As mentioned in Part 1, zone cabling designs provide benefits in materials savings, decreased installation times, and easier MACs (moves, adds, and changes). Part 2 will continue discussing the basics and benefits of zone cabling.
Experts recommend CAT 5e and 6 UTP (unshielded twisted pair) zone cabling topology with a connecting block system within the ZE (zone enclosure). This configuration will render unnecessary the stocking of factory pre-terminated and tested interconnect cords for connections in the ZE, simplifying cable management through the elimination of cable slack.
Please note that CAT 6A UTP media is not recommended for zone cabling due to reasons involving performance and flexibility. UTP cabling is vulnerable to crosstalk in particular installation scenarios. In addition, it is not the best media for supporting remote power applications with loads of 30W or more. Because CAT 6A UTP zone deployment is dependent on modular connections inside the ZE, connections provided by pre-terminated and tested interconnect cords need to be available for rapidly enabling MACs. Affordable shielded zone cabling solutions are recommended to address these situations.
Even though more CAPEX (capital expenditure) will be necessary for a zone cabling installation, assessing total costs should also account for OPEX (operating expenditure). The performance of MACs is classified as OPEX, and studies by Siemon found there are hundreds of dollars in savings from each move, addition, or change when using a zone cabling design versus a traditional cabling design. Their study also discovered a tipping point when ROI begins accruing from utilizing a zone cabling design.
IT (information technology) needs for many organizations evolve constantly, which requires being able to quickly reconfigure floor space. An improved capability of supporting MACs will allow owners of facilities to achieve considerable ROI benefits from deploying zone cabling systems in a two to five year period. According to Siemon, the combined costs of CAPEX and OPEX for zone cabling designs will be invariably less than traditional cabling designs
Part 3 will continue discussing the basics and benefits of zone cabling.
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