Designing a Structured Cabling System for Voice and Data

In Telecommunication infrastructure, a structured cabling system encompasses device dependent whole arrangement of cabling along with the connected and related hardware.

To ensure the performance at the optimal level from a particular network system voice and data cabling considered as a significant or key component. At present when paradigm shifted towards technological advancement from voice to video and LAN to IP structured cabling measured as a critical factor to maintain a particular network up- to- date hence that network can work in an appropriate manner that provides the platform for advancement. Since in new era of hi-tech advancement the communication atmosphere becomes intricate and diversified for meeting the performance standard structuring an appropriate cabling system that works for data and voice communication simultaneously has become a prime requirement.

The design of wiring systems for voice and data communications systems have been went through an evolution process over last twenty years due to the changing requirement of business world for the integration of voice application with the support of data and graphics as well as digitally integrated service through network connection for instance; combining high speed data, video, voice and image applications within a single high-performing network system with the purpose of exchanging information exclusive of boundaries.

While defining the Defining the structured approach would like to discuss briefly regarding the subsystem of structured cabling system in a network. A proper framework of structured cabling includes five subsystems these are:

  • The Point of Demarcation- encompasses the point where wiring connects to the on-premises and the Internet or Telephone Company ends.
  • Room for relevant equipment or telecommunications- has been used for the purpose of houses equipment and points of consolidation the equipment as well.
  • Horizontal wiring-covers the connection among equipment rooms to specific outlets or workplace and on the same floor.
  • Vertical cabling-covers the connection among equipment rooms, usually among different floors.
  • The work area- consumer equipment creates a connection through outlets to the horizontal cabling system.

Zone Cabling Architecture Characteristics has been considered as an effective process to deploy Ethernet/IP solution all through the infrastructure. According to the plan, Zone cabling system congregates with the Ethernet cabling pathways. A specific and standard pathway should be used and then terminated within the zone for distributed enclosures although the plant.

Each of these subsystems of cabling follows a standardized form that consists of some components these are- Permanent Link, equipment cord, work area cord. The complete package is termed as a channel. Additional connections with different configuration are permitted in the channel. In any structured cabling system the permanent link is the key feature. It helps to make sure that both machine and connection will work according to necessity.

While designing the telecommunication infrastructure system designer needs to keep in mind the concept of managing and implementing a sole and exclusive system that is able to handle data and voice concurrently. The proper planning of flexibility in infrastructure is crucial for present and further onwards appropriation applications of infrastructure.

According to the specification in the Catagory5 of the Telecommunications Industry Association/Electronic Industries Association-568-A standard for commercial building telecommunications-

“All newly structured cabling design and installation should conform to high-Performance standard”

Category 5 systems continuously can deliver services that consumer need for present and future application. Several critical issues should be taken into consideration while designing and installing the infrastructure system to meet the present and future requirements. The consideration factors has been described following-

  • The Regulation standards of telecommunication industry and its performance requirements.
  • Specification for the telecommunication infrastructure design and installation.
  • Prior to getting started to apply the testing options to ensure maximum performance from the infrastructure.

To design, implement and maintain a finest and well performing structured cabling infrastructure for data and voice communication subsequent steps must be taken into consideration and to be followed. These are-

Proper Education and Knowledge- System designer need to familiar with the available best practical and convenient practices and standard to design and maintain the infrastructure by the organizations which offer information regarding machine-level best practices. Several best practices are considered as standard for crucial fiber and copper connections possess the capability of doing the-

  • To form permanent link terminate horizontal runs from patch field connectors
  • Verify the performance of existing infrastructure by standard test and equipment.
  • Keeping enough chance to replace patch cord while suspected of damage or already damaged without touching the horizontal cable
  • Creating a user-friendly and specifically defined structured connection, thus, support people can easily handle to serve the purpose of required performance on troubleshooting incidents.

There are a number of guides and specialized training available from different organizations that clarify how to design and implement the structured cabling of fiber and copper system what can be considered as supporting to accelerate the learning agenda.

Establish Proper Goal and Objectives- Strategic perspective must be used to determine the functional criteria of the infrastructure. Structured cabling provides the optimal support while gigabit-per-second equipment-data rates used in the infrastructure.

Design the architecture of infrastructure and draft the specification- There are several tools as well as experts who provide the specialized service as the third party to design the structured cabling system for voice and data. While designing, developing documents that support the establishment of structured cabling and specifying required materials for a particular function is important since sound specification confirms the simplification of the rest of the process like installation, verification, functionality, and maintenance. Sound specification includes reliable and secured physical consideration that should follow in the implementation phase of plant network. In this phase, IT and automation personnel should work as a team to derive best practices. At the stage of the deriving specification, the dedicated team must take the strategic perspective under consideration, therefore, infrastructure provides up-to-date performance over a long period of time.

Another important key consideration should be Network protection from the environment.TIA and IEC are established standards to conduct the environmental assessment of the process.

There are some other considerations like security tactics specification and physical identification strategies that must be developed during the specification phase.

Installation phase- In this particular stage system designer must take care every detail since chance exist potential errors are most in number. To keep the installation neat and error-free at the optimal level there are several standardized and integrated installation tools and training that should be used to ensure a successful installation of infrastructure.

Testing Phase- Verification or testing of the infrastructure is the key to a successful structured cabling system. Since lack of appropriate testing may create the scope of startup delays, downtime, and unnecessary costing. Reliable paid testing tools and equipment are easily available in the marketplace through which testing phase can be accomplished but here choosing the right reliable and best performing tools is crucial and requires the highest attention. Successful testing consequences benchmark meeting performance. Periodic scheduled shutdown and upgrading opportunities to recheck and validation the network structure considered as the prerequisite for a specific flourishing structured cabling system.

Operation and Maintenance phase- After design and installation the cabling network; industrial automation user becomes an accountable concern for the infrastructure. To reduce potential degradation of infrastructure best-practice methods must be used.

Some patchwork issues may arise time to time in maintenance period that can be avoided by clearly establishing and properly implementing the operational and maintenance guidelines to detect probable issues in substantial infrastructure and network traffic.

Collaboration and finest teamwork between IT and automation personnel’s is the precondition for a specific successful structured cabling project for voice and data communication. IT personnel’s are highly experienced with structured cabling issues at the project, while automation people best understand the plant environment and surrounding pieces of machinery. But collaboration and teamwork is not the only answer; maintenance and functional level personnel’s efficiency and in some special cases specialized hired experts play a significant part in the smooth implementation and function of Structured Cabling System for Voice and Data. Hence efficient and effective documentation of specification and scrutinize every detail in every phase of designing the infrastructure must be taken into serious consideration.

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