Network Infrastructure Requirements: How to Determine the Appropriate Cabling for Your Business’s Needs
When building your IT infrastructure, it’s important to have a detailed plan-of-action. Cutting corners and rushing now can lead to a lot of headaches and lost money and time in the future. When determining your network infrastructure requirements, go through and consider what you need now and what you may need as your company grows, especially when it comes to wiring and cabling needs. When you need to determine wiring requirements for your business, consider the following:
How many workstations do you need to be hooked up to the network? How many phone lines? Before you start any cabling, figure out exactly what needs to be connected and where it will reside. Then, start planning the infrastructure for your business to accommodate these workstations. This will help you determine the lengths of cable you will need. If you don’t determine this early on, you may find yourself running far too many patch cables, which could cause signal degradation.
Your bandwidth is, in part, determined by the size of the network you plan on having. However, you also need to be sure that you have enough bandwidth to handle all of your IT needs. The amount of bandwidth you need affects the type of cabling you need, as it needs to be able to handle that bandwidth without slowing down or allowing data to degrade. If your company requires regular video conferencing, live streaming of seminars, and other bandwidth-intensive functions, you’ll need cables that can accommodate the heavy flow of information without slowing down.
In addition, consider your company’s bandwidth needs of tomorrow. If your business experiences rapid growth in a year or two, you may need to add more cables and better network hardware. If you have an untidy mess when you finish cabling this time around, you won’t be able to easily and efficiently update your network. In fact, you may have to go through a complete re-cabling project to do it, which means more downtime and higher costs. Get your network infrastructure right the first time with proper planning.
The type of work you do and the environment in which you do it makes a drastic difference in your network infrastructure requirements. If your business is prone to dust, dirt, and rough handling, you’ll want to look at Cat5 or Cat6 cabling. These are resistant to contaminants and are less likely to get damaged by these particulates. Fiber, on the other hand, is likely to be damaged by dust, dirt and other debris, as it is far more fragile.
On the other hand, a cleaner environment, like a hospital or laboratory, can benefit far more from fiber optic cabling. The cabling needs of these facilities also depend on the electrical environment. Cat5 or Cat6 cabling experiences more radio and electromagnetic interference, so power cables, magnetic imaging devices, and other “noisy” equipment can render these cables useless. Thankfully, fiber optic is resistant to such interference.
When considering your budgetary restrictions for your cabling requirements, be sure to remember that you are not only accounting for the up-front costs of your network infrastructure and its requirements, you are also planning for your company’s future needs. If you use low-quality or incorrect cables and wiring now, you’ll likely have more costly wiring requirements in the future. Weigh your options carefully and understand that spending a little more now may be better than spending a lot more in the future.
Hiring a contractor to evaluate your network infrastructure requirements may be the easiest and cheapest way to determining the wiring requirements for your business. If neither you nor any of your employees is an expert in wiring and cabling, hiring an expert is going to be your best bet to make sure your network infrastructure requirements (both for the present and the future) are met. The trusted experts at Customer 1st Communications know about cabling, and we have the expertise to not only do it right the first time but also to do it within your budget and on your schedule.
Need help to determine the cabling needs of your business? Call us at (855) TECH-C1C (855-8324-222) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.