Network Cabling Contractors and Installers
Network cabling contractors and installers—the professionals who are responsible for designing, installing and certifying structured wiring networks for their customers—are facing huge challenges as well as opportunities in today’s market. Several trends are having a dramatic impact on networking and on the roles of these professionals, who are charged with planning and deploying networks for organizations.
Network Cabling Contractors and Installers
Contractors and Installers
Category 8 Cabling is designed to operate at 2 GHz, and anyone who is not familiar with installing and testing shielded cable, now is a good time to start learning. The good news for installers is that Category 8 systems will use the familiar RJ45 connector. While the application is intended to be a 24-meter permanent link with two 3-meter equipment cords on each end, the standard will also include some de-rating factors for different gauge equipment cords.
Of course, this cabling system needs to be tested in the field. That’s why the ANSI/TIA-1183-1 standard that defines the measurement and test methods for laboratory testing of Category 8 was approved. That paved the way for Category 8 field testing standards. The existing TIA-1152 standards for field testing that supports the TIA 568 series of standards has added an 1152-A version for 2G field testing—the 2G refers to the accuracy level and was named as such due to the need to test Category 8 to 2 GHz.
If you’re familiar with the accuracy levels for previous categories of cable (i.e., Level III for Category 6 and Level IIIe for Category 6A), you may be wondering why the next level isn’t Level IV. That’s because Level IV and Level V accuracy levels already exist within ISO/IEC standards for Class F and Class FA cabling. TIA-1152-A was approved for publication In late 2016.
|Field Tester Accuracy Levels|
|Cabling Standard||Frequency Range (MHz)||Accuracy Level|
|CAT 5e||100||Level II|
|CAT 6||250||Level III|
|CAT 6A||500||Level IIIE|
|CAT 8||2,000||Level 2G|
|ISO-only Accuracy Levels (ISO 61935-1)|
|CLASS F||600||Level IV|
|CLASS FA||1000||Level V (draft)|
Another trend is the use of optical fiber within enterprise facilities. Many organizations are installing fiber as demand for bandwidth continues to increase. According to report on the fiber optic components market by Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA), the global market for fiber components is projected to reach $42 billion by 2017. Growth will be driven by the increasing demand for bandwidth and the ensuing need for fiber-based broadband, as well as robust growth in mobile Internet and other factors, the firm says.
Many organizations are preparing for 100 gigabit over fiber transmission, and that’s going to involve the use of Multifiber Push-On (MPO) Connectors. MPO connectors are new to many cable installers as well as end users, so there will be a learning curve involved. With MPO, there are more opportunities for errors in connections, because the technology is a lot more complex. Read more about MPO Technology here
Contractors are also facing changes in how data centers are being designed and built, as more organizations move to a cloud computing model. Many companies will rely on a hybrid cloud environment that consists of private cloud infrastructure and public cloud services.
To prepare for this rapidly changing network environment, contractors and installers must obtain the knowledge experience and training they need to meet the evolving requirements of customers.
Certified Cabling Test Technician Training (CCTT)
Contractors need to train and certify their employees to stay competitive in the installation and certification of high-speed structured cabling systems. Investing in the Fluke Networks Certified Cabling Test Technician™ (CCTT) two-day training and certification program will not only improve the skills of your installers, but also their effectiveness and productivity on the job in testing, certifying and troubleshooting cabling systems.
The Fluke Networks CCTT course consists of two days, each comprised of three parts: classroom training, hands-on labs, and exam/certification exercises.
Online Training Videos
These videos provide basic training for the complete Versiv family. For each product, a set of videos cover the following topics:
- - Unboxing – what comes with the product and what to do with it
- - Setting Up a Test
- - Running a Test
- - Saving and Managing Results (using LinkWare™ PC and LinkWare™ Live)
Each video is between three and ten minutes in length. The complete series of videos totals about two hours and twenty minutes.
Cabling Chronicles Blog
Find out what’s new in the world of testing and standards with articles written by Fluke Networks’ experts.
Get the most out of your Fluke Networks investment with tips and tricks plus product updates from our team of support experts.
Live Training Events
Find out about our webcasts, workshops, shows and other live events:
Learn About Solutions
A number of solutions on the market can help contractors and installers address the challenges of a changing networking landscape.
Versiv: Cabling Certification System from Fluke Networks.
Certifying a cable is one part of a process that starts with systems design and ends with systems acceptance. The faster that process goes, the more profitable you’ll be. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that slow the process down - testing to the wrong limits, waiting for lead technicians to set up or troubleshoot, and incomplete results. Research from Fluke Networks shows that over 90% of contractors report dealing with issues related to set-up, testing, and reporting every month. It adds up to a week of wasted labor on a typical 1,000 drop job. Versiv is designed to eradicate these problems. Its ProjX™ System manages job requirements and progress from setup to systems acceptance, making sure all tests are completed correctly. The Taptive™ User Interface simplifies set up, eliminates errors and speeds troubleshooting. The LinkWare Live cloud service gives you control of the whole process: you can set up and track your testers and inspect results from any mobile device while the job is in process. It even lets you upload and integrate results from multiple testers at multiple jobsites so you can quickly generate reports with the de-facto industry standard LinkWare PC. Eliminate the problems and get to system acceptance faster with Versiv – and make money every time you use it.
