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Ethernet Wiring, Extension Adapter?

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Last Modified: 2012-02-16
Okay, so I have kind of a long story. Essentially I have adopted a network. We have a server room, and a switch closet I just installed.

The previous IT guy for some oddball reason put all the switches in the ceiling in various locations and mapped nothing for a topology.Then those switches run back to the server room switches. It's a complete mess.

I want to get that junk out of the ceiling and put everything in the server room and switch closet. They don't have anyone to do the wiring besides me and maintenance. Our workloads are quite heavy, but essentially what we have to do is take each computer, each room, each wall jack, each device and run new wires. We're essentially going to have to re-wire the entire building.

My question is, instead have running completely new wires, (being that the wall jacks will take most of the time) are there any devices out there where instead I can take the switch in the ceiling, unplug the ports, add some sort of adapter that allows me to attach a longer extension Ethernet cord, and continue the run back to the server room/ closets all bypassing the switches in the ceiling? Of course I'll be keeping in mind that it's under the 300ft.

Or are we going to have to re-wire the whole dang building? lol
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Ernie BeekSenior infrastructure engineer
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The original guy may have known more than you give him credit for.  Maybe he was sloppy about it, but positioning switches in strategic locations around the facility is a good thing not a bad thing.  It means you have shorter runs and less signal attenuation.  You can't always run extremely long cables all the way back to a single main MDF.  Cables cannot be longer than 300 feet and even if they are little less than 300 feet, and are "within specs" the signal is still going to be a little weaker at the end and more suseptable to EM interference.

So you might be able to criticize the previous guy for being sloppy and not properly mounting the equipment in Racks or Cabinets,...but the physical topology theory he used was sound.  For all you know he may have wanted to do it more proper and the company would not buy him the proper equipment (I mean after all,..they have you asking us about using line "couplers" of all things,..that's a hint)

Our current facility uses long runs all back to the MDF,..but when we added cabling for IP Phones I setup two IDFs and just connected the IDFs back to the MDF.  If were to ever re-cable the Data side of our LAN I would certainly make use of those new IDFs,..I guarantee it.  I could run 3 or 4 cable runs from the IDF to the user's Desks in the time it would take me to run just one cable from the MDF to the user's Desk.

Using a "coupler" to extend a cable is just a horrible idea.
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Well the problem with the switches in the ceiling is that it's  against the fire-code and it's hard to troubleshoot with pipes in your face along with the dust everywhere :P
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Thanks everyone. I will keep all of this in mind.

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