I have come across
several posts in the newsgroups asking about structured cabling and how
to setup offices. So I have decided to setup a page on this.
up an Office.
This is a guide on
how to setup a LAN for a new office. This is a list of people that
you will be interfacing with.
Internal Project manager
Key users from each department.
Owner of meeting / training rooms, laboratories and pantries.
You will need the
following from them.
Location of the
server room. Preferably near the center of the whole office.
But often you don't get to choose.
layout. This will continuously change, right up to moving day.
So work with the best you can get and cater for plenty of spare.
Roles and responsibilities
of the electrical and cabling contractor. Depending on the country
you are in, the electrical contractor nowadays frequently installs
the cable trays, conduits and trunking to the user stations.
List of seating
locations. Which department seats where. Where the users will
actually seat will probably be finalised only on moving day.
So concentrate on the secretaries. The precise location, let
the users sort it out. I use the rule of thumb, 2 LAN and 2
phone pts for secretaries. Users 1 each.
List of LAN point
locations for the meeting / training rooms and Laboratories. These
rooms frequently have several owners or none at all. Make sure
you gather all the inputs and arrive at an acceptable solution.
Plan to do the cabling for all points using structured cabling.
At this time of writing, the standard is CAT 5E. If you are
fortunate enough to be doing a campus network, plan on your inter-floor
fibre runs and network distribution rooms carefully. These rooms
or closets, are for groups of users that are too far away to be directly
connected to the server room. Remember to check the fire code.
Factor in network
growth due to changing business needs. This is the part where
some judgement call may be needed. Remember, that new business
strategy may never take off. So don't over spend.
Once you have all
the LAN points and phone accounted for, start planning on the size of
the switches. There should be a switch (distribution) for each
floor. It will then be connected back to the network center's switch
(core) via fibre or less commonly copper. Remember to factor in the
size of the racks. Decide on how you are going to grow the switches.
Note chassis switches are easier to integrate than stackable units.
The ports on each
switch should never be fully used. There should be 50 to 25% free ports,
budget depending. If any of the switches were to fail, pull out the
patch cords, patch into the free ports and check VLAN config.
Next decide on where
you are going to put the servers, racked or under the table.
With all the blocks
sized, decide on the layout of the room. Frequently security guidelines
require a solid four wall office. Plan to put the network rack
near a solid wall or pillar. The masses of cables coming down
from the ceiling will tear apart any partition wall.
Decide on where
you want to put your telco box. This is where the phone cables from
you telco comes in. Depending on your setup, it can be a simple 50 pair
cable to the riser just outside your office. If you have own building,
the telco box is the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) room. This should
be located near your CAT 5 patch panel so that you can patch phone lines
any where in the company.
completed 19 Jan 01
updated 16 Mar 03