TYPES OF STRUCTURED CABLING

structered cabling

The phrase “Structured cabling” may mislead you to believe that it is only made up of cables in your network, but that is not the case. A structured cabling system can run throughout a building, between locations or across an entire campus. Thereby, connecting telecommunications cabinets, hardware and more.

Now that you have determined that a Structured cabling system is the best solution for your IT plan, what is next?

Based on your Infrastructure Site Survey, you will now need to determine the best type of structured cabling for your project.

BACKBONE CABLING

Backbone cabling, sometimes called vertical cabling, is the between floors and/or intra-building cable connections. This includes cabling between entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications closets. These cables develop a “skeleton” for the network. The size of your project will determine the need for backbone cabling.

Backbone cabling can be done with many different kinds of cables. Fiber optic cabling is the most appropriate choice because of the higher bandwidth when compared to Cat5, Cat6, or Cat8 cables.

Fiber optic cabling is able to carry more data than copper cable (Cat5, Cat6 or Cat7), making it well suited to link telecommunication rooms. A fiber-optic backbone has greater flexibility as fiber cabling can support up to 1,000 meters of gigabit Ethernet, and 5,000 meters of single-mode. For example, larger enterprises often use fiber optic cabling since Cat6 cable is limited to a maximum installation length of 295 ft.

HORIZONTAL CABLING

Horizontal cabling is usually installed in a star network that connects each work area to the telecommunications cabinet. The cables are typically run in the ceiling or beneath the floor. Generally, Cat6 or Cat7 cables are recommended for new installations because it best supports both voice and high-speed data transmissions.

In special circumstances, fiber optic cable may be required. For example, due to their electrical nature, copper cables can be affected by temperature fluctuations, humidity and electromagnetic interference. All of which can disrupt signals, slow down connection speeds and reduce network reliability. On the other hand, fiber optic cables do not conduct electricity and thus transmit clearer, more reliable signals without the risk of EMI.

As two important parts of structured cabling, both backbone and horizontal cabling play an important role and may have different specifications due to cabling environment. A netRelevance low voltage cabling professional can help you determine the best solution for your network needs.

 

 

“Structured cabling” may mislead you to believe that it is only made up of cables in your network, but that is not the case.

WHAT IS STRUCTURED CABLING?

Structured cabling is an organized, standardized approach to a building’s telecommunications and data cabling infrastructure.  For instance, a well designed and installed structured cabling system will deliver reliable performance as well as accommodating moves, additions and changes (MAC).

WHY USE STRUCTURED CABLING?

Unlike traditional point-to-point cabling, a structured cabling system avoids the jungle of wiring and can carry increasing data at high rates. 

Here are some of the benefits:

STANDARDS

Structured cabling standards allow for consistent design, installation and uniform documentation. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and TIA/EIA regulate a set of standards that provide guidelines for cabling professionals. Therefore, ensuring this is achieved in data center design, management and operation.

COST EFFECTIVE

Due to the organization of a structured cabling system, you can reduce power and maintenance costs. In addition, it eliminates the excessive costs of locating and rectifying network issues.

REDUCTION IN DOWNTIME

The potential for human error is drastically reduced. These mistakes can cause flow disruptions and network downtime. In a structured cabling system, there is organization and easy identification that helps reduce the risk of downtime.

EASE IN MOVES, ADDS & CHANGES

Structured cabling is flexible and can accommodate moves, adds and changes quickly. This is achieved by cross connects in the main distribution area (MDA) versus running long patch cords from equipment racks.

TIME SAVINGS

Cable and port tracing becomes a much easier job. This logical, organized approach makes changes easier, thus saving you time.

AESTHETICS

A structured cabling system will look much cleaner than a point-to-point method. For example, changes are done in the MDA versus at the hardware. This allows the cabling in front of the switch to remain aesthetically pleasing.

WHAT DOES STRUCTURED CABLING LOOK LIKE?

In one word, structured cabling systems reflect “organization”. It takes an organized approach to cabling infrastructure.

