Tech Tip: In-House Networking, Cabling

Depending on the technology, you might find that a wired connection will serve you better than a wireless one. Therefore, it becomes critical to know how to connect various cables to endpoints around your office. Today, we wanted to give you three practices that will help you ensure that cables are laid effectively and efficiently in your office. By sticking to these, you’ll be able to connect components to your network with ease.

Let’s begin with a discussion about how there are different cables in use for various circumstances. For example, the cables you use to connect your computers, network equipment, telephones, and other devices will have a maximum distance, how much they can and should be able to bend, the rate of data transmission, and so on. If you understand what you have to work with, you can make better decisions about how they can be used.

Bundle Your Cables

One of the biggest and most important parts of an effective cabling infrastructure is how you keep wires and cables away from all of the people traipsing about your office. Not only could people trip and fall, but they can cause damage to your infrastructure. This is why people tend to run cables overhead or under walkways. It’s also helpful to give your cables some slack, too, so there is some freedom to move them about when it comes time to plug them in.

Manage the Weight of Your Cables

A mass of network cables can be remarkably heavy, especially when you have many of them all assembled in the same place. Consider how you are supporting these cables, especially if they are being held overhead. Newer cables tend to be heavier than older ones, so if you find yourself replacing cabling in your office, be sure to consider the support system you have in place for them.

Make Sure to Label Them

A frustrating aspect of cabling is determining which cables are connected to which devices, especially if there is a mass of them gathered and there is no documentation explaining how they are assembled. You should take time to map out your cabling setup and color code them to ensure there’s a system in place. Some cable setups run for quite some distance, so making sure you are addressing the appropriate cable becomes incredibly important so as to not disrupt all the others.

The map you put together should be detailed enough that any new technician can see your office and step into a role that might demand they work on systems there. You can use a spreadsheet to help keep track of them, or a ledger with color or alphanumeric code. You might be surprised by how much time and frustration this can save, especially for newer technicians or those who are just visiting the office to address a specific concern.

To learn more, call Computerware today at (703) 821-8200 or go to:

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.



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