What is Cable Plant Management?
Cable plant management is the design, documentation, and management of the lowest layer of the OSI network model-the physical layer. The physical layer is the foundation of any network whether it is data, voice, video or alarms, and defines the physical media upon which signals or data is transmitted through the network.
Approximately 70% of a typical network is composed of passive devices such as cables, cross-connect blocks and patch panels. Documenting these network components is critical to keeping a network finely tuned. The physical medium can be copper cable (e.g., cat 5), coaxial cable, optical fiber (e.g., single or multimode), wireless or satellite. The physical layer defines the specifics of implementing a particular transmission medium. It defines the type of cable, frequency, terminations, etc. The physical layer is relatively static. Most change in the network occurs at the higher levels in the OSI model.
Key components of the cable plant include the entrance facility, equipment room, backbone cable, backbone pathway, telecommunication room, and horizontal distribution system. We can show you how to develop an online inventory and management system that will let you take control of these critical infrastructure resources.
The service entrance is the point at which the network service cables enter or leave a building. It includes the penetration through the building wall and continues to the entrance facility. The entrance facility can house both public and private network service cables. The entrance facility provides the means for terminating the backbone cable. The entrance facility generally includes electrical protection, ground, and demarcation point.
The equipment room serves the entire building and contains the network interfaces, uninterruptible power supplies, computing equipment (e.g., servers, shared peripheral devices and storage devices) and telecommunication equipment (e.g., PBX). It may be combined with the entrance facility.
Backbone Distribution System
A backbone distribution system provides connection between entrance facilities, equipment rooms, telecommunication rooms. In a multi-floor building the backbone distribution system is composed of the cabling and pathways between floors and between multiple telecommunication rooms. In a campus environment the backbone distribution system is composed of the cabling and pathways between buildings
The telecommunication room (TR) typically serves the needs of a floor. The TR provides space for network equipment and cable terminations (e.g., cross-connect blocks and patch panels). It serves as the main cross-connect between the backbone cabling and the horizontal distribution system).
Horizontal Distribution System
The horizontal distribution system distributes the signals from the telecommunication room to the work areas. The horizontal distribution system consists of:
- Cross-connecting blocks
- Patch panels
- Connecting hardware
- Pathways (supporting structures such as cable trays, conduits, and hangers that support the cables from the telecommunication room to the work areas)
Why Document Your Cable Plant?
Your network is one of your company's most valuable assets. It's the central nervous system of your organization—and it's growing along with your network management problems. Your challenge is to harness the power of exploding technology and make it work for you. Every minute spent tracking data, reconfiguring your cable plant or searching for the source of a problem means loss of time and productivity—and loss of profit. Cable plant documentation software can help maintain the integrity of the network by tracking the continuity through equipment, patch cords, cross-connects, connectors, cables, and outlets. It encompasses the design and maintenance of the cable plant. Cable plant documentation can be an ally against the ravages of system downtime, giving you the power to configure your cable plant so you have fewer network problems.
Cable Plant Documentation Can:
- Reduce the time it takes to modify the original installation.
- Minimize network downtime.
- Increase the life of a cabling plant.
- Reduces the number of technicians needed to handle problems.
Let us work with you to develop a Network Management system you can use to manage all of your cable plant, including all the connectivity, connectors, pathways, and device relationships—to truly visualize and understand your network's infrastructure.