Medium Key Components to Form a Structured Cabling System

Six Subsystems of a Structured Cabling System

 

1. Entrance Facilities

Entrance facilities contain the cables, network demarcation point(s), connecting hardware, protection devices and other equipment that connect to the access provider or private network cabling. It includes connections between outside plant and inside building cabling.

2. Equipment Room

The environmentally controlled and centralized space for telecommunications equipment is usually more complex than a telecommunications room or telecommunications cabinet. It usually houses the main cross-connect panels and may also contain the intermediate cross-connects, horizontal cross-connects, or both.

3. Backbone Cabling

The backbone cabling provides interconnection between telecommunications rooms, equipment rooms, access provider spaces and entrance facilities.

4.  Telecommunications Enclosure and Telecommunications Cabinets

These locations house the terminations of horizontal and backbone cables to connecting hardware including any jumpers or patch cords. It may also contain different portions of the backbone cabling system. The locations also provide a controlled environment to house telecommunications equipment, connecting hardware and splice closures serving a portion of the building.

horizontal structuerd cabling system

5. Horizontal Cabling

The horizontal cabling system extends from the work area’s outlet to the telecommunications room or telecommunications cabinet. It includes horizontal cable, jumpers and patch cords. The maximum horizontal cable length is 90 m (295 ft.).

6. Work Area

Work area components extend from the outlet /connector end of the horizontal cabling system to the work area equipment. It is recommended that a minimum of two outlets are provided for each work area.

 

In Conclusion

Whether your project is new construction or updating your existing network.  An infrastructure site survey can assist you in planning your structured cabling design.
Contact a netRelevance low-voltage cabling professional to help you develop a solution for all your networking needs.

 

“Unlike traditional point-to-point cabling, a structured cabling system avoids the jungle of wiring and can carry increasing data at high rates.”

Infrastructure site survey results

EVERY IT STRATEGY SHOULD INCLUDE AN INFRASTRUCTURE SITE SURVEY

An infrastructure site survey can assist your business in saving time, money and resources.  With the results of the data gathered during the site survey, project managers can make better decisions, therefore reducing the likelihood of errors that can prove costly and cause delays in your project.

MAKE SURE ALL OF YOU BASES ARE COVERED

COUNT YOUR USERS

The most important goal for your business network is that it is there for everyone that needs it. The first step is to get a count of your current users, in addition, account for any guests/clients that might visit your office and require a workstation.

MAP OUT YOUR CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE

A good floor plan is an invaluable tool.  Mapping out your physical inventory and location within your building is important because physical space matters with your network.  For example, ethernet cabling has a maximum effective length, as such extra network cabinets may be required. This will be discovered during the site survey.

LOOK TO THE FUTURE

Your network is constantly evolving. As such your network hardware investment should ideally be evaluated every 3-5 years.  As your business grows, the needs of your network will need to expand with you.  Therefore, think about the future plans for your network and make sure to express this before the site survey is performed.  With an accurate infrastructure site survey, you’ll have the necessary information to plan and create a budget to fit your growing company’s needs.

SITE SURVEY IS A BROAD TERM

Simply put, site survey is the term to describe the “fact finding” for your project.   This is where a technician can determine your best course of action. The infrastructure site survey is usually divided into three phases:

Information Gathering– this involves obtaining floor plans and other necessary documentation. At this time the intended Scope of Work (SOW) should be discussed.

Onsite Survey– while onsite, the technician will verify key locations, such as, computer rooms, telecommunication pathways, cabling outlets, electrical equipment and conduit.  This is also an opportunity to verify the accuracy of the provided floor plans to what currently exists.  Abundant pictures taken during the site survey will aid the technician during the evaluation phase.

Evaluating the Findings– in this phase, the tech can identify problem areas, such as insufficient equipment, ceiling construction and obstructed pathways or poor access.  Any necessary installation equipment, such as aerial work platforms for areas with high ceilings can also be identified.  Required materials will be determined during the site survey so any budget adjustments can be negotiated before installation begins.

