Network Infrastructure:

Move from the Fast Lane to the Giga Lane

With the demand placed on a network by an increasing number of server applications, cloud based software, and streaming media - it is necessary to increase the amount of bandwidth available to local users. Depending on how old the wiring is in the building, it is possible that the move to faster network speeds may be easier than expected as most cabling done in the past 10 years is Category 5e which is capable of Gigabit speeds. Gigabit Ethernet delivers performance that is 10 times faster the Fast Ethernet (For example a 1GB file takes less than 15 seconds to transfer across a Gigabit network, as compared to more than 2.5 minutes on a Fast Ethernet network). This speed keep employees from wasted, unproductive twiddling of their thumbs while waiting for files and programs to load across the network. These improved network speeds also allow for advanced applications such as VoIP, web conferencing and streaming media for multiple users at the same time. Also as wireless technologies have grown beyond the Gigabit speed mark with the adoption of the 802.11ac standard, it is absolutely necessary to upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet in order to maximize the potential of company wireless devices as well. Moving into the Gigabit speed lane helps to future proof your business and increase overall productivity capability.

Cable Testing & Certification

According to Wikipedia, In copper twisted pair wire networks, copper cable certification is achieved through a thorough series of tests in accordance with Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. These tests are done using a certification-testing tool, which provide "Pass" or "Fail" information. All that to say that when network cabling is installed it is important to know that the cabling is done right. To make sure that all the work done by cable installers is done to a level that will allow for full Gigabit the following tests are run:

  • Digital Length Measurement
  • Location of Opens, Shorts or Splits (including distance)
  • Cable Pairing Map
  • NEXT/FEXT Crosstalk
  • Propagation Delay & Skew
  • Attenuation to Network Device
  • Cable Typing & Speed Certification
Each wire will be given a seperate printed or digital report detailing the results. This can then be used to evaluate the success of the wiring project or to definitively troubleshoot network wiring issues.

Unwiring the Office

Business in general is becoming mobile through the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops in the office which requires that a solid wireless network be installed to provide these devices the connectivity they need. For a small office the standard wireless router from a local store will suffice but as the network grows to include more mobile devices or advanced server / storage hardware then the need for business class routers and access points (APs) are needed to accommodate the increase load on the network. Proper placement and number of APs in a business office configured in a mesh network will provide seamless coverage for all users throughout the building. As modern wireless standards are catching up with wired connection speeds there will be plenty of bandwidth to go around. It is also best practice to segment the network so that guests or clients in the office have segregated wireless access to the internet without being able to touch anything on the business network. Wireless can also be used to connect separate physical business locations which would reduce the cost of setting remote connectivity by eliminating the need for VPNs, extra internet connections or expensive wiring through site-to-site wireless bridging that can reach for miles with a clear line of site.