network cabling, installations

Your First Conversation with a Cabling Installation Company

26 Feb 2018

network cabling, installationsNow that your business is ready to install new cabling or perform an upgrade, you will be meeting with a cabling installation company that has been vetted to discuss the project. Typically, the contractor will ask several standard questions to gain a good understanding of the project and make an evaluation. The questions are organized under topics and discussed in the paragraphs below.



Moving


When does your business plan to move? If the move is in the next two months, have arrangements been made for the phone or T1 lines with the telecommunications provider?


Although this is a key component when moving an office, many companies neglect it. Some telecoms need a 45-day notice for a T1 installation, so your move must take this into account.



Voice and Data Drops


What will be the number of voice and data drops required? A drop is a cable run usually starting from a server room or wiring closet and terminating at a cubicle, workstation, or office. Keep in mind that each station will typically require a drop for each computer and telephone line. Drops will also be needed for office equipment such as fax machines and network printers.



Construction


What kind of construction was done at the new office location? Does it have a hard cap ceiling, which most houses have, or a drop/acoustic ceiling? Facilitating access for running cables, drop ceilings are far easier than hard cap ceilings for installations, modifications, and upgrades.



Cabling Type


Is plenum or non-plenum cabling needed at the new office location? When cabling has to run over a ceiling where the space is already utilized for a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, then plenum-rated cable will be required because of its fire retardant and smoke-limiting capabilities. Plenum is a bit more expensive, but required to comply with code.



Phone System


Will the current phone system be transferred to the new office? The cabling installation company may not be capable of handling the type your business is using, therefore a subcontractor may be retained to handle this aspect of the project as it requires specialization.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Structured Cabling,Network Cabling ,Data Cabling

Is Up-to-Date Structured Cabling Crucial for Your Business?

31 Jan 2018

Structured Cabling,Network Cabling ,Data CablingIf you are busy running a business every day, you probably don’t consider the IT infrastructure of your company very often. However, if you let it become outdated, you will make your enterprise un-competitive and prevent it from achieving its potential.


Think of your IT network as the transport system for your data and some of the services your firm provides. Using structured cabling is the best way to ensure its efficiency. This system is advantageous because it allows the connection, movement, and removal of devices without needing new cables every time there is a change. 

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cable, installation, cabling, Washington D.C.

Ethernet Crossover Cable Basics

24 Jan 2018

cable, installation, cabling, Washington D.C.The crossover cable connects two Ethernet network devices to each other. They were invented for temporarily supporting host-to-host networking when a network router or another intermediary device is not available. Although crossover cables appear the same as a standard straight-through (patch) Ethernet cable, their internal wiring structures are different.



Straight Through vs. Crossover


A straight-through cable is used for connecting two different kinds of devices, such as a network switch to a computer. In contrast, a crossover cable is for connecting two devices that are identical.


The straight-through cable’s ends can be wired in any manner, but both ends must be identical. This is different from the crossover cable’s internal wiring, which reverses the signals for receiving and transmitting. The first and third wires and the second and sixth wires are crossed.


High-quality Ethernet crossover cables have special markings which allow users to distinguish them from straight-through cables. They are often red in color and the word "crossover" will appear on its casing and packaging.



Crossover Cable Needs


Crossover cables came into use during the 1990s and 2000s because the most common types of Ethernet were unable to support direct cable connections between hosts. Intended for using specific wires for both receiving and transmitting signals, the original and Fast Ethernet standards required the communication of two endpoints through an intermediary device to avoid conflicts.


The Ethernet feature MDI-X has auto-detection for the prevention of signal conflicts, enabling the Ethernet interface to automatically determine and negotiate the expected signaling convention of the device at the other end of the cable. The majority of home broadband routers and Gigabit Ethernet adopted MDI-X.


As a result, crossover cables are only necessary for the connection of two Ethernet client devices if they are not configured for Gigabit Ethernet. Nowadays, Ethernet devices are compatible with crossover cables because they can automatically detect them.