Whether your project is new construction or updating your existing network, a netRelevance low-voltage cabling professional can help you develop a solution for your network needs.

 

“An infrastructure site survey can assist your business in saving time, money and resources.”

Wireless devices around a conference table.

Wi-Fi 6E THE LATEST IN THE WORLD OF WIRELESS

The Wi-Fi Alliance, in 2018 renamed the IEEE Wi-Fi standards to Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6.
With the April 2020 vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a new unlicensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band is set to open for wireless use,  Wi-Fi 6E.

Currently, wireless devices are competing for space on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band.
With increased daily use, these bands become congested and the result can be extremely frustrating to users. With the new Wi-Fi 6E, only devices equipped with specific chips and radios will be able to operate in it. Therefore Wi-Fi 6E will be clean, unused bandwidth and the latest in the world of wireless.

The “E” in Wi-Fi 6E stands for “Extended”- this means an extended number of usable wireless bands. If your business has already deployed Wi-Fi 6, the new extended version might not justify an upgrade. But those that are planning to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 in the coming 18 months might consider upgrading your structured cabling now, in anticipation of 6E hardware becoming widely available. netRelevance and our cable partner, Belden can help make sure your infrastructure is ready when you are.

 

“Whereas, WiFi is as commonplace as indoor plumbing, that doesn’t mean that it is fast or reliable enough for your company’s needs.”

Wireless Site Survey mapping

The importance of a wireless network

 Wireless networking  is an integral aspect of today’s business environment. Whereas, WiFi is as commonplace as indoor plumbing, that doesn’t mean that it is fast or reliable enough for your company’s needs.
Advancement in wireless technology increases daily. With this comes the necessity of a combination of the right equipment and proper planning. Therefore, to ensure that you are getting the most of your current network or are looking forward at a future network, we always recommend a wireless site survey.

What is a Wireless Site Survey?

A  wireless site survey  is an important part of the planning and design of your wireless network. It helps create a solution that will meet and/or exceed your business requirements. A survey usually takes place on-site to test for Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and identify access point locations. In addition, it may include a walk of the facility and inspection of building floor plans. This walk can help identify any potential obstacles that could interfere with the operation of the network. Most important is the opportunity of working with IT management and end users to help determine the parameters of the network.

Where to begin

Any wireless survey begins with your requirements. This would include the number of devices and the type of expected traffic on the network. Next, select the site survey that best fits your needs.
Choose the survey that best addresses you network needs while considering your building type and business operations. This will help keep you within your IT budget. Contacting a professional IT services company, like netRelevance can provide guidance on choosing the survey that best fits your situation

There are three different types of Wireless Site Surveys.

Predictive Site Surveys

A predictive wireless site survey is a virtual survey of your facility.

With this type of survey the wireless engineer loads the site floor plans and uses simulation tools to create a model of the RF environment of your facility. It additionally simulates the construction of the building including, offices, conference rooms, cubicles, walls, windows and other large objects, such as filing cabinets. It also takes all of this into consideration to predict the number and locations of access points in order for the network to meet required coverage and performance.

With good floor plans the wireless engineer can achieve a general idea of estimated coverage size and AP density and recommend a plan for AP placement

netRelevance, will usually provide this service at a minimal cost.

Passive Site Surveys

A Passive survey can give you a clearer visual picture of your coverage area to identify dead zones within your wireless infrastructure.

Passive site surveys are performed onsite and are typically the fastest and easiest to complete. During a passive site survey, the wireless engineer uses software to listen to traffic and look for problems with access points and signal strength on your wireless network. While onsite the wireless engineer will physically survey the interior and exterior of the building as well as collect data from the RF readings of the access points, ensuring that all physical factors that could impact network performance are included in the survey.

