What network cables to use when.
Posted on 2002-06-25
I have set up and administered many networks including a 100/16MB Full-duplex Token-Ring and 10/100 Ethernet switched network. We used ICS (IBM Cabling System), CAT5e, and CAT6 Avaya network cables. The main cable runs from the netwrok closets to the workstations were all ICS and the patch cables were ICS, CAT5e, CAT6, or a Hybrid Type 9 with RJ-45 and Type A data connectors. We also connected all the network closets using Fiber Optic cables. All this is just to give you a littel idea of what my experiences have been.
My problem is that I have an outside client who I am helping to set up 6 Dell PowerEdge Servers in a Dell Rack.
He is currently using some spare CAT5 and CAT5e (old and ratty) network cables that are quite frankly too long, too short, frayed, etc. Right now, he is plugging them into a 100MB Ethernet connection. He is planning on plugging them into a Gigabit connection and I told him to call his supplier and get some CAT6 cables that were the right length right away.
He called Dell on a support issue and they told him to buy CAT5 cables. Now, it was my understanding that CAT5 cables are not verified to work at gigabit speeds. CAT5e (to the best of my knowledge) is. Avaya CAT6 cables would be my one and only recommendation though. I think that CAT5e would work OK, but being on mission critical equipment like this, the chance for errors in data is more dramatic.
Can anyone point me to some contrete literature that points out what CATagory level to use for what and what is verified at what speeds? Anything that you throw at me would be appreciated.
PS - I am offering 200 points to get as much information ASAP to give to him. If they are multiple good answers, then I will either split the points between experts or add additional points.