IBDN - Structured Cabling

21.11.1998
Departerment of Mechanical Engineering
Helsinki University of technology
yli@cc.hut.fi


Abstract

Structured cabling is a standards based method of engineering and installing a data and voice cabling system in business. It provides the flexibility of application independence, multiple logical topologies, and easy moves, adds and changes as well as reduced administration costs. In the long run, people will benefit with a substantial return on the investment due to lower life cycle costs, longer system life and savings of 60% to 80% per change. A structured cabling system provides a open physical cabling topology that can simultaneously support multiple logical networking topologies for different applications such as token-ring, Ethernet, video or ATM. As a system, IBDN offers the assurance of Certification which goes compliance to assure network performance. The lifetime application assurance which includes not only the applications of today but applications of the future such as 100Base-T Ethernet and 155 Mbps ATM.


1 Introduction

IBDN-- Integerated Building destributed Networks is a kind of structured cabing system. The structured cabling is a standards based method of engineering and installing a data and voice cabling system[5]. It provides the flexibility of application independence, multiple logical topologies, and easy moves, adds and changes as well as reduced administration costs.

IBDN is end-to-end structured cabling systems featuring category 5 UTP copper and fiber cable, BIX cross-connects, patch panels, and modular data-voice outlets. As a system, IBDN offers the assurance of Certification which goes beyond Category 5 compliance to assure network performance. Certification means lifetime application assurance which includes not only the applications of today but applications of the future such as 100Base-T Ethernet and 155 Mbps ATM.

The IBDN structured cabling systems have the following features:

  • Complete Line of Quality Products:IBDN products are for what's coming next.
  • Compherensive Design and Application Guidelines
  • Flexibility and Application Independence: IBDN provides you with the flexibility of application independence, multiple logical topologies, and easy moves, adds and changes.
  • End-to-End Category 5 Performance.
  • Standards Based:Tomorrow's standards are being implemented for IBDN right now.
  • Superior Administration.
  • System Performance Certification: IBDN certification programme provides the assurance that present and future applications, will work for the life time of an IBDN cabling system. [4]


    2 IBDN Cabling System

    Structured Cabling - a strategic component of the network. Information has become a strategic resource that needs to flow quickly and accurately. That is why information networks have become critically important to business. What is not generally known, however is how important cabling is to an information network.

    Cabling typically accounts for the smallest percentage of a network investment, yet when done improperly, cabling can be the cause of many network problems. Additionally, more stress will be placed on the cabling system as new applications such as Multimedia and Full Motion Video demand an increase in data transmission speeds. Cabling is strategic and important to the smooth operation of the network, both now and in future. Now is the time to be thinking about utilizing the benefits of structured cabling in the business.

    2.1 What is structured cabling?

    Structured cabling is a standards based method of engineering and installing a data and voice cabling system in the business[4]. It provides the flexibility of application independence, multiple logical topologies, and easy moves, adds and changes as well as reduced administration costs. In the long run, It will have benefit with a substantial return on an investment due to lower life cycle costs, longer system life and savings of 60% to 80% per change.

    Structured cabling is a standards based method of engineering and installing an integrated data, voice and video cabling system for your business. A properly designed and installed structured cabling system provides you with a cabling infrastructure that delivers predictable performance as well as flexibility to accommodate growth and change over an extended period of time[5]. Additionally, a structured cabling system provides a uniform, open physical cabling topology that can simultaneously support multiple logical networking topologies for different applications such as Ethernet, token-ring, ATM or video.

    Your initial investment in a 'standards' based structured cabling system will return many benefits including an extended operational lifespan, predictable performance, manageability and growth. These benefits bring increased efficiency, improved productivity and reduced costs to you and your business.

    2.2 What Are 'Standards' And Why Are They Important ?

    Structured cabling is defined by ISO/IEC, TIA/EIA and CSA standards.[4]

    Domestic and international standards organizations have been formed to ensure that manufactured products meet certain quality, safety and performance 'norms' for that category and class of product. Standards organizations such as ISO/IEC, TIA/EIA, CENELEC and CSA have created and published standards for structured cabling components and systems, and their specifications for Category 5 structured cabling systems are widely used and accepted in the industry today[7].

    Category 5 specifications were developed to define the use of low cost Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cabling and components in a structured cabling system with design parameters specified up to 100MHz. Category 5 related specifications continue to be refined by the various standards organizations, and Category 5 specifications will continue to be the benchmark for basic structured cabling systems for the foreseeable future.

    The constant need for faster and more efficient network applications will, inevitably, result in the need for higher performance structured cabling systems. Standards organizations around the world are already working on developing new standards to define enhanced performance parameters beyond the current scope of Category 5 specifications.

