Why test data cabling?

The data cabling of any organisation can be seen as analogous to the neural pathways in the brain. They not only allow for the flow of information, but directly influence the speed and efficiency with which information can be transferred. It is should come as no surprise, therefore that testing of data cables is of great importance. All copper and fibre cables need to be tested periodically, because if not there is no knowing whether they are functioning at full capacity. If a fault has occurred in the data cabling infrastructure there is a really strong chance that productivity will drop. Data cabling serves as the structure that brings together customers, suppliers and colleagues alike. All organisations will benefit from adopting a cable testing schedule.

How is data cabling tested?

Data, or structured cabling must go through a series of tests to establish its working condition.  Some of these tests require a substantial investment in test equipment, annual calibrations and test lead replacements. The testing process goes way beyond hunting for physical damage and will also assess how well the structured cabling has been installed among other things. 15 separate tests will be carried out before the cabling passes or fails. The testing process requires that a test standard is entered into the testing equipment to establish a pass mark according to industry standards. Among the subsequent 15 tests include:

  • Length – every cable has a limit as to the maximum length they can transmit data effectively. Measuring length ensures there are no cables exceeding this limit.
  • Wire mapping – this test ensures that the cabling is free of any shorts and that the eight cores are wired correctly.
  • Return loss – it is vital to ensure that there’s no power loss in signal transmitted along structured cabling. The return loss test identifies any such losses.

In addition to these three vital tests there are tests for attenuation, near-end crosstalk, return loss, alien crosstalk, resistance, impedance and capacitance.

Every one of the 15 tests must achieve a pass for the cabling to obtain a total pass, thus ensuring the structured cabling meets industry standards. All failures should be fixed and tests reapplied until passed. If a cable continually fails a new cable must be installed to achieve a pass.

Who carries out tests on data cabling?

It is impossible to overstate the importance of working with network cable technicians when carrying out tests on structured / data cabling. Not only will they be fully versed in the specific tests that need carrying out, they will also work to the required national or international standards. Precision is key in testing data cabling and this is where the experts come in. Their test results will come in the form of a comprehensive docket that provides physical, accredited proof that your cabling has passed testing, while documenting and dating any work that was carried out to facilitate a pass.

Preventing Network Outages and Data Loss

Preventing network outages and data loss is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Here are some of the key reasons why:

1. Impact on business operations

Network outages can bring business operations to a halt, causing significant disruption and financial losses. Employees may be unable to access critical data or applications, customers may be unable to place orders or receive services, and revenue streams can dry up. In some cases, network outages can even lead to damage to reputation and customer relationships.

2. Loss of productivity and revenue

Network outages can cause a major loss of productivity and revenue. According to a study by Cisco, the average cost of an hour-long network outage is £10,000 for SMBs and £240,000 for enterprises. This includes the cost of lost productivity, lost sales, and the costs of IT support and repairs.

3. Compliance and legal risks

Data loss can lead to compliance and legal risks. Businesses are increasingly required to comply with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. Data breaches can result in fines, lawsuits, and damage to reputation.

4. Customer satisfaction and loyalty

Network outages and data loss can erode customer satisfaction and loyalty. If customers are unable to access your services or products, they may switch to a competitor. In the long run, this can damage your brand reputation and make it difficult to attract and retain customers.

5. Reputational damage

Network outages and data loss can cause significant reputational damage. If your company is seen as unreliable or incompetent, it can deter potential customers and partners.

6. Security risks

Network outages can create security risks. When networks are down, firewalls may not be able to protect against cyberattacks. This can make systems more vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and other attacks.

7. Increased costs

Network outages and data loss can lead to increased costs. Businesses may need to pay for emergency IT support, overtime for employees, and damage control efforts.

8. Loss of customer trust

Network outages and data loss can erode customer trust. If customers believe that their data is not secure or that your business is not reliable, they may be less likely to do business with you in the future.

By taking steps to prevent network outages and data loss, businesses can protect their operations, reputation, and bottom line. Here are some key steps to take:

  • Regularly test and maintain your network equipment. This includes routers, firewalls, switches, and cabling.
  • Implement data loss prevention (DLP) solutions. DLP solutions can help to prevent sensitive data from being lost or stolen.
  • Educate employees about cybersecurity threats. This can help to prevent human error from causing network outages or data loss.
  • Back up your data regularly. This will help to ensure that you can recover from data loss events.
  • Have a disaster recovery plan in place. This plan should outline how you will restore your business operations in the event of a major outage.

By taking these steps, businesses can significantly reduce their risk of network outages and data loss and protect their valuable assets.