Shoreworx is one of the most experienced and established fiber optic installation companies in the Cleveland/Akron metropolitan area. We specialize in the complete installation of business communication systems with structured voice and data cabling design and infrastructure. We are committed to supplying the equipment and systems which build a scalable network that will meet your company’s needs not only today, but for many years in the future. As a Fiber Optic contractor, in addition to fiber cabling, we work with Cat 5e, Cat6, Coax, Horizontal Cabling, Backbone cabling, Server Room, Data Room Building / Datacenter Build Outs.

The Shoreworx team has been tasked with installing fiber optic cable in just about every scenario imaginable. Call us today for your free estimate and consultation. We take great pride in everything we install and stand behind our work with a written warranty for every installation.

Construction Services

Fiber Optic Installation Types
– Fiber Optic Cabling

  • Fiber Optic Installation
  • Aerial Cable Placement
  • Underground Conduit Construction
  • Fiber Optic Termination
  • Conduit Rodding, Cleaning and Cable Pulling
  • Fiber Optic Splicing
  • Full Scope Design and Maintenance for Fiber Cabling
  • Multimode Cable
  • ST/SC/LC/FC Connectors
  • Multimedia Outlets
  • Wall or Rack Mounted Cabinets
  • Single Mode Cable
  • Fiber Cabling
  • Outdoor – Fiber Optic Cabling
  • Premise Data Networks
  • Armored Fiber Optic Cable
  • OTDR Testing/Certification
  • Fusion Splicing

 

The race between Copper and Fiber was won, and the incontrovertible winner is fiber. Virtual Private Networking (VPN) for telecommuters, or point-to-point T1 services for businesses, only Fiber Optics can satisfy the wide-ranging needs of an entire community. Fiber Optic contractors know that the use of a Fiber Optic Network minimizes maintenance expenses because the Fiber Optic Network signals are not affected by electrical noise. Exempt from FCC-mandated sweeps, fiber reduces operation and maintenance costs for an outside plant. Fiber also drives much longer loops than copper and there is no ongoing plant tuning. Additionally, the Fiber Optic Network has an estimated Interior/Exterior, LAN, WAN, and Plant life of more than 35 years. On the other hand, copper cable is delicate. It only has a 25 pound pulling tension limit and kinks will ruin the high speed performance. With fiber, even though it’s glass fiber, it has more strength and greater tolerance to abuse than copper wire. Not too many years ago, fiber was a novelty, and there was little fiber optic installation experience in the industry. Copper was the king. In today’s high speed networks the reverse is true. While copper is restricted as far as speed, fiber can look at the very high speed industry future with supreme confidence.

 

The Secret to Success in Fiber Optics Installations is Training!

Our stellar reputation among Fiber Optic contractors is due to the continuous investment we make in training each Fiber Optic Technician on our staff. We are fully insured and carry all manufacturers. There is no job too small or too large. Whether you require one line or one thousand lines, we will do the job efficiently, to your specification, and on budget.

Contact Shoreworx today to see if our fiber optic cabling solution
is the right fit for your business.
440.808.8448

Structured Cabling Ohio - Decisions That Will Affect Your Business For Years To Come

The combining of data onto a single network is always a topic for discussion. The technology is here, but what about the actual infrastructure to move all this data around? Some network managers might question whether the CAT-5 links in their cable plant will support 1000BaseT. Even if the cabling will run at high data rates, recurring network problems may not be the fault of hubs, routers or software.

In the mid 1970’s Ethernet was unveiled at a speed of 10mbs and offering (at that time) big amounts of bandwidth. 20 years later, 905 of PCs were still transferring data at that speed.  The increase of PCs on every desktop and the rise of data intensive application has seen exponential increases in connection speed throughout the system. In the mid 90’s, the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) ratified CAT-5 interconnection hardware specifications, which extended bandwidth to 100MHz and supports 100Mbps 100BaseTX Fast Ethernet systems. CAT-5 hardware will also run 155Mbps Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM-155) traffic.