Ethernet Crossover Cables Usage


Crossover cable usage should be limited to direct network connections. When a user tries connecting a computer to an antiquated router or network switch via a crossover cable rather than a standard cable, the link can be prevented from working.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive Office teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

structured cabling,Network Cabling

Advantages of Upgrading to Structured Cabling – Part 2

15 Jan 2018

structured cabling,Network CablingAs discussed in Part 1, point-to-point cabling systems are outdated and companies should strongly consider making the transition to structured cabling to remain competitive. Part 2 will discuss the advantages of upgrading to structured cabling.



The Advantages


Cost Effectiveness – Flexible and scalable, structured cabling can transmit data reliably and more easily handle increasingly large loads. This allows an organization to raise the productivity of its employees, helping to achieve its business goals. Its bottom line is further aided because structured cabling decreases the costs of maintenance and energy consumption.


Decreased Downtime – There is a greater chance of human error when there are several disorganized cabling networks, which result in disruptions and downtime. In contrast, a sound structured cabling system provides greater reliability; in addition, troubleshooting expenses are reduced because problems are easier to identify, find, and repair.  Downtime is decreased, business losses are minimized, and a company  will be more reliable and profitable.


Future Proofing –Structured cabling provides greater bandwidth and this allows a company to easily expand when its business grows. Having adaptable and scalable IT systems makes a company more competitive when it needs to evolve with its industry. Structured cabling ensures that an organization’s network infrastructure will remain capable of supporting new applications and technologies.


Greater Flexibility – Structured cabling can improve performance levels allowing a business to expand with greater ease. Move, add and change requests can be handled faster and more efficiently. Companies with structured cabling can develop and deploy services much faster because its data center can accommodate network infrastructure modifications more readily.


Maintenance Easier – Structured cabling provides a organizational approach that makes maintaining data centers and networks much more straightforward. In normal business environments, a variety of IT equipment and devices are being used simultaneously. When they are functioning on only one system, this removes the need for several wiring systems to be installed.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive Office teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Structured cabling, data cabling, network cabling

Advantages of Upgrading to Structured Cabling – Part 1

4 Jan 2018

Structured cabling, data cabling, network cablingIf it has been a while since your company has upgraded your network cabling, you and your team may not be achieving your potential. As you know, an organization’s IT network is the very heart of its operations. Lacking a network that is up-to-date, staff members will not be as efficient and productive as possible.



Updating from Point-to-Point Cabling


The update that yields the most benefits is having your network make the transition from an outdated point-to-point cabling system to a far more effective structured cabling system. As you may know, there are only two ways for transmitting data over network cables. Numerous companies persist on using point-to-point cabling. Unfortunately, it tends to become problematic, especially when a company needs to significantly expand the network’s size and capabilities. Let’s dig deeper to understand the reasons.


Point-to-point cabling directly connects a switch, device, network, a server, or network, to another network component via fiber optic cable. For the last few decades, this wiring method provided an innovative way to swiftly build a network. However, during that period, the majority of networks at IT departments were not large.


Nowadays, as networks expand and speedy transmissions of massive data amounts become routinely expected, the maintenance of outdated point-to-point cabling systems, along with the thousands of cables required for operations, becomes a large burden on a company’s IT resources.


As a result, organizations have transitioned to structured cabling systems. Rather than directly connecting every single network component to another, a structured cabling system directly links storage units and servers to a communication backbone.


Installed in every part of a facility, local cabling panels are linked to the communication backbone with only one cable. This enables users to easily connect their devices to the whole network by connecting a cable to the nearest cabling panel.


Part 2 will discuss the advantages of upgrading to Structured Cabling.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive Office teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Structured Cabling,Network Cabling ,Data Cabling

Basics and Benefits of Zone Cabling – Part 3

20 Dec 2017

Structured Cabling,Network Cabling ,Data CablingAs discussed in Part 2, there are considerable cost savings from the deployment of zone cabling systems. Part 3 will continue discussing the basics and benefits of zone cabling.



