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Ethernet: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition by Joann Zimmerman, Charles E. Spurgeon

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Chapter 15. Structured Cabling

An essential truth of networking is that an Ethernet system can never be better than its cabling. Providing high-quality cabling can be easy enough for a small system based on a single Ethernet switch in a home that supports a small number of devices. You can connect the devices to the switch ports with high-quality patch cords, and your network will be complete. However, the majority of networks support more than just a few devices. Instead, office buildings these days require network systems that connect to practically every room in the building. Providing a high-quality cabling system for an entire building is a much more complex task. That’s where a structured cabling system can help.

Structured cabling systems achieve their goals by providing a cabling hierarchy based on backbone cables that carry signals between telecommunications closets on various floors of a building, and horizontal cables that deliver data from the telecommunications closet to the networked device. The ease with which such a system can be expanded and rearranged helps manage the moves, adds, and changes that occur.

A structured cabling system is based on point-to-point cable segments that are installed according to detailed guidelines and specifications published in the structured cabling standards. This provides a reliable and manageable cabling system. A structured cabling system based on industry standards and high-quality components allows your network to function at its ...

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