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Ethernet: The Definitive Guide by Charles E. Spurgeon

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Chapter 14. Structured Cabling

An essential truth of networking is that a network system can never be better than its cabling. Providing high-quality cabling can be easy enough for a small Ethernet based on a single twisted-pair hub that supports just a few stations. You can connect all of these devices together with a few high-quality patch cords and your network will be complete. However, the majority of networks support more than just a few stations. Indeed, most office buildings these days require a network system that connects to practically every room in the building. Providing a high-quality cabling system for an entire building is a much more complex task. That’s where a structured cabling system can help.

A structured cabling system is based on point-to-point cable segments that are installed according to the detailed guidelines and specifications published in the structured cabling standards. This provides a very reliable and manageable cabling system. A structured cabling system based on industry standards and high-quality components allows your network to function at its best, delivering stable network services for your users day-in and day-out.

You can think of the cabling system as the essential skeleton of your network. Like most skeletons, it’s typically hidden out of sight, which means that it can be easily overlooked.[1] Overlooking your cabling system can be dangerous, however, since the lack of a solid and well-designed cabling system makes network growth and ...

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