Network Cabling Architects, Consultants and Designers - Network Cabling Services | Fluke Networks

Designing, installing and maintaining a reliable physical cable plant is essential to the well-being of today's mission-critical LANs. End-user organizations, builders, property owners and contractors hire you as a professional consultant to analyze, design and recommend telecommunications products and services.

Cable Network Testing

Cable Network Testing

Success depends on your ability to stay up-to-date with new standards, performance requirements, the latest technology and industry information.

This page will walk you through the latest trends and technologies available to design and test next-generation cabling systems, as well as relevant national and international telecommunications standards and provide a reference to the most commonly used information.

Technical Specifications

Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.

DSX CableAnalyzer™ Series - CAT 8 Cable Certifier

Cabling standard ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 defines Category 8 Cabling

The TIA TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Subcommittee recently approved specifications for Category 8 cabling (TIA 568 C.2-1), the latest twisted-pair copper system designed to support future IEEE 25GBASE T and 40GBASE T applications currently under development.

Today we are waiting on the update of the ANSI/TIA-1152 standard that will define the field tests and more importantly the accuracy requirements for field testers to be able to do field certification of Category 8 installations.

In practical terms, per the TIA, the highest performing cabling you can install today is Cat 6a.

Learn More Category 8 Approved. Now What?

Cabling For 802.11ac Wireless Access Points

802.11ac, also known as gigabit wifi is an exciting advance in wifi technology that offers the promise to be able to exceed a gigabit of throughput to wireless devices. If we have an 802.11ac wireless access point that has multiple radios, we are looking at the real possibility of the cabling, which may only support 1GBase-T speeds becoming the bottleneck in our network.

For green field wireless installations, you should certainly be using at least Cat 6a cabling which offers the possibility to communicate at speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second. Cat 6a cable also offers the benefit of generally being a larger diameter, 23 AWG vs 24 AWG so that it can support higher levels of PoE.

In exiting installations of wireless access points that are cabled with Cat 5e or Cat 6 components, there is exciting news in the form of nBase-T where installed cabling may support speeds of 2.5 or even 5 Gigabits per second. The ability of existing cabling to support higher speeds will be dependent on cable length and for how long it is bundled with other conductors.

Learn More NBASE-T Alliance Releases Guidelines for Evaluating Your Cable Plant’s Readiness for NBASE-T

Fiber Network Installation and Certification Update

Network cabling certification is the process of measuring network cabling performance parameters and comparing the results against industry or user-defined performance standards. The TIA-1152 standard, “Requirements for Field Test Instruments and Measurements for Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling” has been separated out from the ANSI/TIA 568-C.2 standard. The design and performance of the cabling is defined in the 568 standard, the 1152 tells us about the performance of the tester.

Basic or Tier 1 fiber certification is required in all fiber optic cabling links. The Tier 1 tests are attenuation (insertion loss), length and polarity. When conducting Tier 1 testing, each fiber link is measured for attenuation and results are documented. This test ensures that the fiber link exhibits less loss than the maximum allowable loss budget for the immediate application

Extended or Tier 2 fiber certification supplements Tier 1 testing with the addition of an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) trace of each fiber link. An OTDR trace is a graphical signature of a fiber's attenuation along its length. You can gain insight into the performance of the link components (cable, connectors and splices) and the quality of the installation by examining non-uniformities in the trace. An OTDR trace does not replace the need for insertion loss measurement, but is used for complementary evaluation of the fiber link. This test certifies that the workmanship and quality of the installation meets the design and warranty specifications for current and future applications.

An OTDR trace helps characterize individual events that are invisible when conducting only loss/length (tier 1) testing. Only with a complete fiber certification, installers have the most complete picture of the fiber installation and network owners have proof of a quality installation. In order for the OTDR trace to be accurate, it should be run in both directions to compensate for any variation in the backscatter coefficient.

Cable Network Solutions

DSX-5000 CableAnalyzer™ – Accelerates every step of the copper certification process

  • Versiv™ modular design supports copper certification, fiber loss, OTDR testing and Wi-Fi analysis
  • Unmatched speed for Cat 6A, Class FA and all current standards
  • ProjX™ system manages job requirements and progress from set-up to systems acceptance, making sure all tests are completed correctly
  • Taptive™ user interface simplifies set-up, and eliminates errors
  • Analyze test results and create professional test reports using LinkWare™ management software
  • Graphically displays the source of failures including crosstalk, return loss and shield faults for faster troubleshooting

 

DSX-5000 CableAnalyzer™

OptiFiber® Pro OTDR – Built for the Enterprise, OptiFiber Pro is the first OTDR built from the ground up for enterprise fiber testing.