Active Site Surveys

An active site survey will ensure that your new network will meet all critical requirements. This survey is performed after a wireless network has been installed. This type of survey includes all elements of the passive survey and also includes connecting to the network’s access points. Additionally, connecting to the network via the access points allows the wireless engineer to generate network traffic. While including a measuring of the network performance and other important metrics such as packet loss and the data upload and download speeds.

In addition, this type of survey can also be performed when an established wireless network is experiencing issues that may occur over time. This may be caused by internal changes within the network (e.g. configuration changes or a higher number of users), or due to factors outside the network, such as additional external interference.

What should you expect from a Wireless Site Survey?

A proper wireless site survey will provide a visual detailed report of your coverage area as well as all aspects of your wireless infrastructure. Also, it should include specific information about network traffic for each AP in your wireless infrastructure.

  • Provide accurate information on the working condition of each access point.
  • Determine accurate information for access point locations.
  • Produce detailed wireless coverage maps.
  • Provide detailed data transmission rates.
  • Identify sources and locations of interference.
  • Locate rogue access points.
  • Reveal coverage voids in existing deployment.
  • Identify and classify neighboring networks and channel usage.
  • Predictive and on-site surveys are consolidated into a complete report.

Example of a typical Wireless coverage map. 

 

WIreless Survey Heat Map

 

To sum up, with the information received, you can not only troubleshoot existing problems, you can optimize your network for peak performance to gain the most out of your wireless network. Let netRelevance be your resource for simplifying the process from site survey to installation therefore culminating in success.

“Whereas, WiFi is as commonplace as indoor plumbing, that doesn’t mean that it is fast or reliable enough for your company’s needs.”

Network Deployment Planning

WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY DEPLOYMENT?

Technology deployment is taking an IT strategy and bringing it to completion. So, whether you are planning technology deployment across multiple locations or deploying new hardware, it is important to have a solid IT strategy.

What is an IT Strategy?

As technology advances, it is important that businesses establish a solid IT plan to build or maintain a solid foundation to support their current and future business. IT infrastructures include common items like desktops, printers and VoIP phones. These common items are supported by servers, wireless access points and the local area network (LAN). The backbone of your LAN is structured cabling.

Identify a Long-Term IT Infrastructure Vision

Where do you want your business to be in 5 years?  Take into consideration the long-term plan for your network.  Creating a clear vision will help you navigate the path to your goal. Thus, helping you determine the necessary steps to cross the finish line.  For example, multiple servers might make your future growth easier.  Therefore, the need for redundant cables and office expansion should then factor into your vision for the future.

Do I have the right tools?

Once the vision has been established, then ask the question, “Do we have what we need to get there?”. In other words, Identify the type of assets your business currently holds and determine what you are lacking.  Are you able to assess the current state of your network infrastructure to identify weaknesses? What is the best course to fill those gaps?  Will outsourcing portions of the project save you time and money in the long run?

Create a realistic IT budget

To achieve your desired IT vision, a realistic budget must be determined before moving forward.  Setting a realistic IT budget will also keep you flexible for any unexpected changes along the way.

Let the Planning Begin…

The function of your local area network is to connect a group of devices.

There are many factors as well as a lot of complexity in planning and designing a LAN from start to finish. Planning is essential in order to avoid overlooking key elements.  

This would be a good time to consider the surveys that are available to aid in the planning process.

A predictive wireless survey will help ensure adequate wireless coverage is achieved.
An infrastructure site survey will help determine the current state of your LAN. It can identify which additions are needed including cabling, computer room devices and hardware as well as any necessary installation equipment.

You might consider consulting with or outsourcing your project to a network technology company, like netRelevance, to perform these surveys to help you achieve the best results.

Designing your network

Having identified your basic network requirements, now you are ready to design the physical layout of your network.  The best networks combine wired and wireless connections. Review the hardware components, software levels and LAN connectivity. Do not overlook electrical or physical space requirements . Develop a detailed design based on those requirements and define the process to begin the installation.

