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The Benefits of Installing CAT6a Cables



Network technologies are advancing as quickly as the devices they are being designed to support. There is an ever-increasing need to move data further distances as fast as possible. While fiber optic cabling plays an increasingly crucial role in connecting data centers to networks across large distances, network infrastructure continues to rely on advancements that have been made to twisted-pair copper cabling.While many existing networks utilize CAT5 and CAT6 cables, there is an increasingly valid case to be made for using augmented CAT6 cabling, or CAT6a cabling, in new network builds. Overall, CAT6a cables provide the best balance of value versus speed, performance, and future viability available on the market. Let’s explore these benefits more in depth.


Further, Faster In Both Directions

Of the three cabling types most commonly in use in modern networks, CAT6a provides the best mix of transmission speeds and bandwidth available at affordable rates. CAT5e cabling allows Ethernet speeds of up to 1 Gbps at 100 MHz, but only allows the flow of traffic in a single direction. While CAT6 cabling comes with the ability to achieve similar transmission speeds, it’s capable of doing so at up to 250 MHz. The augmented nature of CAT6a cables allow the medium to achieve upwards of 10 Gbps at double the bandwidth of CAT6 cabling, and the method of twists employed in the cabling allows data transmissions to flow in both directions.


Significant Shielding, Significant Performance

Crosstalk and signal interference causing degradation of signals across long distances were major concerns in earlier copper cabling mediums. This is something that CAT6a cabling has addressed fairly effectively through the use of thicker plastic shielding and an inner foil shielding, as well as increased twists in the copper wire itself. While this results in a somewhat less flexible and heavier cable, the lack of signal interference makes this cabling an affordable and viable solution in industrial settings where durability and the ability to achieve Ethernet speeds are important to the effectiveness of the network as a whole.


Build For the Future

Networks are having to support traffic from an increasing number of devices, and with the dawn of the Internet of Things (IoT) almost upon us, networks also have to support significant bandwidth and two-way signal paths in order to provide sufficient speed to devices and end users. And as Power Over Internet (PoE) becomes a technology feature networks must be capable of, CAT6a cabling is looking increasingly like the solution that will support modern networks into the near future.



Solutions for Your Networking Needs

When it comes to understanding network structure and providing clients with the support to make informed decisions about building out their network to support data storage solutions into the near future, SANDirect has a thumb on the pulse of the industry. Providing clients with top of the line switches and CAT6a cabling, as well as other network and storage components. SANDirect also provides consultation to determine your data storage needs and how best to work with our partners to affordably achieve your networking goals.

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