Today’s bandwidth expectations mean that CAT-5 is coming to the end of its upgrade life. The Category 5 Enhanced (5e) standards specify more headroom for 100BaseTX and ATM-155 traffic. Critically, 5e standards make reliable gigabit Ethernet connections possible. Nonetheless, many structured cabling suppliers argue that 5e is only an interim solution before the arrival of CAT-6, which will support at least 200MHz; in the interests of sufficient operating margin, the IEEE is requesting a 250MHz CAT-6 specification. Despite the fact that CAT-6 standards are only at draft stage, manufacturers are offering a host of products and claiming that they comply with the draft proposals.

In applications such as video streaming or editing, gigabit Ethernet offers the opportunity to work more efficiently. Instead of downloading a sequence from a server and running it locally in real-time, multiple editors can view 27Mbps video streams concurrently at their computers. Other early adopters in the United Kingdom include the Meteorological office, which moves gigabytes of data to model weather patterns. For most users, the best reason for installing the latest CAT-6 copper technology lies with providing the greatest degree of “future-proofing”.

CAT-5 cabling is adequate for most installations today. 5e supports any of today’s protocols and provides more margin. Compared with CAT-5 products, you can currently expect a 15% premium for 5e and as much as 50 % for CAT-6. Important design issues include limiting the clock rate to ease cabling requirements and limiting EMC emissions without resorting to shielded cabling.

In March 1997, the IEEE Standards Board approved the 1000BaseT project under the number P802.ab. The committee’s objective is to design a gigabit Ethernet system that runs over CAT-5 level cabling. The shielded-versus-unshielded cable debate has raged since 10BaseT’s introduction. The Fast Ethernet-compatible symbol rate of 125MHz with two bits per symbol yields 250Mbps per twisted pair. Cable-test recommendations specify three link models. Cable management is important for CAT-5 systems and becomes critical for high-bandwidth systems – CAT-6 GigaBand system.

Bandwidth intensive data and video applications continue to push the need for high performance structured cabling systems that can support higher transmission. The  decision is to purchase the best performing cabling system available to guard against obsolescence. CAT-6/Class E cabling provides 2.5 times the bandwidth and can deliver as much as 300 % better power sum attenuation to crosstalk  performance at 100MHz than 5e systems for approximately 25 % greater installed cost. Even so, many customers question whether they should purchase CAT-6/class E cabling systems prior to TIA/EIA ratification of the standard. Many fear that they will be left with a telecommunications infrastructure that will not meet the final standard specifications or will not support all intended applications. Fortunately, by doing a little research and asking the right questions, customers can purchase a CAT-6 system that will support 250MHz applications well into the next generation of networking technologies.

Development of the TIA draft CAT-6 standard is nearing completion and is expected to be forwarded for industry ballot review in December 1999. Although it may be months before a consensus is reached and the standard is approved, it is unlikely that there will be changes between now and then. Since project initiation in September 1997, the key performance goals for CAT-6 and class E have remained firm. In fact, ISO/IEC had communicated these goals to the industry in 1997 specifically to “allow manufacturers to start development of the required cabling components”. Standards groups are actively working to finalize the development of field and laboratory test measurement criteria at this time. Evidence of the progressing standard is the fact that a variety of manufacturers are now actively promoting CAT-6 solutions.

A company’s investment in cabling is a long-term return. Although CAT-5 cabling installed for use on 10/100 networks may be fine at gigabit and beyond speeds, even small problems can become major headaches. When the standards are ratified for CAT-6, the marginal 25-30 % increase in installation costs will be overshadowed by reliable gigabit speeds.

Shoreworx Communications are experts in the field of data cabling, we can tell you exactly what is needed for each situation. We keep up to date on all advances in technology and are here to help you. Give us a call! 440-808-8448

NETWORK DATA CABLE INSTALLATION

Shoreworx Communications specializes in the design and installation of structured cabling systems with an emphasis on data center, new construction, retail chains, and corporate relocations.

Shoreworx is a national installer of  IT infrastructure and network cabling. Whether your network is ten computers or ten buildings in a campus environment, Shoreworx can provide the copper and fiber cabling needed to connect voice and data across your network. Shoreworx also offers services such as wireless access points, access control and surveillance, VoIP systems, IP network video surveillance, fiber optic installation, collocation and fully documented CAD drawings.

 

WHY CHOOSE SHOREWORX?

