Cabling Information

Cabling mistakes and neglect are so prevalent I scarsly know where to begin. A few years back I read an article that 80 percent of unexplained network errors and slowdowns can be attributed to faulty network cabling. At first I had a hard time reconciling this kind of claim, but I'm a believer nowdays. I have worked with telecom, networking, and Internet service provider companies and THEY didn't get it either. Consider making an omlet. You need fresh eggs to make the omlet but you decide to use cheeper rotten eggs instead. Sure it still an omlet, but would you want it?

You need to manage and maintain cabling, certify cabling, label cabling, and you don't want to take the quick route. The quick route is how the nightmare begins. So often, people want to move from 10baseT networks to 100 or 1000baseT networks. The thought process is that the connectors fit,...so it must work, right?. Doh! Well it doesn't work quite like that. Ethernet cabling has different number of twists in it, different gauges, fire ratings, etc. Fiber optics has different properties to it as well. T1 cabling should be treated different than Ethernet. Installation of network cabling is now largely done by electric installers that are used to pulling "non signalling" bulky electric cables rather than electronic signaling wires or fiber optics.

I have consulted with business after business where a slow network was never properly diagnosed and led to the demise of the previous consultant. The "other" guy walks the customer through upgrading switches, Internet connections, servers, programs, and workstations and still ends up with a slow network. I know it's not as "sexy" to talk about cabling as going to a "Giga" network switch. But, if going to a $1200 Gigabit switch still isn't going to fix anything for you, who cares about "sexy"?


 
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