How to Do Good LAN Infrastructure Cabling
Among important things to consider when doing your LAN cabling are the purposes of the cabling, the location at which you are doing the cabling and the users or devices that need to connect to this network. Of importance is to note that there are mainly two types of network switches that one can always use on the LAN infrastructure. They are the standard none (POE) Power over Ethernet switches and the POE switches. POE switches are those that not only transmit data packets but also power the device at the receiving end.
The location where the LAN infrastructure is being laid is important because it will determine the type of CAT6 cable that you have to use. There are mainly two types of CAT6 cables you can choose from. They are (STP) shielded twisted pair and the (UTP) un-shielded twisted pair. STP is technically recommended for outdoor situations since they come with an extra shielding in the sheath. This extra sheath ensures your cables do not wear out or get broken when subjected to the harsh outdoor conditions. The STP cable is often tougher and costlier as compared to the indoor UTP cable.
Make a Smart Choice of Switches on the Network
The choice of a switch between POE and none POE will depend on whether or not you need to power any devices over the network such as IP phones, Cameras, access points among many others. Network switches are often categorized by their data transfer speeds. Faster switches are always better as they will enhance your connectivity speeds and guarantee a better network.
Factors to Consider When Configuring the LAN
1. The number of users on the network is a key factor to look at. This is because it will determine the subnet you can use. If you are going to have more users than a single subnet can hold, you have to make sure you give a range that will contain all your projected users. We will talk about managing subnet mask in our next article.
2. Ensure you visualize your devices and especially the shared resources on your LAN. These shared resources will include devices such as printers, scanners, sql database servers, exchange servers and access points among others. Such devices are almost always supposed to have static (IP) internet protocol addresses. We will also discuss IPs in another article so we can get a better picture. To avoid confusion and conflicts on your network, a smart network administrator should always have the shared devices on static IPs for ease of administration. It is however crucial to make sure you do not give these devices IPs within your (DHCP) dynamic host control protocol server’s lease range.
3. Ensure you have a firewall between the (ISP) internet service provider’s router and your LAN switches. This is important since it helps ensure you protect your network against unauthorized intrusions or log in. a good firewall will always enhance security and these choices can be made based on the finer details and use of your network.
It is worth pointing out that all the above factors will only guarantee you a good network when you have your modules and patch panels properly terminated. Always make sure your cables are tested and they have passed the LAN tests before you start connecting devices to the network. Having your entire LAN setup secured in a good cabinet with clean power will also go a long way in ensuring you have steady and reliable network in the long-term.