  • Shoreworx provides a valuable service from soup to nuts. From a single cable installation, to your next fully operational Data Center.
  • Our estimating and tracking system allows us to accurately assess cable needs for every job.
  • We pride ourselves on maintaining our customers, on a long term basis. We want your business for twenty years and our staff works hard at keeping it.
  • All cable is properly and professionally labeled at the closet end and at the end user location with Brady Thermal Labels.
  • All cabling is installed per industry and manufacturer standards. We are professionals and our work shows it.
  • We drive quality of service over anything else. All of our technicians are qualified, certified, and undergo constant training/testing  in an effort to expand their knowledge of ever changing building codes, technology, and best practice methods.
  • After installation and termination, every cable is professionally Fluke certified to its standard.
  • We provide electronic Certification results to our clients for every cable installed.
  • We offer free estimates/consultations to all of our customers/potential customers.
  • We warranty all of our work 100% in writing.
  • We can provide qualified references from highly reputable law firms, Universities, Religious Affiliations, Financial Institutions, Real Estate Firms, Restaurant Chains, Retail Chains, and many other types of businesses from Cleveland, Akron, Canton or Pittsburgh that choose Shoreworx as their Technology Service Provider.
  • We accept Visa/MasterCard/American Express and PayPal
We warranty all of our work 100% in writing. We can provide qualified references from highly reputable law firms, Universities, Religious Affiliations, Financial Institutions, Real Estate Firms, Restaurant Chains, Retail Chains, and many other types of businesses that choose Shoreworx as their Technology Service Provider.

 

Network Data Cable Installation

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Network Services Ohio WiFi/WLAN

Deployment of a wireless network requires careful planning. Business requirements and objectives need to be evaluated and a site survey must be undertaken to determine possible sources of interference. WiFi Networks can be difficult to implement in high interference areas, be incompatible with existing equipment and can open up security risks. WLANs are best used in addition to – rather than a replacement to wired networks. Our consultants will assure proper planning when implementing your wireless network. The complexity of your network will vary depending on the obstacles within and the size of your facility.

Common applications include:

  • Business customer aggregation
  • Enterprise/Campus Inter-building Connectivity

Wireless / WiFi Network Types Include:

  • 802.11g
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11n
  • 802.11a
  • Wireless Mesh

 

 

Shoreworx Wireless/WiFi Solutions and Installations

  • Enterprise WiFi Hotspots
  • Outdoor Broadband Wireless / WiFi (including municipal and rural wireless)
  • In-Building Cellular and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)
  • Wireless / WiFi for Multimedia (business telephone / VoIP, CCTV, hand held scanners, point of sale / POS, digital signage, paging and music systems, etc.)
  • Wireless / WiFi for Multimedia (business telephone / VoIP, CCTV, hand held scanners, point of sale / POS, digital signage, paging and music systems, etc.)
  • Multi-Service Mesh Networks
  • Point to Point Wireless
  • Point to Multi-Point Wireless
  • Fixed Wireless Access
  • Mobile Wireless Access
  • Wireless Video Surveillance
  • Public Safety Solutions

 

RF Tests & Site Surveys

A site survey is always performed first. This is a physical survey of the customer\’s premises to locate the best possible places to install access points and ensure 100% wireless coverage and optimum performance.

Before installing any wireless devices we perform a radio frequency (RF) test in order to better understand the behavior of radio waves within a facility. This is recommended because various obstacles such as doors, walls, elevator shafts and people might affect the radio frequency pattern, causing it to be irregular and unpredictable. Even if you are using omni-directional antennas, radio waves do not travel the same distance in all directions. The RF test can also detect any radio interference that might come from other sources and could affect the performance of the wireless LAN negatively. The ultimate goal of the site survey and RF test is to help determine the number and placement of the access points.

Access Points – WLAN Installation

Shoreworx Communications will integrate the WiFi system into your current network as well as install all the required wireless equipment and certify its operation. All cabling and power runs should be done and tested prior to the installation of access points.

 

Below is a list of activities that one might expect during an installation:

  • Mounting of access points
  • Installation of enclosures on case-by-case basis (physical security)
  • Mounting of antennas
  • Connection of antennas to access points
  • Connection of Backbone LAN to access points
  • Connection of power to access points
  • Installation and connection of remote power system
  • Verification of coverage

Configuration of access points and hardware will include:

  • Proper firmware level
  • Radio information (SSID, channel, bit rate)
  • IP addresses
  • Verification of backbone connectivity

Advantages of WiFi Networks / WLANs

Mobility

The most obvious and significant advantage of WiFi networks. Workers can access shared resources without looking for a cable and a place to plug in.