    For end-users, the challenge will be in selecting a structured cabling system that meets their current and future needs. If those needs dictate the implementation of a system with performance capabilities beyond the current Category 5 specifications, end-users should look to a manufacturer with a proven track record in the area of standards compliance who is prepared to offer systems with performance guarantees beyond the minimums currently defined for Category 5 systems.

    Some people are under the impression that planning for the future requires only the specification of Category 5 components. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

    Category 5 is the hottest of industry buzzwords and is intended to provide connectivity using low cost Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) components with design parameters specified up to 100 MHz[7]. A properly designed and installed Category 5 network should meet your networking needs into the foreseeable future. That's the good news, but what defines the right system?

    2.3 System performance-guaranteed

    Standards compliant does not mean performance assured. This is true for many reasons:

  • Not all products claiming Category 5 compliance are created equal[4]. There are significant performance differences.
  • Some parameters and components are not defined by the standards.
  • Product performance does not translate into system performance. In other words, a disparate group of Category 5 products may not result in a Category 5 system[4]. It will actually create a system whose overall performance will be worse than the weakest component. It doesn't average out-it actually gets worse! Standards are advancing to address these problems. Performance criteria for new products are under consideration, and end-to-end system performance is beginning to be clearly defined.Because of the constant evolution of the standards, today's Category 5 compliant products may be standard deficient tomorrow.

    Three things are required for a system to work properly both today and in the future.[2]

    Quality of Components - to have quality components that have been tested and proven to be able to provide a Category 5 system when they are connected together. It provids a complete range of cabling components all of which are of superior quality and design and all of which have been tested as a system.

    Quality of Design - to have a design that is capable of maintaining its administrative ease and flexibility over the lifetime of the system. Many of the rules and concepts only now being introduced in the industry were originally specified in the IBDN guidelines.

    Quality of Installation - to ensure the cabling system is properly installed. IBDN systems are installed by CSVs and FACs who have been properly trained and qualified in the installation of IBDN cabling systems.

    IBDN is end-to-end structured cabling system. As a system, IBDN offers the assurance of Certification which goes beyond Category 5 compliance to assure network performance. Certification means lifetime application assurance which includes not only the applications of today but applications of the future such as 100Base-T Ethernet and 155 Mbps ATM.


    3 The Intelligent Building

    Many buildings are specifically designed for the business of doing business. Commercial office buildings, schools and health care facilities are integral parts of the evolving information age and its associated telecommunications infrastructure. Today, buildings must provide the latest in business technology with every consideration given to fostering a healthy work environment. IBDN is end-to-end structured cabling system featuring category 5 UTP copper and fiber cable, BIX cross-connects, patch panels, and modular data-voice outlets[6].Structured cabling supporting voice and control applications to bring you the productive workplace of the future, today.

    3.1 The Technology Infrastructure

    IBDN Structured Cabling System as the physical infrastructure, it delivers high-speed voice, data and video applications.It can now blend in traditional low voltage applications for safety, security, access, HVAC and lighting control,and automates all the cabling moves, adds and changes, network testing and troubleshooting[5]. All over a single cabling network.

    The IBDN Intelligent Building Solution provides a new unified systems architecture based on optical fiber cable, low cost unshielded twisted pair cable and a physical star topology. It also patented cross-connect technology, modular patch panel systems, wall outlets and the DynaTraX Network Connectivity Management system.

    The IBDN Intelligent Building Solution design has the flexibility and modularity to take advantage of new technologies as they become available, at a minimum cost and without disruption to office productivity.[6]


    Figure: IBDN Intelligent Building Solution[6]

    '

    3.2 Managing the technology network from the physical layer

    With ever-changing standards in computer-based digital controllers, sensors and telecommunications networks, you need a sustainable, flexible cabling infrastructure able to support rapid reconfiguration. The IBDN Intelligent Building Solution, along with DynaTrax, provide you with the ability to manage and control the physical network right from your desktop, on-site or remotely.

    Network moves, adds and changes can be executed with a few simple mouse clicks and critical network resources can be reconfigured to avoid system failure[6]. All of which means you can design a technology infrastructure that adds value and intelligence to new or existing property.

    Of course the Intelligent Building is designed to provide safety, comfort and productivity benefits for its tenants. But it should also be intelligently designed for effective administration and maintenance.

    3.3 Advantages

    Lower initial construction costs: One integrated cabling system is all that needs to be installed to support all your voice, data, video, control and other systems.

    Lower long-term operating costs: Central administration facilitates the control, isolation and repair of defective controllers, hubs and end devices; reducing maintenance costs and system downtime. The IBDN Intelligent Building Solution also makes migration to newer technologies easier and less costly.

    Reduced construction time: Deploying a single structured cabling system requires less time to design, procure and implement over multiple cabling systems.

