Structured Network Infrastructures

Structured Network Infrastructures

5 November 2014 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Challenges for Structured Network Infrastructures:

Technology is converging at an ever increasing rate, presenting managers of network infrastructures with a number of new challenges.

These managers must now be well versed not only in the installation and support of integrated voice, data, video & building management products over wired networks, but also with wireless networks.

The goals of a structured cabling system

Industry trends are moving towards IP-based networks, and this results in new demands being placed on network managers and the network infrastructures they run. Because of this, we should consider the real goal of a structured network infrastructure (otherwise known as a structured cabling system).

As you can probably guess from its name, a structured cabling system is a cohesive way of organizing an infrastructure and there are a few basic rules which govern this:

  • It must use standardized media and layout, both for the backbone & the horizontal cabling
  • It must use standard connection interfaces for all of the physical connections between equipment
  • It must supports equipment & applications across a number of vendors – not one single vendor *
  • It must have a consistent, uniform design following basic design principles & a system plan
  • It must be designed & installed as a total system, avoiding the need to install cabling ‘as-needed’

* Any structured cabling system should be independent of the vendor’s equipment, known as “Open Architecture”, making it more flexible.

The benefits of a structured network infrastructure

There are a number of benefits to using a structured network infrastructure to support IP traffic:

  • Lower material & labor costs
  • Lower purchasing costs
  • Single installation force for cabling
  • Single point of contact for systems integration
  • Physical space requirements reduced
  • Lower relocation expenses
  • Maintenance & administration costs reduced
  • Ability to migrate to new technologies with ease
  • Lower risk

The ideal structured network infrastructure is not reliant upon the use of a particular category of cabling product (Category 5e, 6, 6A etc) in the network.

What makes a network successful?

A successful infrastructure should have a mix of twisted pair, coax & fiber optic cabling, but equally important is the actual design, installation and the ongoing management of the system. The goal behind a successful install is to only have to wire once.

Any extra material cost or labor expense incurred in implementing a true structured network infrastructure can be minimal when compared to the much higher labor costs involved in having to upgrade or re-cabling your network in the future.

The key to this success is the early planning, long term thinking and the avoidance of a ‘living for today’ mentality, something which can be as applicable to networks as it is to most things in life!

At The CommScope Infrastructure Academy, we provide certification and training programs designed to support a wide range of infrastructure solutions, their design and implementation. Find out more about CommScope certifications on our Certification and Badging page

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