IT systems are composed of several hardware components that are often connected to one another by cables. But more than just linking your equipment together, these cables can also affect the performance, integrity, and security of your entire IT infrastructure. Because of this, it is important for your business to have a structured cabling system (SCS) to form a solid foundation for your systems to operate to their full capabilities.
What is structured cabling?
Structured Cabling Systems refers to a system composed of cables and associated hardware created to facilitate the efficient transmission of telecommunication and computer data. The system involves more than just neatly organized cables — it is governed by guidelines and standards developed to support an organization's changing IT needs. Some providers call SCS by other names, including structured wiring, data cabling, phone cabling, or cable management.
SCS involves more than just neatly organized cables — it is governed by guidelines and standards developed to support an organization's changing IT needs.
Companies can have several one or more systems that comprise their structured cabling, such as the following:
- Network cabling – provides a signal path between a company's data center and users' work area
- Backbone cabling – supports network connections across different buildings, rooms, or floors
- Data center cabling – data center wiring organized to facilitate scaling and efficiency within or between data racks
- Distributed antenna system (DAS) and wireless cabling – enables ubiquitous wireless network connections across the organization's premises
- Audio/video (AV) cabling – supports audiovisual communications technologies for seamless virtual meetings, signage, audio systems, and other types of collaborative conferencing
Why does your business need a good structured cabling system?
A professionally designed and installed cabling system is more reliable, easier to manage, and will perform to standards when your IT equipment is plugged in. Some benefits of good structured cabling system:
Cables tend to get twisted and entangled when left unorganized, which makes finding which devices they connect to quite difficult. When you implement a structured system for arranging your IT infrastructure's wiring, locating crucial components and their connectors becomes easy. Consequently, this simplifies IT repair, maintenance, upgrades, and other key activities.
Your business's needs change over time, and your IT systems must be able to adapt accordingly. A good structured cabling system makes it easy to incorporate new equipment into your existing IT infrastructure or decommission old components as needed. This makes it possible to continually update your infrastructure to take advantage of the latest and most powerful technologies.
Cables that connect networks across different buildings will inevitably be exposed to the elements. Adhering to cabling standards ensures that these cables are adequately protected from damage and deterioration caused by moisture, sunlight, and other external factors.
IT infrastructures are often composed of a variety of equipment from different manufacturers. While this provides greater choice for businesses, it can also create incompatibilities that can lead to errors and reduced performance. Industry-standard cabling systems are designed to work with a wide range of devices, making it easy to integrate hardware into your setup, no matter the brand.
The physical environment in which your IT infrastructure operates can have a significant impact on its performance. Cables that are too long or too short, for example, can prevent optimal data transmission. On the other hand, kinks and twists in cables can also lead to data loss, corruption, or reliability issues. With a well maintained structured cabling system, you can be sure that your cables are of the right length and properly routed to avoid any performance issues.
IT security is a top priority for businesses in all industries. When cabling isn't done right, it can create weak points in your network that hackers can exploit to gain access to sensitive data. It can also make tampering by insider threats easier. Properly designing and installing the physical “layer 1” improves your ability to physically secure your IT equipment and makes it difficult for threat actors to create exploitable vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure.
Organized cabling eliminates distracting clutter and gives your office and workplace a professional appearance, which is especially important if you entertain guests and clients on site. It also prevents tripping and other accidents that may injure your staff and damage your equipment.
Your structured cabling system isn't just about tying cables together — it is important to have systems that are professionally designed and installed by professionals like Fidelis . Our IT experts can assess your company's IT infrastructure and develop a structured cabling plan that meets your business's unique needs.
We can protect your business in other ways too. Find out how when you download this free eBook today.