When it comes to setting up your data center or your organization’s communication infrastructure, you may be debating between point-to-point cabling and structured cabling. To help you decide which option is right for your office or building, we’ll walk you through how each one works and the pros and cons so you can come to a confident decision for your business or organization!
Understanding Point-to-Point Cabling
Point-to-point cabling means that one cable connects one switch, server, or data storage unit to another. Each time there is a new addition to your communication setup, you’re adding another cable to connect it. If there are only a few direct connections for a small office, point-to-point cabling is inexpensive and fast to set up and easy to move around because everything easily plugs into something else.
However, it doesn’t take long before the amount of cables becomes overwhelming and difficult to maintain. Trying to do repairs or simply find the right cable for your needs becomes a time-consuming struggle, and as the connections become more crowded, you may see your servers slow down or crash. What started off as an inexpensive, simple solution rapidly turned into escalating maintenance and repair costs and wasted hours of downtime.
Point-to-point cabling makes it impossible to easily scale your infrastructure to keep up with your growth, so it’s not a long-term solution for an organization looking to grow.
Understanding Structured Cabling
Structured cabling is a more comprehensive network that forgoes connecting point-to-point and utilizes a hierarchical system of infrastructure to ensure an uninterrupted flow of data, security, and communication. Structured cabling relies on standards set by the Electronic Industry Alliance/Telecommunications Industry Association and American National Standards Institute to ensure all design, installation, maintenance, and expansion follows the same overall framework. This reduces cost and risk and provides improved “checks-and-balances” when designing and installing a structured cabling system.
The hierarchy, or subsystems, of structured cabling include:
- Entrance facilities where the phone company network ends and connects to your on-site wiring.
- Equipment rooms designed to connect large servers and equipment to wiring consolidation points for the whole building, organization, or campus.
- Backbone cabling is mainly used in data centers to connect entrance facilities, equipment rooms, and telecommunications closets in larger infrastructures.
- Horizontal cabling is often the standard inside wiring that connects telecommunications rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor.
- Telecommunications rooms connect between the backbone cabling and horizontal cabling.
- Work-area components are what connects the individual user’s equipment to the horizontal cabling.
While structured cabling is more complex and often more expensive to install, maintenance and growth is much more efficient. Structured cabling allows for simpler scalability without having to take down and rebuild an entire system.
Is Point-to-Point or Structured Cabling Right for You?
Point-to-point cabling is not a practical choice for any but the smallest organizations because it’s difficult to maintain and it has a lower quality of performance. From a long-term perspective, point-to-point doesn’t accommodate growth, so even as your business thrives, your communications infrastructure simply can’t keep up.
On the other hand, while structured cabling may seem like an unnecessary cost, it’s an investment worth making, as it’s considered an industry best practice. In the long run, it simplifies maintenance and expansion and improves the performance of your communications network.
To learn more about choosing which one is right for you, check out this video from CommScope:
Contact Us for Structured Cabling Solutions in Raleigh
At Strategic Connections, we work with businesses, organizations, schools, and medical centers, designing and installing complex structured cabling solutions that provide you with reliable, scalable communication and connectivity solutions. Our team of designers and installers are BICSI-trained and manufacturer-certified and we have full-time Registered Communications Distribution Designers on staff to ensure that even our most complicated designs are done correctly.
We serve Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Myrtle Beach, bringing modern solutions to your business or organization. To schedule a quote or learn more about our services, call us today at 800-255-5664 or fill out the form below for a free estimate!