Additional Zone Cabling Benefits



  1. Additional IP devices for audio & video, BAS, digital signage, voice, data security, digital signage, WAPs (wireless application protocols), etc. can be integrated easily into the current structured cabling system through ZE (zone enclosure) connections.

  2. Extra ports within the ZE facilitate fast MACs (moves, adds, and changes) of current service configurations.

  3. For easing installation and decreasing labor costs, tested trunking and factory pre-terminated cables can be utilized.

  4. Increased efficiency of pathway utilization will be realized for the entire facility space.

  5. Structured cabling system deployment will be speedier and cause less disruption.


Smart & Green Building Designs


Perfect for smart and green building designs, zone cabling systems can reduce labor expenses and waste of cabling materials. Centralized connections inside ZEs achieve greater efficiency for the routing of pathways. LEED credits provided by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) can be maximized. In addition, cable sharing can support several low-speed and low pair count applications functioning on a single 4-pair cabling system. This achieves greater efficiency in cable and pathway utilization.



Summary


Modern workspaces are becoming more social and flexible, and they are increasingly reconfigured and updated with greater frequency.


Zone cabling systems allows flexibility in work spaces, facilitating faster and less disruptive moves, adds, and changes than traditional cabling systems.


Zone cabling allows for greater efficiency in the use of pathways and materials, which is required for smart and green building designs.


CAT 6A shielded cabling is recommended in zone cabling designs to achieve maximum performance.


Shielded CAT 6A zone cabling designs result in greater performance, better support of remote powering applications, and ZE termination flexibility at practically no additional cost in comparison to CAT 6A UTP designs.


Regardless of size, zone cabling installations planned with 25% spare port availability will considerably decrease client disruption and allow the facility owner to recover the expense for extra ports inside two to five years or after achieving the threshold for ROI.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

network cabling,cat6 cable

Basics and Benefits of Zone Cabling – Part 2

14 Dec 2017

network cabling,cat6 cableAs 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.



Designs


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.



Cost Savings


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.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

cables, cabling design,Structured Cabling

Basics and Benefits of Zone Cabling – Part 1

7 Dec 2017

cables, cabling design,Structured CablingTopology or zone cabling design starts with horizontal cables running from patch panels within the TR (telecommunications room) to connections in a ZE (zone enclosure). A ZE can be installed in a ceiling, on a wall or beneath a raised floor. Next, cables originating from ZE connecting blocks or outlets lead to telecommunications outlets inside the WA (work area), equipment outlets, or straight to BAS (building automation system) devices.


Keep in mind ZE connections are creating by modular outlets or punch down blocks. No active equipment is housed in the ZE. For zone cabling deployment, experts recommend installing zone enclosures within a floor space’s populated areas that have the greatest density.


The primary element of zone cabling design is allowing flexibility in client work spaces that enable efficient MACs (moves, adds, and changes). Studies have found that zone cabling can result in considerable savings as opposed to the traditional configuration of home run work area to TR cabling. This is attributable to the fact that MACs on a home run topology need a greater amount of cabling materials and installation time for implementation.


To illustrate the savings mentioned above, we can compare a home run cabling link to a zone cabling link. Both can support a WA outlet positioned 200 ft. from the TR. In this scenario, the ZE is already cabled from the TR with extra ports for supporting additional services and positioned 50 ft. from the WA outlet. Should a second cable be required for deployment, 200 ft. of additional cable will require pulling from the telecommunications room that is designed traditionally, but just 50 ft. will require pulling with a zone cabling design.


Other important benefits derived from the utilization of zone cabling designs are considerably decreased installation and disruption times, along with cable pulling savings of 75%, which will result in significantly improving ROI (return on investment).


