This article discusses a few key factors that are critical to achieving high-speed networks to the latest standards.
We recently installed an affordable, high-speed, structured network for a company moving into a new office space in Oxford. Cat6 data cabling was used due to its affordability compared to Cat6A, its ability to support Gigabit speeds and its ability to support newer standards.
Improvements to Cat6 for Higher Speeds
Recently the IEEE 802.3bz standard was improved to incorporate 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T. What this means is that with multigigabit switching, Cat6 no longer just supports 1 Gbit speeds but can now also support 2.5 gigabit and 5 gigabit connections.
Avoiding Cable Damage & the Importance of Certification Testing
Whilst installing any data cable, it is crucial to follow industry best practice. Poor installation is responsible for slow speeds, networks not achieving their full capacity and intermittent network faults. During installation, cables can be damaged from tight bends, compression or poor termination on the modules and patch panels.
A lot of installers will test the network with a Wiremap Tester but this only offers a simple continuity test. At Redbeard IT, we use a Certification Tester to check Return Loss, Cross Talk and Alien Cross Talk; all common issues that are often overlooked which cause poor speeds and signal disruption. A Certification Tester checks for any damage to cables and measures characteristic impedance, acting as certification that a cable install will deliver on promised high speed.
Even with the latest spec switches, routers, servers and with fast networking cards, a less-than-perfect install will be slow and hindered. This is why at Redbeard IT we put so much emphasis on completing every job to the highest standards possible.