Most people do not pay attention to the physical layer of their network. Given that cabling is something that might last 10 to 15 years, it is worth considering which type of wired media will support your network, not only for its present capabilities but also for future ones.
Good cabling solutions require some preparation, especially when there are many cables runs and when runs must span rooms, floors, and buildings. Many localities have specific building codes for cabling that include standards – such as the use of conduit – that must be met. For that reason, a licensed electrician may be required to install network cable to comply with the codes and to validate the work. Cable runs need to be insulated, and should be routed in a way that makes it easy to adapt to changing systems.
Many networks route their cabling through what is called a fibre patch panel, or a collection of patch panels, which is often called a cabling closet. The purpose of a patch panel is to allow connection to be quickly modified when systems are moved, or when projects require different connections. An example of Black Box Patch Panel is shown in the Figure. Good cable management dictates that you adopt a color-soding system so that you can visually tell which cable is for what connection.
Administrators often organize these tables into excel worksheets, and number and label cables at both ends for greater clarity. For groups of cables running to a server rack or into a room, cables are tied together into bundles that makes it clear which group they are running to. This organizational system can save a lot of time and frustration later on when you are trying to troubleshoot problems on a network, they usually use LC patch panel.
Building codes may require that cable be surrounded by an insulator. Insulators can be Teflon （PTFE, also called plenum）, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), or more frequently, Polyethylene (PE). Teflon is the most expensive of the three but is fire retardant. PVC, although cheaper, will burn and give off toxic gas in a fire. Polyethylene is flammable, but its fumes are non-toxic.
There are many ways to route cable conveniently and safety. If a room has suspended ceiling, then routing cable above the suspension harness is a good method. You can also use special runners to protect cable that is routed on a floor. In computer rooms, rated flooring serves the same purpose for routing cable as suspended ceilings. The lower part holds the wire, and the upper part an aps on to seal the raceway. Alternative designs are open-wire baskets (for hanging), wall mounts, ceiling mounts, and floor runs, and floor runs.
It is also a good idea to route network cables in a conduit. However, you should never use network conduits to run electric power lines with your network cable. Electric lines interfere with the signal in copper network cable by creating a voltage that can degrade the signal or, in severe cases, damage equipment than the network cable is attached to. The dynamo effect that creats a current when a wore is placed near a moving magnet also create a magnetic field (an applied voltage) when electricity passes by a metallic object.
Electric motors, fluorescent lights, motors such as pumps or refrigerators, and any other devices that have high magnetic fields and can cause electromagnetic interference, or EMI. Similarly, devices such as wireless routers, microwave ovens, even wireless telephones can be a source of radio frequency interference, ot RFI, which can give rise to spurious signals and degrade communication on network cables. For this reason, cables should be routed away from these various sources or adequately shielded in order to protect the network cable from these outside interferences. Longer cable runs tend to exacerbate these problems, as network signal strength decreases over longer segments.
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