Installing your network

A simple set up can be completed in a single day, while on the other hand, the more devices and services required, the more complicated the set-up. In conclusion, outsourcing your project to a technology deployment company, like netRelevance, to perform the installation will help you achieve the best results.

“Whether you’re planning technology deployment across multiple locations or deploying new hardware. It is important to have a solid IT strategy.”

As your workforce returns, is your network infrastructure ready?

Let’s get back to business

As you prepare for the return of your workforce the question arises, is your network infrastructure ready? For instance, the possibility for requiring a new data outlet or moving to a wireless connection increases. Also, moving workplace locations to meet social distancing will become necessary. Is your existing network infrastructure ready for these challenges?

Is a CAT 6A solution the answer?

Consider this, adhering to Covid 19 physical distancing requirements could place more load on your current network therefore requiring an upgrade to your existing infrastructure. A  CAT 6A  upgrade could be the solution.  In addition to solving your immediate needs, this upgrade can pave the road to support emerging wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi 6 or 5G.

Timing is everything

As we find most business locations empty or minimally occupied due to shelter in place, now is the time  to perform these upgrades. From site survey, to installation and cut-over,  all this can be done with little to no disruption to your day to day operations.

How we can help

netRelevance can assist in design and installation of a Category 6A solution providing superior quality Belden, Inc product. Whether you have one location or require a national roll out, out team is here to support you! 

 

Wireless Video Conferencing

 

STAY SAFE WITH IP ACCESS CONTROL
2N IP Video Intercom Examples

 

 

 

STAY SAFE WITH IP ACCESS CONTROL
2N Mobile Access Control

STAY SAFE WITH IP ACCESS CONTROL AND INTERCOM SOLUTIONS

The “New COVID-19 Normal” is presenting companies with IP Access Control and intercom requirements to keep employees and customers safe by reducing the amount of physical contact and enabling social distancing in your business.

netRelevance has partnered with 2N, An Axis company. Their IP intercoms deliver professional level quality and performance:

 

  • Audio quality – 2N IP intercoms incorporate noise suppression and echo cancellation technology to provide clear and echo-free, two-way communication even in active and noisy environments.
  •  Image quality – 2N IP video intercoms incorporate HD-quality cameras embedded with smart technology to compensate for strong backlight, overcast or shadowy conditions. They employ wide dynamic range and night vision for superior image usability – which is crucial for identifying visitors or quickly grasping the severity of emergency situations.
  • Flexible entry control – 2N IP intercoms support multiple inputs and outputs for controlling door locks and other peripherals. Their open architecture and adherence to open standards means users can connect their 2N intercoms to other IP systems – VMS, access control, public address and telephony – as well as mobile applications and smartphones for remotely managing their physical security solution when off premises.

At netRelevance we’re ready to help you identify the right solution for your company to protect your employees and customers as we prepare for the “New COVID-19 Normal”.

 

Digital Signage and Security Awareness during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As states begin to lift “Shelter in Place” restrictions and start to navigate the “new normal,” it’s essential for retailers to keep their customers informed on topics like health, safety, store policies, product availability, and checkout procedures.

Digital Signage has the unique opportunity to make a difference by displaying relevant in-store messaging in real-time. This information can help educate the general public and enhance customer experience.  

PVM’s (Public View Monitor) with a built-in HD camera can be displayed in real-time creating a sense of safety and security.

From design to installation or upgrading your existing system, netRelevance is your nationwide source for Digital Signage, PVM’s with built in HD camera and remote content update capability via a cloud-based management tool.

 

Covid-19 Digital Sinage

 

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

netRelevance, LLC is proud to announce receipt of their Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification through the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council, an affiliate regional council of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) 

This certification, recognizes netRelevance, LLC as a trusted minority-owned business.

With this certification, we are welcoming new customers to consider our technology solutions to meet their existing needs and solve business challenges. 

Our services include the rollout of network infrastructures, data center build out, voice and data cabling, audio/video equipment, network routers, switches, wireless networks, audio & public address systems, computer room build out, and IP based security camera systems for commercial businesses