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Network cable run in new building - two drops vs one drop

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Last Modified: 2018-12-17
This is 100k sqaure feet, two storey, new manufacturing facility, on its stage of network/architect design.
We estimate that there will be 200 spots that need network access, for computers, VoIP phones, WiFi APs, smart TVs and security cameras.
In about 80 spots of the above, a VoIP phone and a PC will coexist.  These spots are the sitting spots or cubicles for engineers, managers and office staff.

The main question - should we run two network drops or one network drop in each of above 80 spots?
Option1: Two drops - One for VoIP phone, the other one for the computer.
Option2: One drop - VoIP phone and the computer will be daisy chained.

Not trying to over complicate the above main topic, we do have a few other questions as below in case you'd like to share some insights as well
1. Should we separate VoIP phones and computers into different VLANs? Why?
2. If we put VoIP phones on a separate VLAN, will the above Option2 still be doable?
3. Should we deploy CAT6A or CAT6 cables? 10G network is getting popular.
4. Should we run all cables directly from the end spots to the server room? Or, install some switches in the middle?
5. Any other thoughts? Or anything we should be aware of?

Thanks in advance!
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Distinguished Expert 2019
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I agree with everything MASNROCK says and would add to your main question:
  • It is easier to do
  • It is cheaper to do when they run the original cable
  • If you tell management they only need one and they need two later ... guess who they look at ... you / IT. I always start with two and let the "budgeteers" change the number. That way, they made the change against your recommendation. Yes, they usually end up reducing the number of cable drops but the usually do so in the name of money ... because when being proactive and cost-effective with the long-term of the business needs, two is usually better than one to allow for growth and the unexpected.
  • If they do reduce your numbers of drops, *always* hold your position on multiple / extra drops where paper-handling happens (i.e. copiers, printers, scanners, faxes, etcetera. These areas almost always run out of drops before their lifetime is up.
Ron MalmsteadInformation Services Manager
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Y Yconsultant


Thank you all! Your thoughts are pretty much all I was trying to propose. Now i can better explain to the client.
Yes, we are gonna use a contractor.

One more ... if using a contractor, make sure you get the certified test results for each run at the end of the job.

This way, you know they are all to spec and you have a baseline in case of trouble.
Distinguished Expert 2019

I also assume that you've accounted for any other VLANs that should be made (one for security cameras, one for guest wireless, etc).
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
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Did you account spots for printers, copiers and other devices that need network connections? Are you going to have an internal network separate from the Internet network, like some second network that need its own lines? I am asking because the number of drops might change depending on your answer, and I have seen too many oversights in planning that cause installation issues later on.
Fred MarshallPrincipal

I suppose you could put wireless access points on one of the drops and use it also as a terminating switch.
But, to be sure, you will be much better off running drops for the access points.

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