling is the way to go.  Rather than dealing with a briar-patch of cables running across the floor or through the crawlspaces, cables are bundled and their connection to devices is discrete.  It also looks good to any visitors to your site, be they clients or new hires.

2.      It’s Safer

In addition to being more visually appealing, structured cabling is a safer approach.  The unwieldy alternative of cables running every which way presents the most obvious risk of trips and falls, but also the hazards of electric shocks and potential fires.

 

3.      It Can Be Easily Scaled Up

 

Because structured cabling systems bundle cords and wires in an orderly, manageable way, adding a couple of devices to your corporate network is a simple undertaking. 

If your operation is growing and you need to add other network-capable devices like computers or CCTV cameras, it can be done without any interruption to regular business operations. And, if you need to modify how your network is laid out, or if you’re moving to a new office or facility, moving your system is a much faster, easier process.

 

4.      There’s Less Downtime for Your Network

 

A disorganized cabling network can often lead to connectivity problems, which means reduced productivity for your operation. That downtime is only compounded when you factor in the time it takes to pinpoint, diagnose and address the problem.

Structured cabling gets around these problems through it’s organized, modular design.  Not only are the cables less subject to wear and tear (and consequent drops in performance), but issues are much easier to locate and address.

 

5.      Less Downtime Means A Better ROI

 

Less downtime paired with simplified maintenance means your operation can more easily maintain the productivity goals you set for it.  Rather than working to keep your network afloat, it will work for you the way you need it to.

As a Telecommunications Systems Integrator, Tridon can advise you on how a structured cabling system can be tailored to suit the needs of your operation.  If you’d like to know more, Contact Us.

 


Tridon is a full solution Telecom Systems Integrator with CSA certification and licensed by APEGA.  Our Engineering, Service and Tower Divisions collaborate with customers to build engineered solutions including communications systems design, tower inspections and co-location, wireless broadband, fiber optic cabling, site security, and two-way radio communication.

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