Networks Europe March/April 2019 - Page 38

38 FUTURE-PROOFING "Choosing the optimal solution needs to be based on a clear overview of your specific network requirements, as well as energy consumption, maintenance, installation and administration" be made which inevitably makes things difficult. In historical buildings, for example, floors can’t be raised. A site may have limited space for cable trays or distributions rooms. Knowing the intended usage and environmental factors at different locations help to define solutions that improve performance where it counts, without compromising in other areas. Besides functional requirements, you need to consider available space and pathways, the environment into which cables will be installed, security and fire performance. These affect the safety of people and systems and, of course, the extent to which you are compliant with local and international regulations. Performance of network equipment and cabling can be affected by extreme temperatures, chemicals, Electromagnetic Interference, crushing, flex, moisture and so on. This can result in failures in applications where downtime is least acceptable. Cables used in buildings and other civil works are assessed with regard to their ‘reaction to fire’. All copper and fibre power, control and communication cables are included in the scope of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). When choosing a solution, it’s important to realise that mandatory cable types in specific applications can differ between regions. 3. Flexibility How do you ensure your network is flexible enough to accommodate probable future requirements? The way in which a building is used is likely to change over time. The number of people and devices may increase or decrease, and new applications may be introduced. By making smart choices at the outset, you can ensure the network will be able to handle requirements for years to come. Vast, complex and constantly evolving systems need fully automated monitoring and control, asset management and utilisation and deployment of new services. To satisfy compliance and legal requirements, you will also require status reports, trend analyses and audit trails. Efficiently managing a system means tasks need to be automated and centrally managed. This reduces operational costs, improves asset management and utilisation, and makes it easier to deploy new services. Smart choices Choosing the optimal, most cost-effective solution needs to be based on a clear overview and roadmap of your specific network requirements, as well as energy consumption, maintenance, installation and administration. You need to consider the cost incurred by maintenance or moves adds and changes, reliability, and ease of installation and maintenance. Selecting the correct type and quality for each part of the network really pays off in the long run Determining current and future requirements result in faster, more efficient rollouts, solutions that perform exactly as specified, optimised TCO, enhanced energy efficiency and systems that will remain in business for years to come. n