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Wiring a new building

Posted on 2012-08-31
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Hello, I am a bit of a novice when it comes to networking and I need your help.

The company bought a new building and needs to wire it. Company employs 60 employees who over 3 shifts provide 24h coverage. They  mainly answer the phone and answer web requests.

I am lost at what media should be used.

I am hesitating between Twisted coaxial or fiber optic. If I choose fiber optic are the voice and data needs going to be separated?

Any suggestions?
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Question by:nouvelle
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albelo earned 500 total points
ID: 38354836
Depending on your Budget, I would go with (2) CAT6 drops per workstation.  This way you can use the ports for either data or phone.  What we did for our company that had 80 workstations.
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by:LHT_ST
LHT_ST earned 500 total points
ID: 38354856
Depends on the needs of the your company.

Are you using IP telephony or standard?

You don't say how big the new building is, if there are multiple network devices (eg switches etc) then go for fibre for the links between them and run from the switch to the end users ports.
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by:qbakies
qbakies earned 500 total points
ID: 38354869
You will never run fiber to the desks.  Too costly and unneeded.  CAT6 STP will give you Gb speeds (as long as you use Gb switches) which is more than enough for any data/voice requirements on a LAN.  The bottleneck is going to be your switches if they aren't Gb and you need that speed.  Honestly, you would be fine with 100Mb switches for this and CAT5e but better to future proof and go with the CAT6.  

Also, it is typical to run two cables to each desk but not necessary if you are using VOIP and the phone allows you to use it as a passthrough (which most do).  I have seen this as a money saving feature since you pay per pull.  Not recommended but can be done.  Every business has different needs and budgets.
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by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 500 total points
ID: 38354890
I'd agree with the CAT6 and 2 drops.
But even more fundamentally, the building should be wired to bring those drops directly to a "network room" so that all the switches, etc. are all in the same place and so that you will have maximum flexibility for monitoring network status and performance and so forth...
In larger buildings this same idea might be to bring everything one one floor into a room / closet on that floor and to connect the floors to the central room.
Make sure you use a good, comprehensive wiring specification or the installer will often run the cables along side power lines, etc.  Less a concern with fiber of course.

Fiber should be great but you would have to consider the cost of the terminations (i.e. the boxes).
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Author Comment

by:nouvelle
ID: 38354894
Thank you,
so each drop will consist of two cables, one for data and one for voice?
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by:qbakies
ID: 38354900
Two drops is best practice, but if you don't need it then you could do just one drop and run the phone inline with the PC.  This requires VOIP.  You haven't stated what you voice solution is for this build.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 38354911
I agree with qbakies.  One drop will suffice in many situations.
Don't forget the drops for the printers and 2nd workstations, etc.
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by:albelo
ID: 38354912
Here is what I did recently for a company.

(2) CAT6 Drops per workstation that all went back into a Comm Closet connected to Patch Panels.  Used 3 Dell PowerConnect Switches that were connected to each other via Fiber.

The (2) CAT6 drops can be used for either 2 DATA, 1 DATA/1 Voice or 2 Voice.  I depending how it was patched in the Comm Closet.
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Author Comment

by:nouvelle
ID: 38354966
Thank you guys, that was very helpful. I am sure, I will be coming back very soon to ask you more questions. :)
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by:qbakies
ID: 38354978
There is a lot to plan when it comes to something like this and we didn't even scratch the surface.  Be sure to ask questions as you are only going to get one chance to build this and you want to get it right.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nouvelle
ID: 38355003
I will research all your suggestions and I am sure I will be back to ask you more questions on a new thread. stay tuned.:)
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38355371
If you don't have experience doing this, you would be VERY, VERY WISE to contact a professional.  Cabling is not something easily changed later - it's VERY EXPENSIVE to change this later.  GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!  That's done by having a professional evaluate your needs.  And check the references of the said professional.

Factors you should be considering:
VoIP or traditional phone?  Will the phones have pass-through networking? How many computers per location?  What are the odds that the number of phones/computers INCREASES?  What about printers?  Network scanners?  Other devices?  A pro should be able to walk through the building, look over your existing infrastructure in whatever location you are currently in and get this planned correctly.
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