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Consolidation Point

Consolidation Point

Consolidation Point

(OP)
I have a customer with an installed base of Cat 5 wiring and they are looking to relocate their server room to a room about 65 feet away.  Their hope is to remove all of the switches/hubs from the existing location and reterm the wiring to extend it to the new room.  This is, I believe, classified as a consolidation point.  The question is, what is the distance limitation on the extension of a CP.  Once rack and patch panel distance is factored, the extension could be 80 feet.  I/They understand we may exceed the 90 meters on some cables if extended, but we also see the extending distance as a point of concern.  Any experience or insight with a situation like this?

Randy
ATS, Inc.

RE: Consolidation Point

Technically you are not talking about a consolidation point.  A consolidation point is when you make a patch point if you will between permanent horizontal cabling and the flexible work area cables.  Picture this as another patchrack installed out near a dense cubical section of work stations, each work station patch cable would route back to the patchrack.  It is designed to facilitate easy moves and changes for dense office areas by just rerouting patch cords and not moving permanent wiring.

What you are describing is actually a splice.  I would not recommend it, but it may be the only practical solution.  If you choose to take that approach, I would use the best quality IDC type conectors (110 or 210 blocks) that are Cat5 rated.  No matter how you build it, you should not exceed the 90 meter rule from the Work Outlet to the Horizontal Crossconnect.  The next consideration the allowed 10 meters total patchcable length from the work outlet to the computer, and from the patchrack to the active equipment (switch/hub).  

SO, what happens if you exceed the limit?  It depends on what speed you run on the network, the quality of the electronics, the quality of the wire and hardware, the quality of the terminations, etc.  I have seen installed Cat5 run fine at 100 Mbs on installs over 360 feet.  The problem for the customer is...if they do upgrade to faster network speeds, will this support it?  And when (not if) they do experience network problems, is the over length cable going to be the first suspect?

Good luck, hope that helps.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: Consolidation Point

(OP)
Daron,

I agree that it is technically a splice, which I would prefer not to have in the horizontal cable path.  I informed the customer that there may be some cables which exceed the distance limitation if, in fact, we do extend them.  I also told them that we may have to re-run or pull back cables which are problematic.  The only alternative is to have fiber and switches/hubs out there in what will become office space.  So, ultimately, the judgement is one of evaluating the cost to extend cables permanently and fix any problems or installing fiber and electronics and, if the switch is not fully utilized, paying for equipment that is not being maximized.  I appreciate the input.  Part of the benefit of these forums is the chance to bounce things off other people before sitting in front of the customer.  Thanx.

Randy
ATS

RE: Consolidation Point

Beorn;

This is an interesting problem because the practical concerns is so understandable--but I wonder if some creative re-design might work.

Perhaps an in-ceiling (presuming your cable is above a suspended ceiling) box-- fire-rated, properly powered, etc.,-- might allow you to create a bonafide intermediate cross-connect point. Sort of a miniature closet. Complete with a switch and patchbay and perhaps a fiber feed.

Manufacturers are shown in Cabling Business Magazine or online. They even have sizes to fit standard ceiling tile dimensions with drop-down doors. NEMA & NEC approved.

The switch would break the collision domain so you could extend copper to the new telecom cross-connect point if you wanted. This should keep your link/channel lengths within spec.

just a thought ...

Yours,
Mike, RCDD, CCNA

RE: Consolidation Point

By experence is that it is usually best to "do the right thing". In this case pop some tiles and see where the cables go. There is a good chance many of the cables go close to the new room location. The "right" thing to do for those runs is to cut them loose from the old room and move them to the new room. For the cables in the old room that can't be moved a remote switch with management and a fat uplink port may be the best solution.

How many cables are we talking about here?

RE: Consolidation Point

(OP)
Wires and BWM,
Sorry for the delay in responding, had a vacation.  Anyhow, to continue the discussion,  there are approx. 100 cables.  Some do indeed come from the direction of the newer room and we would plan on cutting and pulling back those to avoid the splice.  The others, however would be terminated and extended.  I spoke with the technical rep for the manufacturer that we use and he claims that there should be no problem.  The basic concept is to avoid using a switch in the old wiring room because it will be a "team room" for meetings and conferences.  The customer would like to avoid the noise and also the expense of a switch with a fiber port that would not be fully utilized.  Better to have the switch located in the new server room and have one point of patching.  They would have complete secure management of their resources with a brand new wiring center.  Hopefully, the best of all worlds.

Randy
ATS

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