Range of coverage

Coverage of a WLAN node can be extended by the use of access points.

Ease of use

Users need very little information to take advantage of a WLAN because it is transparent to a user’s network operating system

Installation speed and flexibility

Installation of a WLAN system can be fast and easy and can eliminate the need to pull cable through walls and ceilings. Furthermore, wireless LAN enables networks to be set up where wires might be impossible to install.

Scalability

Wireless networks can be designed to be extremely simple or complex. Wireless/WiFi networks can support large numbers of nodes and large physical areas by adding access points to extend coverage.

Reduced cost of ownership

Particularly in dynamic environments requiring frequent modifications\’ thanks to minimal cabling and installation costs per device and user. WLANs simplify moving, additions, and changes, the indirect costs of user downtime and administrative overhead are reduced.

Contact Shoreworx today for a free site survey / estimate
to see if our wireless solution is the right fit for your business.

440.808.8448

 

Wireless Networking

Many businesses are transitioning to wireless networking, and for good reasons too. Employees can stay connected to customers, and your customers will enjoy WiFi while in your office building. But also imagine an office building with several floors, where employees can roam and have access to up-to-date information on the go. According to Cisco, employees will be able to work seamlessly together, increasing productivity, and driving your bottom line.

No Cell Phone Coverage? We Have You Covered!

Have troubles with cellular access in your building due to thick walls or low cellular coverage? Many offices deal with this situation, and dropped calls impacts employee productivity, and frankly drives people crazy. You most certainly do not need the stress of dropped calls while on a conference call or on the phone with a customer, and conversely, you do not want to be tied to a land line either. Shoreworx is experienced in the latest wireless technology, from IEEE 802.11 to 802.11ay, to Voice over Wireless LAN technology.

Easier Network Expansion

Looking to expand your office or warehouse space? Does you store your inventory in a large warehouse or have a large facility with dead zones? These are more reasons to consider a wireless network from Shoreworx Communications. We have the capabilities and expertise to analyze your facility and make the right recommendations to increase coverage, productivity, and better your inventory controls. We start with in-depth analysis of your office or facility, discuss your goals, options, time-frame, and budget. We then put together a comprehensive plan outlining in detail the proposed system.

Sources:

Cisco

Atlantic Technology Group

IEEE

Our services are typically phased as follows:

Data Center relocations are expensive and require specific expertise and experience. Therefore, we recommend completing these tasks using only skilled personnel who are familiar with IT migrations. Shoreworx Communications fully specifies and implements all elements of the relocation program. Specific activities include:

    • Project Management. Detailed project schedule, team structure, Shoreworx, and Client Requirements are developed. Comprehensive communications across all partners including client, Shoreworx, landlord (if applicable), and other subcontractors are completed by Shoreworx project management personnel as preparation for onsite work is completed.
    • Pre-Move Site Preparation. Shoreworx relocation professionals arrive onsite and perform a pre-move assessment of all infrastructure to verify size, count, physical layout, packing requirements, labeling of all devices, cables, and equipment with specific information for new rack location, position, and integration requirements, path for transport from the facility, risk mitigation, cabling requirements, and other facility and IT requirements.
  • Move Plan Creation. Shoreworx will develop and deliver a complete Move Plan specifying all aspects of the Computer Room Relocation program including labeling, de-installation, packing, transport, unloading, unpacking, re-installation, re-cabling (if separately contracted to do so), re-certification of equipment per the OEM (if optionally contracted to do so), documentation, clean-up, and other miscellaneous tasks associated with the relocation.
  • Move Implementation. Shoreworx personnel perform all de-installation, packing, loading, transporting, unloading, re-installation, and recertification of equipment per the Original Equipment Manufacturer.
  • Post-Move Consulting. Project completion activities including punch list completion, move review, documentation, customer hand off and clean-up.

Each of our computer relocating and data center migration solutions is customizable to your specific needs and budget bringing you in on time and budget!

When choosing fiber optic cabling, you are sure to be happy with the results. As technology advances, so does the need for cabling that can handle the demand. We have listed a few reasons that fiber optics are a good idea for your network.

