Structured Cabling Systems

Think of structured cabling as your business network’s nervous system. Just like the human body connected by a nervous system Structured Cabling is the wiring infrastructure that runs throughout your building and offices that provides Internet Access, Telecommunication, VoIP, Security, and Computer Network Services.

What makes up structured cabling?

It includes everything from Wall Plates & Jacks, to the wiring throughout the building in your walls, ceiling & floors connected to an MDF & IDF throughout your business. The Importance of structured cabling has increased and so has the need for expert technicians. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help with all your wiring needs.

What is an MDF?

The Main Distribution Frame or (MDF) is the primary hub for all outbound Ethernet cables to their designated hardware devices. The MDF holds the internet modem, switches, and POE connections. The recommended length for a network cable run is 328 feet. If a device is more than 328 ft from the MDF how do you reach it? You pull a fiber optic cable and set up an intermediate distribution frame (IDF)

What is an IDF?

The Intermediate Distribution Frame or (IDF) is a distasting hub/network rack that is connected back to the MDF via a Ethernet or Fiber optic cable connection. It holds additional network switches and POE connections among other things to enable devices to connect further than the 328-foot limit.

What are the benefits of Structured cabling?
  • Moves, adds, and changes are much easier due to the fact that they are done in the MDA versus running long patch cords from equipment racks.
  • Potential for downtime is reduced as the potential for human error is drastically reduced due to this organization.
  • Time savings; cable and port tracing becomes a much easier job with a structured cabling system. This logical, organized approach not only makes changes easier, but it saves you time.
  • Aesthetics; Never underestimate the looks! A structured cabling system will look much cleaner than a point-to-point method. Since the changes are done in the MDA versus at the hardware, the hardware can be cabled up and not touched in most instances. This allows the cabling in front of the switch to remain aesthetically pleasing.
What are the risks associated with not using Structured Cabling?
  • With an unorganized messy cabling infrastructure, mistakes are common like incorrect ports are unplugged during maintenance or even worse the cabling gets in the way. Trying to remove a single cable from a large tangled mess can cause stress on the other cables. This stress can lead to network problems & errors.
  • Airflow: If a point-to-point method is used, the front and potentially the sides of the switch are congested with cabling bulk. This impedes the airflow that the switch needs to operate. This also translates to underfloor cooling; cabling congestion in this space hinders the airflow of the computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit and can cause cooling issues.

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