Another offering from Fluke Networks, LinkWare PC, gives network professionals the ability to manage test results data from multiple testers with one application. It makes project setup easier by helping them quickly organize, edit, view, print, save or archive test results by job site, customer, campus or building. They can merge test results into an existing LinkWare database and then sort, search and organize the results by data fields or parameters. Any data uploaded to a computer with LinkWare ensures that the results stored came from the testers' memory.
Fluke Networks MultiFiber Pro Optical Power Meter and Light Source is the industry’s first MPO fiber trunk tester that validates the performance of all 12 trunk fibers in a single test, and reduces testing time by nearly 95%. MPO fiber trunks are the backbone for 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps high-speed data centers—the fastest growing segment in the industry. It takes an average of 6.5 minutes to set up and test each of the 12 fibers in an MPO trunk, but the MultiFiber Pro reduces that time to approximately 20 seconds (14 seconds for set up, six seconds for testing). For the average data center with 1,600 MPO trunks, the MultiFiber Pro tester can save contractors more than 155 hours of labor and $17,000 in costs, assuming an average burdened labor rate of $55.
Fluke Networks OptiFiber Pro OTDR 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.
It has the industry’s only smartphone interface. The DataCenter OTDR configuration eliminates uncertainty and errors that occur when testing data center fiber. The products ultra-short dead zones enable testing of fiber patchcords in virtualized data centers.
Fluke Networks provides many resources to help our customers solve (Guide to Contract Installers and Installation) challenges. Some require a simple registration. See a complete listing of webcasts, white papers and application notes for other topics.
LinkWare™ Live – Copper/Fiber Cable Testing and Certification Management Service
LinkWare Live is a cloud-based service that lets Versiv users manage cabling certification jobs anytime, anywhere, with anyone on any device.
FI-7000 FiberInspector™ Pro
The FI-7000 FiberInspector Pro is a fiber optic inspection scope that allows you to inspect and certify fiber optic connector end-faces in 1 seconds so you can get the job done the first time. This fiber optic inspection scope provides automated PASS/FAIL certification take the guess work out of fiber inspection so anyone can be a fiber expert.
OptiFiber® Pro OTDR
Fluke Networks’ OptiFiber® Pro Series OTDRs make novices and experts faster. Automated trace analysis and setup supports applications including data centers, PON and outside plant. Advanced features include Manual Expert mode, pinch and zoom for in-depth trace analysis and SmartLoop for bi-directional testing. Supports Versiv copper and fiber loss certification modules.
CertiFiber® Pro Optical Loss Test Set
The CertiFiber Pro Optical Loss Test Set improves the efficiency of fiber optics certification. The Taptive user interface simplifies set-up, eliminates errors and speeds troubleshooting. A set reference wizard ensures correct reference setting and eliminates negative loss errors. Built on the future-ready Versiv platform, CertiFiber Pro Optical Loss Test Set (OLTS) provides merged Tier 1 (Basic) / Tier 2 (Extended) testing and reporting when paired with OptiFiber Pro module.
DSX CableAnalyzer™ Series
The DSX CableAnalyzer Series copper cable certifiers enables testing and certification of twisted pair cabling for up to 40 Gigabit Ethernet deployments and will handle any cabling system whether it is a Cat 5e, 6, 6A, 8 or Class FA and I/II. Certifying a cable is one part of a process that starts with system design and ends with system acceptance.
Open DeviceNet Vendors Association
A global association whose members are comprised of the world’s leading automation companies. ODVA’s mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation.
Certified Cabling Test Technician™ (CCTT) Training
You need to train and certify your existing employees to stay competitive in the installation and certification of high-speed structured cabling systems. Investing in the Fluke Networks Certified Cabling Test Technician™ (CCTT) two-day training and certification program will not only improve installer skills, but also their effectiveness and productivity on the job in testing, certifying and troubleshooting cabling systems.
Copper Testing Best Practices Pocket Guide
The Copper Testing Best Practices Guide is designed to take with you on your smartphone or tablet and provides critical information for structured cabling systems,
Poster: Twisted Pair Certification Testing Methods
Wall poster outlines cable testing standards for shielded Cat 5e, Cat 6 and Cat 6A copper permanent link, patch cord and channel certification testing methods. It includes an overview of when to use each test and detailed diagrams illustrating the methodology and testers necessary to accurately perform certification.
10 Dumb Mistakes
While anyone who installs, tests and certifies a network cabling plant knows the importance of meeting standards performance parameters and ensuring application support, even the best of us can make mistakes that can adversely impact the bottom line and customer satisfaction.
Considerations for the Design & Field Testing of an Optimized High-Power PoE Cabling System
As Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) becomes the preferred method for simultaneously delivering power and data to endpoints, technology companies are introducing new power efficient and PoE specific systems and devices to better serve businesses, enterprise organizations and consumers in general.
Testing Strategies for SYSTIMAX® High Speed Migration Solutions
The SYSTIMAX calculator accurately computes total link loss performance for SYSTIMAX low and ultra-low loss systems. The integration of the SYSTIMAX link loss calculator with Fluke Network’s Versiv provides automated performance for warranty certification for both singlemode and multimode fiber systems.
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.
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