Greater bandwidth

Fiber provides far greater bandwidth than copper and has standardized performance up to 10 Gbps. While not currently a standard, these speeds could become a reality in future proposals and ratifications. Keep in mind that fiber speeds are dependent on the type of cable used. Single-mode cable offers far greater distance than either 62.5- or 50-micron multimode cable. In addition, fiber optic cable can carry more information with greater fidelity than copper wire. That’s why telephone and CATV companies are converting to fiber.

Low attenuation and greater distance

Because the fiber optic signal is made of light, very little signal loss occurs during transmission, and data can move at

English: Fiber optic

English: Fiber optic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

higher speeds and greater distances. Fiber does not have the 100-meter (9328-ft.) distance limitation of unshielded twisted pair copper (without a booster). Fiber distances can range from 300 meters (984.2 ft.) to 40 kilometers (24.8 mi.), depending on the style of cable, wavelength, and network. Because fiber signals need less boosting than copper ones do, the cable performs better.

Security

Your data is safe with fiber cable. It doesn’t radiate signals and is extremely difficult to tap. If the cable is tapped, it’s very easy to monitor because the cable leaks light, causing the entire system to fail. If an attempt is made to break the physical security of your fiber system, you’ll know it.

Fiber networks also enable you to put all your electronics and hardware in one central location, instead of having wiring closets with equipment throughout the building.

Cost

The cost for fiber cable, components, and hardware is steadily decreasing. Installation costs for fiber are higher than copper because of the skill needed for terminations. Overall, fiber is more expensive than copper in the short run, but it may actually be less expensive in the long run. Fiber typically costs less to maintain, has less much less downtime, and requires less networking hardware. And fiber eliminates the need to recable for higher network performance.

Immunity and reliability

Fiber provides extremely reliable data transmission. It’s completely immune to many environmental factors that affect copper cable. The core is made of glass, which is an insulator, so no electric current can flow through. It’s immune to electrometric interference and radio-frequency interference (EM/RFI), crosstalk, impedance problems, and more. You can run fiber cable next to industrial equipment without worry. Fiber is also less susceptible to temperature fluctuations than copper and can be submerged in water.

Design

Fiber is lightweight, thin, and more durable than copper cable. Plus, fiber optic cable has pulling specifications that are up to 10 times greater than copper cable’s. Its small size makes it easier to handle, and it takes up much less space in cabling ducts. Although fiber is still more difficult to terminate than copper, advancements in connectors are making termination easier. In addition, fiber is actually easier to test than copper cable.

Standards

TIA/EIA-785, ratified in 2001, provides a cost-effective migration path from 10-Mbps Ethernet to 100-Mbps Fast Ethernet over fiber (100BASE-SX). An addendum to the standard eliminates limitations in transceiver designs. In addition, in June 2002, the IEEE approved a 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) standard.

There are many more advantages to Fiber optics. Shoreworx technicians can meet with you on site to discuss your needs and explain why Fiber is the wave of the future. Call us today! 440-808-8448

The performance you need, the simplicity you want, the scalability you require

At Shoreworx, we believe that customers shouldn’t have to settle for a storage platform that doesn’t meet all of their needs. Our Storeworx Storage solutions are designed to optimize performance, remove complexity, and balance growth; all of which are key considering the data explosion we’ve experience over the past few years. Why spend time managing data when your priorities are organizational growth and customer support? Let the certified storage experts at Shoreworx to alleviate the headaches often associated with time consuming data management, so you can concentrate on core IT initiatives.

Storeworx Storage – SSD (Solid State Drive)

With Storeworx SSD Storage, customers can rest assured their most demanding workloads are performing at the highest level. By eliminating variability, interruptions, over provisioning, and “noisy neighbors” we are able to offer a premium storage platform designed to maximize performance.

Features:

  • Multiple performance tiers
  • Self-healing data protection
  • Independent control of volume size and IOPS
  • Available in combination with Storeworx Private Cloud

Storeworx™ Storage – SAN (Storage Area Network)

Shoreworx Storeworx SAN Storage effortlessly scales with the growth of your business while optimizing disk utilization, increasing availability, decreasing backup times, and maximizing performance for your high I/O applications.

