Many claims create myths surrounding copper and fibre data cabling. Here are five of them.
1. Any old Electrician can do the cabling
This is not necessarily the case. Many customers believe cheap is best and “my electrician can just do it while he does the power cabling”. In some cases, this can be true with the appropriate vendor product training. However, data technicians who have undertaken the appropriate training are the best people to do this. The selection of the company to take on your project is critical and most corporate decision-makers will want proof of training, specific case studies for previous work you have done, or, more importantly, reference sites and contacts. Incorporating these 3 elements whilst selecting a specialist infrastructure company can save time and money in the long run.
2. Any Data cabling will do
This is also an area of concern. Not all data cabling solutions are fit for purpose. It is critical to ensure the product you choose also has a reputable name in your market sectors such as Data Centres, Building Fit-outs, Audio Visual rooms, multi-site roll-outs, or an industrial application. It is important to do your homework not only on the product you are considering but also the organisation you are choosing to install it. Again, reference sites and other companies that have utilised the product as well as the installation contractor are your best source for this information. Don’t be afraid to ask your prospective installer to supply this information for you.
3. I can mix and match products, they are all the same
This is fraught with performance danger. All reputable products are tested end to end and matched for resistive performance. This has been done in labs with the best technology to ensure the highest throughput for the network it connects. Mixing different products alters this integrity and could result in poor performance. In other words, you wouldn’t mismatch the hardware in your server room or Data Centre so treat the cabling the same way. While it may be the less expensive part of the installation (the cabling), it’s the highway of your network and one of the most important components. Ensure you keep the same product end-to-end including any patch and fly leads. This will give you the best end-to-end performance.
4. It doesn’t matter how long the cable runs are, it will still work
Yes, it does matter. Most cabling manufacturers guarantee certain speeds and performance over specific distances. That being said, the maximum 90 metre rule for installations is the standard. Certain designs require shorter distances for greater throughput speed and performance, but let’s not get too detailed. As technology moves, so does the cabling world; making distances and speeds of Data flow are more critical than ever. Choose an installer that has the appropriate design training to ensure your installation does not exceed any standards and is compliant with the vendor’s approved tolerances. Exceeding distance standards can lead to intermittent faults and slow throughput.
5. Certification is a waste of time
No, it’s not. Certification is a very important aspect considering the data we are running down the cabling. Think of certification as an insurance policy; it gives you peace of mind that the installation you are paying for has been suited to your requirements and will stand the test of time for the applications of today and of tomorrow. It future-proofs your installation to a point. Certification also gives you peace of mind that the technicians that have installed it also have the backing and support of the product manufacturer and have invested time and training to design and install the product correctly. It gives you warranty coverage for both the applications you will run and the components that comprise the cabling installation. Certification is usually included in the installation by the organisation that is implementing it and should be asked for. Be sure to engage with an installer that has the capability to certify your installation as it is an important part of the solution.
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