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Network Cabinet Design and Location


Cabinet Design

The cabinets or enclosures are usually installed in equipment rooms located at strategic points within the building. In a well designed system, their location will ensure that horizontal cable runs are maintained within the 90M maximum run length, with easy access to the vertical risers.

The example shown in Figure 1 details a typically well designed cabinet layout. It should be noted that adequate panel management should always be provided to avoid messy patch cable situations.

Permanent cable entering the cabinet should be managed on trays located either side of the cabinet. This tray provides support for horizontal cables or cabinet to cabinet cabling, allowing neat and technical superior stress free terminators

To void congestion on one particular side of the cabinet, cables should be fed to panels and equipment from alternative sides.

It is possible that cables could enter the cabinet from either above or below, in any event attention should be paid to the bend radius of those cables and where cables leave, tray protection should be provided from sharp edges that could damage them. This protection is normally in the form of roll off edges.

Where active and passive equipment are to share the same cabinet, consideration should be given as to whether active or passive equipment location is at the top or bottom of the cabinet.

Passive equipment should always be closest to the point of entry in the cabinet, typically this would be at the bottom of a cabinet allowing the location of active equipment to be at a more convenient height for set up and network monitoring etc. Where cables enter from the top of the cabinet, then serious consideration should be given to the provision of a separate cabinet for the active product. If economics do not allow for this, ensure that horizontal cables are well clear of the sides of the cabinet where the active products will be located, as failure to do this may prevent the subsequent instillation of active equipment.

To ensure that the instillation is user friendly, labelling of ports is essential. This requires the production of labels strips that identify patch panel ports and active panel ports

Details of these port IDs are normally maintained is a software package called "Cable Management Software". Various packages are available.

Cabinet Location

Equipment room location and subsequent layout of cabling within it are decided by the network designer at an early stage and should allow for distribution on the horizontal to be within the maximum run limits.

It may be necessary in large buildings to have more than one equipment room per floor. This may lead to the requirement for "Tie" cables to be installed between the equipment rooms to gain access to the full range of active equipment within the network.

In sensitive commercial business such as banks and dealer rooms or computer control rooms, it is often desirable to support network users by different active elements within the network to avoid complete breakdowns in communications should active equipment fail.


All pictures for illustration purposes only.
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