Structured Cabling, Progressive Office Cabling
Written by Stu Kushner

Leverage Power Over Ethernet With Zone Cabling – Part 2

Part 2 will discuss the three topologies typically implemented for the design of PoE systems: Home Run, Passive Zone, and Active Zone architectures and the Advantages and Disadvantages of each.


PoE Topologies


Home Run – All active gear is situated inside the TR (telecommunications room), and permanent link cabling runs from the TR patch panel to every device. Also included may be a surface mount box or other type of termination at a port, with patch cords used for connecting to the devices.


Passive Zone – Similar to Home Run, this architecture locates all active gear within the TR. It is different by adding a consolidation point between the TR and the devices to ease MACs (moves, adds, and changes).


Active Zone – This architecture is typified by a PoE device situated inside the TE (telecommunications encloser) for accommodating long-distance runs between the TR and the TE. This also aids in transmitting large volumes of data. Typically, the TR to TE cabling is fiber, while copper cable is used to run from the TE to devices.


Advantages & Disadvantages

Although Home Run architecture facilitates the management of power and activity because of its centralization in the TR, the resulting cabling infrastructure lacks flexibility. As a result, MACs are much harder.


Comparable to Home Run by having all active power and equipment centralized within the TR, Passive Zone architecture differs by having a consolidation point. This results in more flexibility because cabling does not have to run back to the TR. This is accomplished by including a breakpoint midway that enables adjustments. For open office arrangements, where cubicles and spaces are often reconfigured, Passive Zone architecture provides a decided advantage.


Active Zone architecture significantly decreases the space needed in the telecommunications room by running optical fiber from the TR to zone enclosures, while running copper cabling from zone enclosures to device outlets. By moving the PoE switch from the TR to a zone enclosure, which will be nearer to an end device, energy loss in cables will be decreased. Generally, smaller PoE switches utilized in zone enclosures will be less costly than larger switches housed in a TR.


The implementation of either Passive Zone or Active Zone cabling architecture will allow a business to successfully leverage PoE capabilities throughout its workspace.


Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking cost-effective solutions. Working together, Progressive teams are committed to getting your data cabling, access control, and telecom systems installed and operating while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

About Stu Kushner

Stu Kushner earned an Engineering Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. From there he worked at Boeing Commercial Aircraft, Hexcel Corporation and Case-Rixon as a computer design engineer and systems manager. He now works as the marketing director and project manager here at Progressive Office since its founding in 1986.