Part 2 will continue discussing the basics and benefits of zone cabling.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Data Cabling,Structured Cabling, cabling design-Washington DC

Improve Data Center Reliability with Structured Cabling – Part 1

22 Nov 2017

Data Cabling,Structured Cabling, cabling design-Washington DCCabling systems were once proprietary prior to the 1990s, which was a major problem for data centers. Each modification required vendor-specific knowledge of each component of the cabling system. In 1991, the TIA/EIA-568 standard was introduced to bring about structured cabling systems.


Although 5% percent of a network budget is currently spent on structured cabling, 59% of downtime can be attributed to it. Most downtime results from not adhering to standards. Data center efficiency can be increased by proper planning and implementing structured cabling principles. Structured cabling best practices should be the foundation of every data center.



Proper Planning


Designing proper cable runs, identification of cable types, the process of network verification, planning for future expansion, and accurate documentation are all part of the proper planning for structured cabling. Lacking these, a data center would be disorganized and chaotic.


A data centers begin at the MDA (Main Distribution Area), single or multiple HDA(s) (Horizontal Distribution Area), as well as the required equipment and spacing to allow cable access. The Main Distribution Area is the location of core networking equipment. The cross-connects of HDAs are utilized for the distribution of cables to the EDA (Equipment Distribution Area). A well-organized data center is the product of a structure that is well-planned.



Best Practices


Proper Standards –To attain high levels of proficiency, cabling standards, which are revised every five to ten years, must be followed. Remaining up-to-date will allow a data center to be more adaptable to changes of technology. American data centers now comply with the TIA/EIA-568 standard developed by the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), while business and companies located overseas comply with the ISO/IEC IS 11801.


Cable Identification System – In addition to standards, implementing an identification system utilizing colors and labels will assist managers in data center organization. A sound system will conserve both time and money over the long term. Addressing problems or even maintaining aging equipment is eased by a well-defined and easily understandable cable identification system.


Part 2 will discuss Cabling Infrastructure and Improved Network Function.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Network Cabling, Network , Structured cabling, cable, Washington DC

8 Network Cabling Mistakes to Avoid – Part 2

14 Nov 2017

As discussed in Part 1, the improper I can result in poor network performance, maintenance issues, and concealed expenses. Part 2 will discuss four more network cabling errors to avoid. Remember to consult with a cabling company that is experienced and provides excellent service.



Mistake No. 5: Ignoring Distance Limitations


The standard distance limitation for UTP cabling with Ethernet at 1 Gbps is 100 meters. For cabling used for 10 Gbps or 40 Gbps, it is important to be aware of the distance limitations of the kind of cabling that will be used. Let’s say your project plans to run 10 Gbps for a maximum of 100 meters over UTP cabling. This will require utilizing at least CAT 6A cabling.



Mistake No. 6: Bypassing Codes


Bypassing local codes may result in endangering first responders. In most facilities, it is prohibited to use PVC-jacketed cabling within air handling spaces. When PVC cabling burns, it produces poisonous fumes that can be hazardous to firefighters and other first responders who must enter the facility during an emergency.


The failure to comply with local codes with respect to low voltage cabling may result in costly fines and perhaps even being ordered to completely remove and reinstall cabling, an expensive exercise. Working with a reputable cabling service company that is knowledgeable regarding local ordinances will avoid future problems.



Mistake No. 7: Neglecting Testing


After cabling is installed, testing should be performed on every cable, using equipment that can verify functionality. The verification of cable lengths and specifications is also important. For certain transmission rates, it must be verified that the cabling is capable of adequately providing support.



Mistake No. 8: Non-Compliance with Standards


Your company’s project should comply with technical standards to ensure the proper functioning of its network. Non-compliance will make noise and interference more likely, leading to inefficiency and poor network performance.


Network cabling standards are used worldwide and are drafted by ISO/IEC, CENELEC and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). TIA (USA) issues the ANSI/TIA-568 standards for telecommunications cabling in commercial facilities.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.