Features:

  • RAID 5 and RAID 10 options
  • Near Line and FC Drive configurations
  • Available in combination with Storeworx Cloud, Collocation, and Dedicated Hosting

Storeworx™ Storage – NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Customers interested in file-based storage can utilize Storeworx™ NAS Storage. NAS Storage reduces the complexity of data management, simplifies file sharing, and improves storage efficiency, all at an affordable price.

Features:

  • RAID DP
  • Built-in support for CIFS and NFS
  • Snapshot management
  • Available in combination with Storeworx Cloud, Colocation, and Dedicated Hosting

Our goal is to provide full service storage solutions that make it easy to do business. Shoreworx Storeworx™ Storage includes redundant connections for maximum uptime, continuous hardware health checks and monitoring, comprehensive testing, hardware maintenance, and of course – our industry best service.

Here are 5 reasons why structured cabling is essential for your business phone systems:

1. Faster transmission

When your team is on the phone waiting for an irate customer’s record to appear, every second can feel like an eternity. You’ll want to move data to the point of use as fast as you possibly can. Category 6A cable supports up to 10-Gigabits per second, while Category 5e supports 100 mbps. Most experts no longer recommend Category 3 for data transmission because of its slow speed and high volume of noise. Don’t slow down your business phone system and important data by using cables that won’t support the speed you need.

2. Less Noise

All twisted pair cable is susceptible to some degree of noise from nearby electronic equipment, but Category 5 is far superior to the older Category 3 at noise resistance. Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6A each offers a big leap in noise reduction over its immediately preceding standard. Fiber optic cabling offers the best resistance to noise of any other cable system. Noise causes static and poor connections during phone conversations and corrupts data. Excessive noise slows down your network because the system has to resend corrupt data repeatedly until it gets through uncorrupted. It is a false economy to go with a lower quality cable, because you pay more in the hidden costs of slow response times and irritated customers.

3. Longer runs

The higher the quality of the cable that supports your business phone system, the longer the runs it can support without errors and artifacts creeping in. There are no restrictions on the length of fiber optic cable runs, and its superior noise resistance and speed make it an excellent choice for a business phone system or data center. Category 5 or category 6A wiring can support runs of up to 100 meters without noise, which gives you more flexibility in laying out your facility and reduces the number of repeaters or data hubs you’ll need to install. Eliminating hubs and repeaters as much as possible makes your network more reliable and reduces the investment in necessary equipment. Its reasonable cost coupled with the superior noise resistance over long runs makes Category 5e or Category 6A the cable of choice for Houston business phone systems.

4. Lower cost of maintenance

Fiber optic, Category 5e or Category 6 cables rarely go bad. On the rare occasion that they do, having a properly installed and carefully marked cable structure can make it faster to identify the problem and easier to replace the cable. Downtime equates to lost revenue, so you want to maximize uptime for your enterprise phone system in every way possible. In addition, instead of spending time tracing cables, your tech support or IT team can spend their time on more strategic initiatives than ensuring the integrity of your cables.

5. Position for growth

When they install phone systems, companies are making an investment in their future. By upgrading the structured cabling system that supports the digital phone system and the company’s data at the same time, these companies position themselves for growth with infrastructure that supports fast, error free transmission of voice and data. Cleveland business phone systems supported by fiber optic cables or the highest possible category of cable provide companies with superior speeds and voice quality that helps the company compete better in their industry. Better quality cabling is a better investment, because it will serve the company well for far longer than cheaper cabling, and it will be far less troublesome during its entire useful life.

Companies should install the best and most up-to-date data cabling they can afford to ensure that they get top performance from their digital phone system. Good quality cabling can reduce maintenance costs, increase data transmission speeds and improve voice quality.

Contact Shoreworx Communications today to schedule your free site survey!

phone: 440-808-8448

email: info@shoreworx.com

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The structured cabling topology that a business chooses is a decision that will affect network performance for years to come.

The combining of data onto a single network is always a topic for discussion. The technology is here, but what about the actual infrastructure to move all this data around? Some network managers might question whether the CAT-5 links in their cable plant will support 1000BaseT. Even if the cabling will run at high data rates, recurring network problems may not be the fault of hubs, routers or software.

