Occupier Survey 2015/2016 reports strong growth prospects for office space across
Asia Pacific as organizations plan for increased headcount. Companies are investing
in new office spaces and also looking to consolidating existing offices. The
relatively high cost of real estate across many of the large metro cities in
Asia Pacific is driving renewed focus on space optimization.
buildings in India are being deployed with increasingly large floor plates; it
is not uncommon to see floor plates upwards of 100,000 square feet, especially
in cities like Bangalore and New Delhi. Network architecture, focused on local
area network (LAN) cabling design, can play a vital role in lowering costs
while increasing network performance.
TIA 568 and 569-B standards lays a solid
foundation for LAN design by elaborating on the hierarchy and placement of
space – work spaces, horizontal distributors, building distributors, campus
distributors, equipment rooms and facility entrances. IT network managers need
to be mindful of the following infrastructure trends.
the horizontal distributors in the equipment room leads to more useable floor
space, improved network densification and a flatter network. Optimizing floor
distributors also leads to better use of LAN electronic ports (Ethernet
switches), and also minimizes the intra-building back-bone runs. With an
optimal design and placement of distributors, network management is easier and
the network becomes more reliable.
should also consider using copper and fiber panels with a higher density of
ports. A good metric to evaluate design efficiency is to evaluate ports per unit
of rack space. This leads to optimal use of rack space, thereby reducing the
number of racks and optimizing use of floor space. Network managers should also
consider wall-mounted panels for cable termination and management so that only LAN
electronics and fiber panels are prioritized for rack space. A wall-mounted
panel approach is well-suited to organizations that seek to converge building
applications onto IP networks. Wall-mount panels can ensure that IT and
facilities management teams manage their respective networks within the rack,
and yet enabling the organizations to share a common cable plant.
Cabling System Performance
TIA 568 standard limits copper cable runs to 90 meters from the floor distributor
to workstations. Violating this rule results in higher signal losses (insertion
loss), as well as propagation delay limits imposed by the Ethernet protocol,
which can impair network performance. A large floor size with the optimal
number of floor distributors typically results in longer average length of
cables, beyond 90m, which means more insertion losses (attenuation). At the
same time, the shorter cable runs are impacted by near end effects for crosstalk,
return loss and other parameters. Network managers should therefore exercise
caution and specify not only performance headroom for the end to end channel,
but also demand a guarantee that the application to be used will indeed work –
this is called an application assurance warranty. Further, keeping in mind the
growing adoption of 2.5, 5G and 10G Ethernet and the latest high performance
wireless access points (WAP), it is important to specify a category cable type
that can meet future high bandwidth demands – Cat6A cabling systems are ideal.
Three Important Drivers
managers should also consider three important connectivity drivers: Wi-Fi; Power
over Ethernet (PoE) enabled devices, and In-Building Wireless (IBW) systems.
has emerged as a business critical requirement extending LANs throughout a
building to collaboration areas like conference rooms – thereby making
employees highly mobile. If the network was not designed with Wi-Fi in mind
then network managers will subsequently find it challenging to install cables
close enough to connect WAPs wherever needed. Utilizing a concept like CommScope’s
Universal Connectivity Grid (UCG) offers an elegant approach to cabling network
design by providing tremendous flexibility in general capacity planning and
identifying the optimum placement of WAPs at the network design stage. The latest
IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard
provides relatively high throughput (5GHz) which coupled with CommScope’s UCG
approach optimizes network design. The IEEE PoE standard IEEE 802.3bt allows for
powering end devices up to 96W over the same data cable. Lastly, with the need
for greater mobility and increasing challenge to maintain effective cellular
coverage throughout larger facilities, dedicated IBW systems ranging from
distributed antenna systems to small cell technology are more prevalent.
retrofit projects are intended to serve at least 10 years of installed life and
greenfield construction at least 15-20 years. Knowledge of structured cabling practice
can help IT and facility managers save costs, improve network performance and ease
network management over these decades long intervals. The CommScope Universal
(UCG)approach offers an elegant and flexible approach to
cabling network design.
Check out our UCG brochure. If you have questions,
leave me a comment.