4 things to consider when cabling your office
As technology continues to rapidly change and evolve, one thing remains consistent – the IT infrastructure, namely the cabling, which supports it and keeps everything connected. Yet surprisingly this aspect of IT is often neglected. Imagine if you put an F1 engine into a normal commercial car – it’s certainly not going to perform like an F1 car. The same thinking should be applied to your IT infrastructure – even if you get new, state-of-the-art technology, you could face the risk of it not performing at its peak unless the underlying infrastructure has the capability to support it.
Shinji Ando, Project Manager from Tokyo, shares his top four things to consider when designing and migrating your network infrastructure.
1. Think long term
How is your cabling infrastructure going to look in five or ten years? We have seen many companies that adopt a cabling plan which is suitable for its current state but is not flexible for the future. It is very important to design and plan for future technological innovations that could be introduced to your company. You should try and stay up to speed with the latest trends and technologies and ask yourself:
1. The physical environment you are deploying in
2. Network Size
3. Design Methodology
You need to design cabling while picturing what future maintenance, management and expansion could look like.
2. Budget, budget, budget!
People tend to look to cut the budget for cabling infrastructure, when we should think of it on the same level as your building design and materials. The old thinking of ‘connectivity is enough’ is over and we need to consider how to maximize business opportunities through our infrastructure, while decreasing stress and improving efficiency and perform real risk assessment to the business effect of infrastructure failure.
For example, I often suggest clients use a patch panel to terminate all their cabling to patch panels in a server rack and use good cable management inserts. The patch panel consolidates and manages the wiring in the office and prevents the cabling from becoming disorganized, lost or damaged. At a minor additional cost; this will make your cabling infrastructure manageable, any future changes very flexible, simply by installing the patch panel from the beginning. So try and consider reducing any future maintenance when planning new IT infrastructure and consider the engineers that have to work with this every day.
3. The server room is not a storage room
Has your company’s server room turned into a storage room? I have seen many server rooms filled luggage and boxes and all sorts of other things. The server room is the heart of IT infrastructure and if it is not well organized, the cables can become damaged, air-con efficiency is reduced and becomes an overall nightmare.
If we don’t maintain a clean server space it can become impossible to know which server is connected to which network equipment and via which server rack, so keeping the server room organized from the beginning is vital. At the very least, I recommend labeling your cables. A bit of time spent on this from the beginning could take a lot time, frustration and money in the future.
4. Quality assurance and regular maintenance
It is very important to conduct proper authentication/verification tests and check the quality of your organization’s network. A cabling contractor can use a highly reliable test to check whether cables have been installed properly.
When you install new cabling, relocate, expand or change existing network, use a certified tester to check whether everything is performing properly through a report or certification. By adopting this certification process, you avoid the risk of judging the quality of work of the person who did the installation and can be guaranteed that the work is reliable.
Since cabling infrastructure is hidden under floors, walls and ceilings, it is very difficult to change the cable itself once it is installed. This is why proper planning and testing is critical to the long term success of any good cabling design,
To wrap up, spend a lot of time when planning your cabling infrastructure even though it’s invisible. If you are ever uncertain or have any questions, you can always reach out to us.