This blog post is part of a series called “CommScope Definitions,” in which we will explain common terms in communications network infrastructure.
Imagine getting a new
desk light for your home office. You are anxious to try it out, but instead
of simply plugging it in to a nearby power outlet, you have to run an extension cord all the way down to the basement to
the breaker panel. And then you have to
do the same thing for a new printer or any other device requiring power.
Early IT networks
were connected much the same way – with patch cords − before structured cabling and its complimentary standards were developed. Simply put, structured cabling is a cabling
infrastructure that provides an organized,
standardized approach to cabling that enables
simple changes to an IT network.
In addition to fixed connection
points, similar to the fixed power cabling that runs to power outlets, the structured cabling standards define a
series of subsystems which facilitate design, installation, operations and
maintenance of IT networks.
Each of the major cabling standards groups, namely ISO/IEC, TIA and CENELEC established
standards for structured cabling in commercial offices, data centers, campuses
and more. These standards help specify the types of cabling and components used
in these environments, including:
connectors, copper and fiber cabling performance categories and design
guidelines have greatly simplified the
planning and implementation of IT networks.
The structured cabling concept has become so successful that other
non-IT applications, such as Building Automation
Services, security and high definition audiovisual have also incorporated the same concept to ensure that end devices can be upgraded or changed out without having to change out the entire cabling infrastructure.
Things have come a long way since the structured cabling solutions started to take hold in the places we work and live, but their
benefits through standardization have made them an integral part of our
work and society.
To learn more about the evolving
structured cabling and its related standards activities, subscribe to our quarterly standards report here.
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