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Why You Shouldn’t Run Data and Power Cords in Parallel



Anyone who has ever set up a computers and routers for a business can tell you how complicated it can be to keep the myriad of cables and wiring bundled in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and safe for the tech itself. Add in the complexities of a corporate network and the associated ethernet cabling into the mix, and a number of considerations must be taken into account. SANDirect shares some best practices in how to build networks and provides some insight on how improper network layouts can affect performance.


Ethernet Cables Generate Noise by Nature

Copper-based ethernet cabling inherently creates a degree of noise as signal flow along the wiring. In designing ethernet cables, manufacturers recognize this and utilize twists in the cable to cancel internal noise and add other performance enhancements by employing insulation materials. Each generation of cable, from the Cat3 through to the Cat5, Cat6, and Cat8 cabling on the market, has employed improved insulation methods and increased twists to reduce as much as possible the occurrence of crosstalk and allow operations at higher frequencies.


Ineffective Against External Signals

Unshielded cables are highly susceptible to electromagnetic interference from electrical cords, especially in higher end cabling that operates at frequencies from 250 MHz to 500 MHz. Electromagnetic interference (EMI), comes from external radio frequency interference generated by EM fields being located too close to data cables. This type of interference is difficult to shield or screen against, as it doesn’t stem from within the cable or signal itself, but rather acts upon the cabling from the outside. Screening cables can help deal with this type of interference, but data errors can still occur at 10 Mbps or even 100 Mbps and seriously interrupts Gigabit Ethernet.


Cat6a Changes the Game

In creating the sixth generation of twisted pair copper wiring, manufacturers took special measures to limit alien crosstalk stemming from EMI. In the Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) approach, the cable uses larger conductors combined with increased twists and a thicker outer protective layer to only partially limit the impact of EMI. For Shielded Twisted Pairs (STP) adds a layer of foil or braided screening and in some cases a shield over each pair of wires inside the cable. This adds bulk and cost to the cable, but allows it to outperform other categories in EMI and RFI resistance.


A Partnership Without Interference

You might think you’ve got your network layout optimized, but it never hurts to bring in another set of eyes trained and experienced in identifying opportunities to improve. SANDirect can be those eyes - and provide you with access to the storage solutions you need. Once we’ve established a plan, SANDirect can help partner your company up with IT service providers that will take your IT infrastructure to a level that can support your future success.

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