Structured IT cabling is the design and installation of a cabling system that will support multiple hardware uses both today and in the future.
How Structured IT Cabling is Important in the Age of Cloud Solutions
A common misconception is that cloud solutions and cloud storage has rendered structured IT cabling useless. This could not be further from the truth, as the cloud has placed even more emphasis on the importance of IT infrastructure. To explain this misconception, it is important to understand what the cloud is, and how a structured IT cabling system works.
The Basics of the “Cloud”
From the end user’s perspective, the cloud is essentially your web browser and most apps you use daily. If you have ever used Google Drive, Drobox, or backed up your iPhone to iCloud, you were accessing the cloud. This is an extremely efficient and cost-effective way to store your photos, documents, and any other data you have. You don’t need to have a clunky hard drive on your desk, and you don’t need to worry about losing important documents if your computer crashes. While the cloud is a bit more complicated than that, we are here to discuss how structured IT cabling functions in respect to cloud solutions.
Structured IT Cabling
Think of IT cabling like a mail delivery service (an incredibly fast one). When you log on to your computer to check your email, you are asking the computer to grab specific information for you from the internet. If you use Google Docs to collaborate with peers, your computer communicates with a Google server and pulls up that stored document you asked for. That document you are working on can be accessed by you and your peers at any time, but it is not saved on your physical computer. It is saved (securely) on a server that could be located anywhere. Any company who offers cloud services has extensive data center locations which hold servers and other storage hardware. The data center locations are like the warehouse or mailroom, and the cables are the delivery persons.
It is crucial to have structured IT cabling systems that are built out for future needs, not just current needs. As technology advances, internet speeds and demand for zero latency advances as well. It is frustrating and costly from an operations standpoint when users run into long waits for data, or latency issues. The video game industry has been a huge driver in pushing structured IT cabling innovation faster than ever. Competitive or professional video gamers require instant data speeds that previously were thought to be impossible. Fiber and high-speed copper cabling (usually considered Cat 6a or higher) have become the norm across all industries but are the most important in data centers with heavy traffic.
Proper Structured IT Cabling systems in today’s age are well organized and designed to be altered easily in the future. Most businesses do not have the funding to completely redo their data centers every two years to keep up with the times, and it would be wasteful to do so. To mitigate this, it is best to work with a provider who can help you identify where your business is going in the next five years, and what technological growth you foresee needing. Are you planning on storing everything in the cloud in the next five years? Do you plan to double the size of your workforce (aka the amount of end users accessing or storing data)? Are you planning to house certain data on premise? These are the questions providers can help you answer and ultimately help you plan your Structured IT Cabling solution.
Since the cloud is a relatively new concept in the business world, many decision makers are uneasy about the security of it for storing proprietary information. While this is a vital concern to have as a decision maker, rest assured that the cloud is safe for storing any information. In some cases, it is safer than storing data on your own hard drives. Cloud solution providers offer different security layers that allow you to feel safe using the service. Encryption algorithms are a highly secure way to make sure that only authorized personnel have access to items stored in the cloud. If you are considering a move to the cloud, discuss your needs with a few different providers and choose the one who can explain their security measures to you. Understanding your cloud solution and trusting the provider will make you feel at ease.
If you have any questions about cloud services or cloud solutions reach out to us at (763) 475-5500 or email us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com. We can help you plan for the future of your business.