Gentlemen’s set for office local area network
The composition of the computer equipment used in the office is traditional and is determined by the typical tasks facing employees. Modern business requires the automation of accounting and warehouse accounting, billing and receiving (sending) messages electronically to suppliers and customers. For the effective work of employees, the rational use of computer equipment, a local area network (LAN) is being created. As a rule, one server, workstations, several network printers, one or two modems for connecting to the Internet, receiving and sending e-mails, faxes and electronic payments, and an internal telephone exchange for 16/24 are installed in the office. Currently, unshielded twisted-pair cables of the 5th category (UTP) are mainly used as a transmission medium in office LANs.
Two approaches to creating a cable system
Connecting the computer equipment of the set described above to the network, at least on paper, usually does not cause difficulties due to the logical simplicity of the traditionally used stellar * topology. Therefore, minimizing costs, many companies carry out the laying of the network by their own specialists, as a rule, not experienced in the nuances of installing cable systems. Not sophisticated, not because they are poor specialists, but because this is not their main occupation.
* The star topology assumes a radial connection of the central and peripheral devices.
This is done approximately like this. In the area of the geographical center of the office, a hub is installed for the required number of ports *. From it, lines are laid to workstations. In some cases, wall outlets are not installed, and the wire from the hub is directly connected to the network card of the computer. On this, the LAN laying ends. In the best case, the cable is laid in boxes, at worst – the cable is laid along the walls or fastened with improvised means to the baseboard and becomes “easy prey” for the feet of employees, legs of chairs and a cleaning mop.
* The hub can have 8, 16 or 24 ports.
It should be noted in addition several options for organizing a LAN office: with two concentrators installed in different rooms or on different floors; interfacing an existing network on a coaxial cable with a network on a twisted pair cable in order to increase the number of users, etc. It does not make sense to consider these options in detail, because they are created according to one scenario, which we have already talked about.
Office telephony is just as important as LAN. How are telephone lines usually laid? For this, telephone operators are invited who lay their lines of communication. And your office begins to flourish with an abundance of “noodles” * on the walls. In order to save money, telephone lines are laid only in those places where phones should be installed today. Most often, the stage of laying telephone lines precedes the laying of cables of the local network. This is a peculiar trap for the person making the decision on how to organize the LAN of his office. Why spend money on additional equipment and structure the cable system if the phones are already working? What kind of additional equipment will be described below.
* “Noodles” is a slang term for a telephone wire resembling a pasta.
Creating in this way the cable structure of our office, we do not think about what will happen tomorrow. And life does not stand still. If your business is growing, the number of network users is increasing, in addition, they are moving from place to place, and again you are faced with eternal questions: “Where to start?” And “What to do?” And will we have to or will do what we’re already talking about talked, or redo it all over again.
How to get a predicted result
Consider the rational approach and the benefits that it promises. A rational approach implies the planning stage of the office cable system taking into account the requirements and standards for structured cable networks (SCS).
When planning a cable system proceed from the following considerations: one information and one telephone socket should be installed at each LAN workstation; a pair of such outlets is installed for every 6 … 10 m2 of area; active network (hub or switch) and passive cross (patch panels) equipment is concentrated in one place – a wiring closet. To reduce the length of telephone lines, the internal telephone exchange is located in the closet or in close proximity to it. This approach provides several advantages over the traditional one.
Firstly, there is no need to lay telephone lines with separate cables. This is done using the same cable that is used to connect computers to the network. The secret is very simple. Category 5 UTP cable contains 4 twisted pairs, of which two are used to transmit LAN signals, and the other two are used as telephone. There is a cost savings by reducing the amount of cable and the cost of laying it.