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Blue Skies Thread, Rewiring an entire school in General; ...
  1. #1

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Rewiring an entire school

    So, me and the boss have been spitballing an idea to get rid of the dozen wall mounted eyesore cabinets we have around the school and having all IT infrastructure go back to a single, purpose built, server/comms room.

    We have about 600 connections around the school, so not a particularly huge number.

    However, these are spread out over 4 buildings.

    Now, my thought on this was to have a new purpose built server room built onto the back of one of the existing buildings, with raised flooring, proper cooling (something like using the heat to heat the underfloor heating in that building during winter, and some form of natural heating during summer, augmented by backup aircon should it be needed.

    However, the cables would all need to get there, so this would mean we need to bury them. Would this be feasible? Underground conduits from each building leading back to the new room? How deep would they need to be buried?

    Thoughts? Ideas? I'd guess such a scheme would end up costing us around £100k, but would free up several store rooms, make our infrastructure sane and sensible and properly secure all the equipment.

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Major limiting factor of all copper cables eg gig/100meg would be 100m limit!!!

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    plexer's Avatar
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    When you are spread over multiple buildings or buildings when a single run would exceed the specs I can't see how you can remove all of the satellite cabinets, sure you can probably remove some of them but at a huge cost.

    Ben

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    fibre connections from your main comms cab to satellite ones for specific blocks id say would be the most feasible way of doing this and would give flexibility within each block. though this isnt what you are trying to achieve would it be an idea to look at smaller cabs which are less of an "eye sore"
    you are going to be limited by the cable run length of copper being 100m point to point which isnt alot when you actually walk the distance out over an actual school site
    Last edited by SHimmer45; 19th January 2011 at 02:04 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesreedersmith View Post
    Major limiting factor of all copper cables eg gig/100meg would be 100m limit!!!
    Good point. This would limit us somewhat. Our site isn't that large, even with multiple buildings, but this would mean we'd need 2 rooms - one at each end of the site.

    We already have cabinets joined by fibres, and this is what my boss wants rid of as they are ugly and ruin the look of the school.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Paint them pretty colours?

    Ben

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Paint them pretty colours?
    Yeah, not gonna work... They'd still be there, intruding into rooms.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Is it really worth all that work just for the look of a few patches of wall? We used to have 1 comms cabinet in the server room, another in the back of our office connected via fiber then everything cabled from there. Tbh it was a nightmare, if you had trouble with the cables you've got massive lumps of Ethernet running everywhere instead of a couple of fiber cables.

    Surely the money would be better used on upgrading the infrastructure in future. Maybe you could look at relocating the cabs into less visible places instead or getting one of those office-type server cabinets that's in the style of a standard cupboard or something along those lines?

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    If there all in one or two rooms you get the advantage of high bandwidth stacking cables. 54GB/s backbone could work out cheaper than 10GB/s fibre

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I would suggest finding some nice cuboards - Here i have loads which are hidden at the top of tall cuboards.

    But if you are rewiring and you find 1 decent cuboard per block this will remove them from the classrooms.

    Something I wish had be thought of better here rather then having so many small ones around the school centralise them into a decent patch panel.

    Couldn't get away with a rewire here i have nearly 2 thousand sockets! (not all used yet tho as some are put in for when we go to a voip telephone system)

  11. #11

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Is it really worth all that work just for the look of a few patches of wall? We used to have 1 comms cabinet in the server room, another in the back of our office connected via fiber then everything cabled from there. Tbh it was a nightmare, if you had trouble with the cables you've got massive lumps of Ethernet running everywhere instead of a couple of fiber cables.

    Surely the money would be better used on upgrading the infrastructure in future. Maybe you could look at relocating the cabs into less visible places instead or getting one of those office-type server cabinets that's in the style of a standard cupboard or something along those lines?
    Our infrastructure is already pretty darn good, equipment-wise.

    The idea would be that everything would be in one place and would be simpler to manage - ie. properly laid out cabinets with cable guides, labelling and purpose provided stuff, not just 'ad-hoc grown' network cabinets.

    I've mentioned the cabinets you mention, but again, they still take up space in teaching areas. Space which is needed too much already.

    And we don't have any spare stores to put anything in, its an old building and space is at a premium.

    The other option is fitting a loft out for comms...

  12. #12

    webman's Avatar
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    Are there no offices or cupboards at all where you could discreetly mount them? There's nothing wrong with network cabinets, and lots of network cabinets doesn't mean it can't be managed properly.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    proper cooling (something like using the heat to heat the underfloor heating in that building during winter, and some form of natural heating during summer, augmented by backup aircon should it be needed.
    Heated swimming pool? If that's too large, how's about a hottub?

    Thoughts? Ideas?
    If you simply want to hide the switch cabinets you can get nice-looking cabinets designed to look more like wardrobes or normal school cupboards. They're accousticly dampened, too, so they hide the noise of a switch's fans.

    You could also look at replacing wired connections with wireless. I spoke to a couple of companies at BETT that reckoned their wireless solutions could completly replace a wired network, although I'd want some careful clarification of any sort of garuntee or service level agreement and maybe some spare equipment standing by.

    --
    David Hicks

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    Well you would need a cabler to come in and discuss the best way of moving to a rationlised layout. If you could pull back cabling to cab locations you it would be cheaper also doing it a whole project it will cost you less than single points.

    One thing we do is we use short patching so we go
    panel
    switch
    panel
    panel
    switch
    panel

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    What happens if you have a major catastrophe and the main building is placed out of commission?



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