    Increased value and marketability of the property: A property that has the facilities and the flexibility to support the needs of 21st century tenants is more marketable and desirable than those that do not.

    Increased tenant satisfaction: Exceeding the tenant’s expectations for air quality, safety and telecommunications needs enhances productivity and will result in higher occupancy rates.

    Peace of mind and confidence: The IBDN Certification program gives you a written assurance that your system’s components, design and installation will carry the signals of today, and of the future.


    4 IBDN in Gigabit Networks

    4.1 The Infrastructure to Support The Future

    Gigabit networking has arrived. As the pace of business will only get faster. Email, the internet, intranets, video conferencing and so on will all contribute to the development of high-throughput networking hardware.

    IBDN provides application independence, multiple logical topologies and easy moves, adds and changes. In other words, installing IBDN allows you to build an information infrastructure that will evolve with the changes in your organization, as well as the changes in technology, to constantly keep your work environment competitive.

    4.2 Performance Options

    Leading edge companies have come to realize that effective communication is their most valuable weapon in business. An information network that delivers the services required in a reliable, efficient manner is what the work force is demanding.

    IBDN Gigabit Cabling Solutions are designed to meet the varying needs of different enterprises. Evolved from our field-proven Category 5 IBDN Structured Cabling System, the new IBDN Gigabit Cabling Solutions allow you to design and implement a network to suit your particular needs. With two performance options - IBDN System 1200 and System 2400 - IBDN now offers a choice of engineered solutions for the gigabit era.[3]

    4.3 Gigabit Networking For Higher Speed Applications

    Keeping the data network online has become a main concern for most organizations. The best way to ensure maximum productivity is to install a robust cabling infrastructure that offers ample headroom to accept high traffic at peak periods - yet is still cost-effective to install and operate. This is where the IBDN System 1200 saves the day[3]. System 1200 is built using IBDN PS5 Enhanced Connectivity and IBDN 1200 series UTP cable[3]. This powerful combination of advanced connectivity and cable gives you data transmission capability of 1.2 Gbps - with enough margin to cope with heavy traffic bursts.


    Figure: Gigabit Networking For Higher Speed Applications [3]

    4.4 Enhanced Connectivity

    The industry is fortunate to have many years of experience behind it when it comes to manufacturing high performance network cable. But a network is not just good cable, it's a combination of cable and connectivity. Now, more than ever before, networks will depend on matched components - connectivity and cable - to perform at levels able to meet network users' demands.

    IBDN PS5 Enhanced Connectivity has been specifically designed to complement the IBDN family of high performance cables[1]. Designed from the start as a complete, end-to-end system, IBDN cable and connectivity work together to deliver network performance unlike any other system in the industry[1]. In fact, IBDN cables enhanced connectivity is tested individually, and again as part of the IBDN system. IBDN's comprehensive test results mean you can reliably transmit voice, data, video, as well as control applications, all over one system.

    4.5 System Performance

    Many network administrators believe that putting together a piece-parts system from a variety of manufacturers will result in a system that meets industry standards. Perhaps. However, keep in mind that standards are the minimum level at which components, and therefore systems, must perform.

    And piecing together components which may have never been tested together as a system may produce disappointing results. The channel is dependent on component interaction. As such, it is only as strong as its weakest link, and in many cases, that weak link will drag the whole system down to unacceptable performance levels. Mismatched components may not have been a serious issue in many 10Mbps or even 100Mbps transmission environments, but with gigabit networking upon us, the network will be much more sensitive to impedance mismatch and imbalance which can disrupt data transmission[3]. In other words, creating an end-to-end structured cabling system is not equal to the sum of the parts. It takes serious commitment in design, manufac-turing and installation.

    Moreover, most component vendors simply cannot offer a system certification or warranty program to protect your investment against rapid obsolescence. IBDN Gigabit Cabling Solutions can be certified to ensure that the system meets stringent installation guidelines, and most importantly, that it will run the applications it is designed for, over the life of the structured cabling system. IBDN Gigabit Cabling Solutions can be performance certified. So the network is completely optimized.

