Cabling is the backbone of the network and one of the most important components to ensure a network runs properly. A structured cabling system is designed to ensure that information flows smoothly over the cabling network. It includes a set of transmission products applied with engineering design rules that allow the user to apply voice, data and signals in a manner that maximizes data rates.
We cannot stress enough the importance of reliable cabling. The cabling system is the foundation of a successful intelligent building network and the basic investment on which all other network equipment depends. As you know, the life span of the typical cabling system is upward of 16 years. Cabling is likely the second most long-lived asset you have (the first being the shell of the building) and nearly 70 percent of all network-related problems are due to poor cabling techniques and cable-component problems.
Typical cabling problems are usually related with fiber patch cables, connectors, and termination techniques. The permanent portion of the cable (the part in the wall) will not likely be a problem unless it was damaged during installation. The costs that result from poorly planned and poorly implemented cabling systems can be staggering. We have spent countless hours troubleshooting cabling systems that were nonstandard, badly designed, poorly documented, and shoddily installed. We have seen many dollars wasted on the installation of additional cabling and cabling infrastructure support that should have been part of the original installation.
As the cost of poor cabling system is high, to avoid such a situation, you should embrace proper design and keep patch cords organized when install cabling system.
Embrace Proper Design
An effective design can significantly reduce downtime; minimize moves, adds and changes; and reduce life-cycle costs of the cabling system. Like any other data center infrastructure element, well-thought-out cabling design can alleviate troubleshooting efforts and help immensely when issues crop up. But most data center cabling problems result from poor design. For example, fiber and copper should be separated so optical fiber cables are not exposed and so they feed to their appropriate switch. If the switch is removed, the cable is also removed so there are no “stray” unused cables, and there is no need to re-dress cables inside the tray.
Another element of good cabling design, is the use of cable trays to manage cables and greatly decrease the time needed for troubleshooting because everything is clearly laid out and labeled. Trays should be located on or above the cabinet or rack for easy access and management. And, he adds, administrators should avoid routing trays under the raised floor because this causes interference with the air circulation and adds accessibility difficulties.
Keep Patch Cords Organized
Well, one of the best ways to save man-hours and frustration when troubleshooting cabling issues in the data center, is to keep patch cords organized so that administrators can find what is needed at a glance instead of digging through a thick curtain of tangled patch cords. This organizing task, though it might seem labor-intensive at first, can pay dividends whenever the inevitable cabling problems occur.
Always mind that cabling is the foundation of your fiber optic network. It must be reliable!