What do developers and contractors need to think about before, during and after any new commercial, industrial or institutional construction?
- A well-performing WLAN cannot exist, if tied to a poorly operating wired LAN. Good physical IT infrastructure design incorporates:
- Proper closet (IDF) layout/locations within a structure
- Redundant power & fiber feeds (using diverse paths) to every closet;
- Proper HVAC (cooling) for estimated current loads.
- Wireless technology is still changing every 18 months, but the wired infrastructure will have to remain functional for at least 5-7 years. Plan for the future, when buying new wired electronics. This is especially true for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches.
- Use the highest grade of Cat6/6A cabling available to you. With this approach, you’ll probably have the least difficulty supporting new 2.5 Gbps & 5 Gbps transfer rates, when they become available.
- Especially with today’s sophisticated access points, good wireless physical design can only be accomplished by an on-site RF-based site survey (“AP on a stick” method) after all construction is truly complete. Performing ‘predictive-model’ surveys, based solely on blueprints, should only be used for generating the bill-of-materials (BoM) necessary to scope the hardware purchase.
- The best alternative for a property developer or wiring contractor to use in estimating Ethernet drop placement locations for WLAN access points (APs) is to take the count of APs from the BoM phase, and evenly distribute those drops through the covered space, adding a 15’ service loop at each end. Unless wireless Location Services (RTLS) have been specified, avoid placing drops on the periphery of a covered space.