    Table 1:

    IBDN Gigabit Cabling Solutions by NODX/CDT [3]

    IBDN System Components Power Sum Bandwidth Power Sum ACR @ 100 MHz Information Bit Rate Standards Compliance
    System 1200 IBDN 1200 Series Cable + PS5 Connectivity 160 MHz 9.6 dB 1.2 Gbps Category 5 TIA/EIA 568-A, A1 & TSB-67 Enhanced Category 5 Addendum CENELEC EN 50173 ISO/IEC 11801
    System 2400 IBDN 2400 Series Cable + PS5 Connectivity 200 MHz15.6 dB 2.4 GbpsCategory 5 TIA/EIA 568-A, A1 & TSB-67 Enhanced Category 5 Addendum Category 6 (ISO/IEC SC25 WG3 Proposal) CENELEC EN 50173 ISO/IEC 11801

    The features are: Improved PS ACR (Power Sum Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio), provides greater system bandwidth and headroom. Increases information transmission capacity. Improved PS NEXT (Power Sum Near End Crosstalk), reduces transmission error rates. Supports gigabit transmission rates. Increases information throughput. Improved PS FEXT (Power Sum Far End Crosstalk), improves network performance. Increases information capacity. Permits implementation of Gigabit Ethernet and other high-speed applications. Improved Attenuation. Improves quality and resolution for imaging and video applications. Permits extended distances for certain applications, reduced Return Loss,Improves signal integrity. Increases performance for dual-duplex transmission. Increases video channel capacity and improves picture quality. Improved Propagation Delay Skew and improves signal integrity and increases network capacity. Improved Signal Balance. Increases network noise immunity for greater throughput and productivity. Reduces EM radiation and interference. IBDN Matched Components, Optimizes total system performance and increases reliability.IBDN Certified System, guarantees product quality and system performance. Protects against obsolescence and reduces cost of ownership.


    5 The Future

    The use of timely, accurate information is a key requirement for any successful business today. The caliber and performance of an information systems and the networks, they run on can mean the difference between success and failure in today's competitive business environment. What is often overlooked, however, is the critically important role that the cabling system plays in supporting your Information Technology systems.

    Your cabling infrastructure typically accounts for a small portion of the total IT systems and networking investment, yet an improperly designed or installed cabling system can be the cause of chronic network problems that may prevent people from ever realizing the true potential of the IT strategies.

    Moreover, the negative impact of an inadequate cabling infrastructure will only become more evident as people add new applications, more users and faster networking speeds throughout a business - both today and in the years to come. Now is the time to develop and implement an effective structured cabling decision into the overall IT systems and networking strategy.


    References

    [1] Anon, Data Connectivity, 31.7.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http://www.nordx.com/IBDN/Library/Data_Connectivity/connection.html>
    [2] Anon, IBDN Enhanced UTP LAN Cables,31.7.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http://www.nordx.com/IBDN/Library/UTP_LAN/UTP_LAN.html>
    [3] Anon, Gigabit Cabling Solutions, 31.7.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http://www.nordx.com/IBDN/Library/gigabit_cabling/gigabit_cabling.html>
    [4] Anon, The IBDN Cabling System, 31.07.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http://www.nordx.com/IBDN/Library/Cabling/cabling.html>
    [5] Anon, IBDN - Structured Cabling, 31.JUN.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http://www.nordx.com/IBDN/intro.html>
    [6] Anon, Intelligent Building Solution, 31.07.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http://www.nordx.com/IBDN/Library/int_building_sol/building_soluton.html>
    [7] Anon, Structured Cabling System Certificaton Program, 31.03.98, [referred 18.11.1998]
    < http:/www.nordx.com/IBDN/Certification/intro.html>


    Further Information

    110 Cross-Connect System
    Information about connecting and wiring blocks,cross-connect kits, wall mount frame kitsand patch cords.
    Balanced Cable Design Reducing Skew in Network Infrastructure
    Information about Skew and Cable Performance in Network Infrastructure.
    BIX Connection Family
    Information about category 5 BIX cross-connect, IDC and modular Jack connectors.
    Cable Systems International Introduces VeloCSIty Plus? Enhanced Category 5 Cables
    Information about an innovative solution to the high performance cable needs.
    Copper Cables Beyond Category 5
    Information about the copper cables beyond category 5, in order to promote the use of more powerful applications.
    Copper Wire NT-W Multiple Drop Wire
    Information about the application, feattures of NT-W Multiple Drop Wire. This is used to extend cable circuits beyond the end of a cable route.
    Data Connectivity
    Information about the data connectivity products that designed for UTP cabling.
    Fiber Product Family
    The fiber product family is composed of field installable connectors , pre-terminated connectors, adapters, fiber cable and termination panels. They are a part of the IBDN structured cabling solution.
    Gigabit Ethernet Solution
    Information about Gigabit Ethernet new applications and new high-performance servers.
    IBDN Enhanced UTP LAN Cables
    Information about IBDN 1200 system and IBDNFlex 1200 system.
    IBDN Optimax--Optical Fiber Field Installable Connector
    Information about optical fiber, field installable and connector.
    The MDVO Family
    Information about category 5 Modular Data/Voice Outlets and Modular Patch Panels.
    Telecommunications Wire and Cable
    Information about category 5 unshielded twisted pair cable.