today's communication networks become more complex-as more users share peripherals,
as more mission-critical tasks are accomplished over networks and as the need
for faster access to information increases-a good foundation for these networks
becomes increasingly important. The first step toward the adaptability, flexibility
and longevity required of today's networks begins with structured cabling-the
foundation of any information system. It is vital that communications cabling
be able to support a variety of applications and last for the life of a network.
If that cabling is part of a well-designed structured cabling system, it can allow
for easy administration of moves, adds and changes and smooth migration to new
network topologies. On the other hand,"worry-about-it-when-you-need-to"
systems will make moves, adds and changes a hassle and make new network topologies
too difficult to implement. Network problems occur more often, and are more difficult
and timeconsuming to troubleshoot.When communication systems fail, employees and
assets sit idle, causing a loss of revenues and profits.
Even worse, the perceptions
of customers and suppliers can be adversely affected.The purpose of this white
paper is to present the advantages of using a standards-based structured cabling
system for a business enterprise. The paper will cover a brief historical perspective
of structured cabling, a review of the current standards, media types and performance
criteria, system design and installation recommendations. Particular attention
will be given to the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A standard and the horizontal cabling subsystem
in that standard.
Evolution of Structured Cabling
In the early 1980s, when computers
were first linked together in order to exchange information, many different cabling
designs were used. Some companies built their systems to run over coaxial cables.
Others thought that twinaxial or other cables would work best. With these cables,
certain parameters had to be followed in order to make the system work.