Over a series of posts we offer guidelines on how to produce a specification for an IT cabling system that meets your organisation’s needs and gives you value for money.
Today we provide a checklist of the elements you should include and the information you should gather before starting work on the specification.
Assuming you need a conventional structured cabling system using RJ45 connectors, the completed specification should include details on all or some of the following:
- The Class or Category of cabling system e.g. Class D/Cat 5e, Class E/Cat 6 etc.
- The number and locations of outlets
- The location and type of telecommunications rooms and spaces
- Backbone cabling between telecommunications rooms and spaces
- Cabling pathways and containment
- Labelling systems and methods
- Patching facilities and patch cords
- Administration system
- Minimum warranty period.
Before starting work on the specification, gather and document all the following information if relevant to your installation:
- A plan (preferably) or dimensions of the areas to be cabled
- The number of staff requiring IT and/or voice services
- The services required per workstation, e.g. voice, data
- Business expansion plans
- Applications to be supported
- The highest network speed anticipated during the expected life of the cabling system
- Ethernet switches and other IT infrastructure hardware to be supported
- Printers and other peripherals to be supported
- Voice backbone / distribution requirements
- The maximum backbone bandwidth expected during the life of the cabling system
- Building management systems integration
- Telephone system details
- Location of Telecommunications Rooms (for edge networking hardware)
- Location of Equipment Rooms (for core networking hardware)
- Location of Entrance Facilities for incoming telecommunications lines
- Locations for cabinets or racks, or space in existing cabinets and racks
- Cable routes between floors, across floors and between buildings
- Existing earthing facilities
- The fire rating requirement of the cable
- Any known or potential hazards e.g. asbestos, exposed high voltages, etc.
Depending on your knowledge and the complexity of your requirement, expert assistance may be needed to complete the specification.
Find out more about Black Box’s design and installation services here, or register for a free consultation.
Watch out for future posts on how to specify an IT cabling system, including:-
Selecting an ICT Cabling System [Part 2]
Cable Pathways, Installation Techniques and Documentation [Part 3]
Testing of Copper and Fibre Links [Part 4]
Enterprises today face new challenges for managing and storing vast amounts of data. The growth in ‘Big Data’, the Internet of Things, a remote workforce and the massive uptake in personal devices have all had an impact on how and where data is stored, and have attributed to the proliferation of data centres.
Building an end-to-end data centre solution requires evaluation, planning, design and deployment skills, whether it is 6 cabinets in a room, or 6000 cabinets spread over a campus site.
Your service supplier should have the relevant processes in place, and the qualified staff to make the transition as simple as possible, including:
- Standardisation of processes
- Uniformity with build layouts and designs
- Certified Data Centre Design Professionals (CDCDP)
- Registered Communications Distribution Designers (RCDD)
- PRINCE2 Project Managers and fully trained Data Engineers
- Project engineering – AutoCAD® and Visio® with isometric renderings
- Materials control through kitting, optimum stocking, and delivery planning
- Seamless worldwide project coordination, if required.
- End-state design and build
- Containment systems
- Rack and stack
- Structured cabling – pre-terminated copper and fibre
- Environmental monitoring
- KVM solutions
- Project management
- Multi-site rollouts
- Permanent on-site Engineers and Project Managers
Black Box has more than 40 years’ experience implementing data centres throughout the world. We have a large staff of BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designers so clients can rest assured that the design will be future-proofed for their needs today, tomorrow and in years to come.
Our global footprint, extensive technical and project management resources, diverse experience and established industry relationships make Black Box a trusted partner for any data centre project.
Find out more about our services here or contact us today for a free consultation.
Enterprise IT requires time, attention and resources. Increasingly organisations are turning to external IT Service providers to assist in the daily running of their networks. Some of the main reasons include:
- Increased demand on IT
Continuous advances in IT are rapidly changing the way companies do business. Changes in user requirements, challenges with managing both legacy and new technology, and shifts in managing IT expenses are shaping corporate IT landscapes.
- Chief Information Officers are concerned they are missing the IT expertise
Many IT departments find it challenging to stay current and proficient with the rapid evolution of new IT business technologies and applications. Supporting complex, enterprise-critical technology requires a depth of expertise and knowledge not always available internally.
- To reduce IT costs and align with cash flow
The strategic use of IT Services makes sense for companies driven to improve cost efficiency and maximise their IT spend. IT Services provide companies with the flexibility to determine the best use of their IT budget. Utilising IT Services also helps to adjust and balance CAPEX and OPEX expenditures to align with cash flow and finance objectives.
How Black Box Can Help
Black Box offers an intelligent, customised portfolio of IT Service Solutions that meet a variety of needs. We partner with our customers to identify, design, and execute time-saving and cost-effective strategies that are in line with their current and evolving enterprise objectives.
Comprehensive IT Services Portfolio
The Black Box team blends seamlessly into your workflow—assuming responsibilities and offering unobtrusive, yet focused and high-quality, support.
For more information download our IT Service Solutions brochure here or request a free consultation.
“The Black Box team is an integral part of the day-to-day-operations … they understand what we need to run smoothly, and our two teams work seamlessly as one.”
Disorganised cabinets and racks cost time and money.
Constant staff and equipment moves and changes over time can result in your communications cabinets becoming congested, unreliable and difficult to manage.
Problems escalate if it is necessary to trace faulty or disconnected patch cables resulting in network downtime and lost productivity.
Black Box Network Services offers a complete data cabinet tidy and re-patching service to maximise the performance of your network. We can untangle years of messy network cabling, radically improve the cable management and help you take back control of your comms cabinets.
How Black Box can help you achieve a cleaner, more manageable solution:
- Audit existing cabinets, creating a patching schedule of the interconnecting leads and equipment.
- Record, label and remove all equipment, patch panels and cables.
- Provide and install new racks and enclosures or utilise existing cabinets.
- Optimise the location of switches and panels within the cabinet or rack, leaving room for future expansion and reducing patch cable lengths.
- Install vertical and horizontal cable management throughout the cabinet to allow patch leads to be added or removed easily without impacting other cables. Well-spaced cable management is key to a maintaining a bulk cabling system.
- It is important to leave plenty of space for expansion to the network. We can provide different sizes of blanking panels which also help to prevent the ingress of dust.
- Install vertical or horizontal power strips to suit the size of cabinet and active equipment within.
- Reinstate patching in line with the original schedule using short – 0.3, 0.6, 0.9m, or custom length patch leads.
- Provide colour-coded patch leads to indicate function or area.
- Work can be undertaken out of office hours to avoid disrupting your business.
Future additions and changes on the network are easier to manage and stress-free.
When it is time to upgrade active equipment in the cabinets, it can be swapped over with little effort.
Remember: only let authorised personnel have access to your IT cabinets.
Talk to Black Box about our on-site network services today, or register for a free consultation on your cabinet tidy requirements.