In simplest terms, structured cabling is the collection of wires/cables that supports all data communication within a building. In technical parlance, structured cabling is defined as a hierarchical infrastructure of six cabling subsystems:
- Entrance Facilities—connection points between outside plant and inside building cabling, i.e., the service provider demarc;
- Equipment Room—usually contains the bulk of the on-premises data networking equipment and the main distribution frame [MDF] for the building;
- Backbone Cabling—often found in “risers” or vertical raceways within a building, it can include connections between buildings and commonly includes fiber optic cabling;
- Telecommunications Rooms—often referred to as “IDF closets” on each floor of a building, they contain intermediate distribution frames (IDFs) where backbone cabling is interconnected;
- Horizontal Cabling—cabling that runs horizontally on each floor of a building and terminates in an IDF;
- Work Area—area where workstations are located, it usually includes Ethernet wall plates for connecting data equipment.
Despite this complicated definition, most people probably think of structured cabling as the wiring that keeps all of their data equipment (computers, wireless devices, switches, routers, servers, etc.) communicating. In a perfect world, the cabling is neat and terminated correctly so that there are no communication issues. And just as important, the cabling in the MDF (where all of the important internetworking equipment is located) should be organized using cable management equipment, including cable ladders, relay racks and horizontal and vertical cable management products. All cabling should be punched down or terminated properly on patch panels and labeled according to work area or connected MDF networking device as appropriate.
At Red One, we take great pride in our structured cabling work. We use quality cabling and terminations and strive to deliver a cabling infrastructure that will support your network for many years. Although wireless networks have greatly reduced the amount of structured cabling required in many business environments, there are still many applications and work environments where only a cable will do. And for those situations, Red One has got you covered!
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