In the mid 1970’s Ethernet was unveiled at a speed of 10mbs and offering (at that time) big amounts of bandwidth. 20 years later, 905 of PCs were still transferring data at that speed.  The increase of PCs on every desktop and the rise of data intensive application has seen exponential increases in connection speed throughout the system. In the mid 90’s, the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) ratified CAT-5 interconnection hardware specifications, which extended bandwidth to 100MHz and supports 100Mbps 100BaseTX Fast Ethernet systems. CAT-5 hardware will also run 155Mbps Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM-155) traffic.

Today’s bandwidth expectations mean that CAT-5 is coming to the end of its upgrade life. The Category 5 Enhanced (5e) standards specify more headroom for 100BaseTX and ATM-155 traffic. Critically, 5e standards make reliable gigabit Ethernet connections possible. Nonetheless, many structured cabling suppliers argue that 5e is only an interim solution before the arrival of CAT-6, which will support at least 200MHz; in the interests of sufficient operating margin, the IEEE is requesting a 250MHz CAT-6 specification. Despite the fact that CAT-6 standards are only at draft stage, manufacturers are offering a host of products and claiming that they comply with the draft proposals.

In applications such as video streaming or editing, gigabit Ethernet offers the opportunity to work more efficiently. Instead of downloading a sequence from a server and running it locally in real-time, multiple editors can view 27Mbps video streams concurrently at their computers. Other early adopters in the United Kingdom include the Meteorological office, which moves gigabytes of data to model weather patterns. For most users, the best reason for installing the latest CAT-6 copper technology lies with providing the greatest degree of “future-proofing”.

CAT-5 cabling is adequate for most installations today. 5e supports any of today’s protocols and provides more margin. Compared with CAT-5 products, you can currently expect a 15% premium for 5e and as much as 50 % for CAT-6. Important design issues include limiting the clock rate to ease cabling requirements and limiting EMC emissions without resorting to shielded cabling.

In March 1997, the IEEE Standards Board approved the 1000BaseT project under the number P802.ab. The committee’s objective is to design a gigabit Ethernet system that runs over CAT-5 level cabling. The shielded-versus-unshielded cable debate has raged since 10BaseT’s introduction. The Fast Ethernet-compatible symbol rate of 125MHz with two bits per symbol yields 250Mbps per twisted pair. Cable-test recommendations specify three link models. Cable management is important for CAT-5 systems and becomes critical for high-bandwidth systems – CAT-6 GigaBand system.

Bandwidth intensive data and video applications continue to push the need for high performance structured cabling systems that can support higher transmission. The  decision is to purchase the best performing cabling system available to guard against obsolescence. CAT-6/Class E cabling provides 2.5 times the bandwidth and can deliver as much as 300 % better power sum attenuation to crosstalk  performance at 100MHz than 5e systems for approximately 25 % greater installed cost. Even so, many customers question whether they should purchase CAT-6/class E cabling systems prior to TIA/EIA ratification of the standard. Many fear that they will be left with a telecommunications infrastructure that will not meet the final standard specifications or will not support all intended applications. Fortunately, by doing a little research and asking the right questions, customers can purchase a CAT-6 system that will support 250MHz applications well into the next generation of networking technologies.

Development of the TIA draft CAT-6 standard is nearing completion and is expected to be forwarded for industry ballot review in December 1999. Although it may be months before a consensus is reached and the standard is approved, it is unlikely that there will be changes between now and then. Since project initiation in September 1997, the key performance goals for CAT-6 and class E have remained firm. In fact, ISO/IEC had communicated these goals to the industry in 1997 specifically to “allow manufacturers to start development of the required cabling components”. Standards groups are actively working to finalize the development of field and laboratory test measurement criteria at this time. Evidence of the progressing standard is the fact that a variety of manufacturers are now actively promoting CAT-6 solutions.

A company’s investment in cabling is a long-term return. Although CAT-5 cabling installed for use on 10/100 networks may be fine at gigabit and beyond speeds, even small problems can become major headaches. When the standards are ratified for CAT-6, the marginal 25-30 % increase in installation costs will be overshadowed by reliable gigabit speeds.

Shoreworx Communications are experts in the field of data cabling, we can tell you exactly what is needed for each situation. We keep up to date on all advances in technology and are here to help you. Give us a call! 440-808-8448