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Hardware Thread, Classroom Network Cabling Question in Technical; Hi All, At our school we are currently having a new classroom block built and I have been asked about ...
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    Exclamation Classroom Network Cabling Question

    Hi All,

    At our school we are currently having a new classroom block built and I have been asked about network cabling. The questions I have are do we have Cat5e or Cat6 installed? What are the pro's and con's? Is there enough positives to warrent the extra cost for Cat6?

    What are you installing in your new classrooms and why?

    This new block will be wired to its own cabinet then connect to the rest of the school via fibre. The rest of the school is Cat5.

    Many Thanks
    Matt

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    Personally we still have cat5e installed as we cannot justify the extra cost of cat6 which we don't believe offers much improvement at all. Cat6 will allow you to run a gigabit network but only if all the other components of your network can run at that speed. Cat5e isn't that far behind anyway and so the difference in cost really doesn't make sense for us.

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    Everyone will tell you if budget exists, get CAT6... except me.

    If you have no plans to get the rest of the infrastructure to CAT6, in my opinion stick with CAT5e. CAT6 speeds rely on the infrastructure in place, not just the cable itself.

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    e_g_r's Avatar
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    If your doing it yourself then CAT5e as CAT6 has to be run like fibre so is more difficult to install.

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    IanT's Avatar
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    We've just had an entire block gutted out and we've put in Cat6, future proof.

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    Sparticus's Avatar
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    If you have gigabit rated components (and your sure they all are) then definitely go for Cat6 - especially if your transferring alot of data - also Cat6 handles being twisted better and un savoury conditions

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    If you want gigabit to the desktop then make sure you have at least a 10gigabit backbone, otherwise your asking for trouble.

    think of the contention ratios of say 10 * 100Mb/s clients transferring data across a 2gb/s backbone compared to 10 * 1GB/s clients transferring across a 2gb/s backbone. Gigabit to the desktop will just slow the rest of the network down unless you upgrade the core first.

    So in summary, cat6 to the desktop is fine if you can afford multiple 10gig network cards in your servers, preterminated OM3 fibre and 10Gb core switches.
    Otherwise just use it for uplinks

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    Sparticus's Avatar
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    oh and dont forget your switches ^ they will chop down your speed depending on how many ports they have and also how many switches you have hanging of each other !

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    If you want gigabit to the desktop then make sure you have at least a 10gigabit backbone, otherwise your asking for trouble.
    Is not true, all our workstations are 1 GbE with 2 GbE trunks that iv never seen saturated, even when imaging entire buildings.

    Personally Cat 5e will be fine for the desktops even at 1GbE speeds, I would spend the money on fibre lines to your switches. Much better future proofing.

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    In the new block we ran Cat6 throughout (panel > cable > points) since everything was new. The classroom > computer room got Cat5e because there wasn't any benefit to Cat6 (it's next door to the server room, you could run 10G to the desktop on Cat5e from there). The bits and pieces will probably get Cat6 because I have a bit left over and the runs go through dodgy areas where Cat6 would be of benefit.

    How difficult Cat6 is to run depends on the cable - we have some older stuff where the spline is razor sharp and far too stiff. The recent load from HT is more flexible and nearly as easy to run as Cat5e.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We're having a new block built also, and we're going with Cat5e too. I simply can't see the need for Cat6 for us.

    Cat5e can handle gigabit ethernet just fine, so those machines that want or need such connectivity could have it (as yet to find one that needs it other than my own), so why Cat6?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobFuller View Post
    Is not true, all our workstations are 1 GbE with 2 GbE trunks that iv never seen saturated, even when imaging entire buildings.
    You seem to be saying you don't need 1Gb/s desktops, if you did - the 2Gb/s would be saturated - easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Cat5e can handle gigabit ethernet just fine, so those machines that want or need such connectivity could have it (as yet to find one that needs it other than my own), so why Cat6?
    Because I (or anyone else for that matter) can wire that block once (neatly as least, without doing hideous wall-mounted trunked runs). The roofspace is now full of blown insulation to a depth of about 18 inches where it'll fit. The crawlspace in the roof is 6 inches high in the lowest parts and about a meter at the highest. There are closely packed roof trusses/beams every 60cms in all directions.

    So I decided to run Cat6 because that building is unlikely to be rewired in the next 20 years. Bear in mind 20 years ago a gigabyte was enormous and you could fit a whole suite of office applications on a single floppy.

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    We're in the process of re-cabling the entire site using Cat5e. I just couldn't justify the additional cost of Cat6 over properly terminated and tested Cat5e given that they'll perform to pretty similar levels.

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    CAT6 for us, we now have heading towards half the building on CAT6, any upgrade and new install is CAT6 now

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