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Copper vs Fiber Optic: Which is Right for Me?



Advances in network cabling have changed the dialogue in the debate over what sort of cabling is best to utilize in building your network - copper or fiber optics. Historically, fiber optics began to supplant copper cabling in many situations, but a strong case can still be made for copper cabling in certain situations. At SANDirect, we have the experience and knowledge to guide you on making this choice in your own networking needs.


What’s Your Need for Speed?

As data has become more complex and file sizes larger, networks must be built with the end user in mind, and end users expect fast and reliable access to information. Company networks must be able to upload and download vast amounts of data at speed and across great distances. Fiber optic cables, capable of running 2000 meters and transmitting data as fast as 10 gigabit Ethernet, provide the perfect solution in such cases. For internal network needs, where data might only need to be transmitted between networked devices at speeds up 1 gigabit Ethernet, copper-based ethernet cabling is sufficient.


Balancing Durability Against Performance

Fiber optics provide lighter and more flexible alternatives to copper cabling variants, and is built in a way that allows for a very secure method of data transmission. This makes fiber optics useful in the construction of internet conduits and creating long-distance connections between hubs and data centers. Copper-based wiring, on the other hand, are more durable and built to reduce or eliminate data packet loss while still being able to attain gigabit Ethernet speeds. These traits make copper wiring perfect for constructing internal networks in industrial settings.


Budgeting for Future Networking Needs

Unless you’re building a network as part of a new construction project, many older buildings have an existing copper wire infrastructure, especially in rural areas where the upgrade to fiber optics hasn’t yet taken place. In building your network, it’s important to take into consideration existing wiring, external connections, the costs of upgrading to fiber optics, and the future data transmission requirements your business will need to remain competitive. Advancements in copper wiring have made the Cat6 and Cat7 variants affordable and viable solutions for internal network needs, as the unshielded twisted pair copper cabling can handle low-end Ethernet speeds. Meanwhile, on the periphery of networks, where offloading or accepting large amounts of data are business-critical tasks, fiber optics are increasingly being put into play. Knowing the volume and types of data you will be creating and needing to manage in the course of doing business will allow you to construct a properly balanced network composed of both types of cabling that can affordably scale with the growth of your company.


A Well Informed Solution

SANDirect has a deep understanding of networking and data storage needs, regardless of the industry in which your company might operate. They provide data storage solutions, as well as access to consulting services and networking products through their partnerships with industry leading service providers. Once you’ve submitted a request for a quote, we can provide you with the guidance you need to build the most effective network possible for your business’s needs.

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