OptiFiber Pro is focused on reducing costs while enhancing productivity and improving network reliability.

  • First OTDR with a smartphone user-interface
  • Industry's shortest event and attenuation dead zones
  • Accelerate fiber certification with the fastest set-up and trace times
  • Improve resource utilization with custom configurations for projects and users
  • Simplify use with "DataCenter OTDR™" mode and EventMap™ view
  • Custom project folders

 

OptiFiber® Pro OTDR

LinkWare Stats™ – A results analysis software included in LinkWare Cable Test Management Software.

  • Now included in LinkWare 9.x
  • Eliminate the chance of overlooking an anomaly with reports that highlight marginal or failed links
  • Demonstrate that an installation meets warranty requirements
  • Help win business with professional and customized summary performance reports
  • Create graphs and tables that show margins by test standard, operator, location and other attributes

 

 

Related Resources & Downloads

Fluke Networks provides many resources to help our customers solve (Architects, Consultants and Designers) challenges. Some require a simple registration. See a complete listing of webcasts, white papers and application notes for other topics.

Application Note:

Encircled Flux – The New Standard in Multimode Testing Accuracy
"Have you ever tested a multimode fiber optic link with light sources from two different equipment vendors? By simply using a different light source you may notice that the loss measurement is different by as much as 50%!"

 

White Papers:

The Role Standards Play in Selecting Industrial Ethernet Components
Today in the US industrial sector, the focus is on being as cost conscious, lean, and value-rich as possible. This focus starts with efficient production. Whether the business model requires sustained production or multiple start-up and finishing processes, the differing design and maintenance requirements on the equipment and infrastructure are many. This affects the designs of new systems, the system integrators that maintain them, and the private network owners who own those systems.
Finding Your Way in the Maze of Industrial Ethernet Standards
If you are an industrial automation control engineer or technician embarking upon the design and installation of an industrial network, you will quickly confront a bewildering array of standards written by a host of international, regional, national and trade organizations. This white paper will give you some historical perspective on what has caused such a proliferation of standards.
How to cable 802.11n Wireless Access Points
802.11n is the new standard in wireless Local Area Networks. In 2008, the IEEE will formally ratify 802.11n. Enterprises will use ratification as their cue to adopt 802.11n and deploy it in volume. Did you know that the higher bit rates delivered by 802.11n will markedly increase the demand on the copper cabling plant? This whitepaper describes the options and the planning cabling installers and enterprises should do to prepare for the next wave of wireless LANs
10-Gigabit Ethernet
An overview of the performance requirements for the twisted-pair cabling and methods to measure and certify the performance of the installed cabling system
Ensuring the Health of your Fiber
How to Choose an OTDR to Test and Troubleshoot LAN Infrastructure
Six Reasons Cable Certification is More Important Than Ever
Economic turmoil is shining a bright light on the value of services used by IT departments. Among them are the services used to deploy and maintain enterprise network infrastructure. Infrastructure includes copper and fiber cabling, and it is the foundation of the network. This paper identifies the specific benefits afforded by cable certification and how much it pays back to the network owner.
Connectivity in the Virtualized Datacenter
This whitepaper written by Broadcom Corporation and Fluke Networks compares the new choices for datacenter connectivity and describes test methods that help to ensure that your network provides a solid base for deploying virtualized services.
The High Cost of Low-Cost Cable Testers
In this paper, we unveil the myriad of high hidden costs you may encounter when using a “low-cost” tester.
Field Testing Installed Optical Fiber Cabling
This joint white paper prepared by Legrand/Ortronics and Fluke Networks reviews best practices for the technician performing field tests on installed optical fiber cabling.

 

Pocket Guide:

Fiber Testing Best Practices
The Fiber Testing Best Practices pocket guide was designed by Fluke Networks to educate about important optical fiber handling best practices

 

Statement of Work (SOW) documents:

ANSI/TIA-568-C Cat 5e Field Test Specifications
Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for  testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.
ANSI/TIA-568-C Cat 6 Field Test Specifications
Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for  testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.
ANSI/TIA-568-C Cat 6A Field Test Specifications
Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for  testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.
Fiber (TIA) Field Test Specification
Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for  testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.
ISO/IEC 11801 Fiber Installation Test Requirements
Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for  testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.
Residential Cabling Specification
Use our Statement of Work (SOW) documents as general guidelines to help you prepare RFQs or contractual specifications for  testing twisted pair copper cabling installations and fiber cabling installations.