Point-to-Point VS Structured Cabling: Which One Is Best for You?

With the emergence of the Internet of Things, the cloud and mobility, much of regarding conversation about network connectivity is focused on wireless. However, cabling isn’t going away. Requirements are evolving, but cabling is still an essential component of any IT environment. Because the life-cycle of a cabling system is typically much longer than most of your IT infrastructure, it is important to understand the primary cabling methods and plan carefully. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of Point-to-Point and Structured Cabling.

What Is Point-to-Point Cabling?

Point-to-point cabling is the older method of creating a data system. This system works by using jumper fiber cables, which connect a switch, server, or storage unit to another such device. Because point-to-point requires a new cable for each individual connection, it’s sufficient for a small data system setup. However, as the number of connections in a data center increases, point-to-point cabling lacks the flexibility necessary when making additions, moves or changes to data center infrastructure.

As computing needs increased and new equipment was added, these point-to-point connections resulted in cabling chaos with associated complexity and higher cost.

When the first data centers were built, end user terminals were connected via point-to-point connections. This was a viable option for small computer rooms with no foreseeable need for growth or reconfiguration.

Benefits of Structured Cabling

Unless your business is small and you don’t anticipate future growth, save yourself the heartache of point-to-point cabling and install a structured cabling system instead. Created in direct response to point-to-point cabling’ limitations, structured cabling provides a hierarchical infrastructure, making it much simpler to connect a large number of units to a single server, for instance. This ability is achieved through distribution areas that provide more versatile connection points, rather than filling the room with cables.

Structured cabling provides a myriad of benefits. Beyond the system’s superior flexibility, structured cabling offers a long-lasting technology, which is built to evolve alongside the company. Even if you undergo a sudden surge of growth, a structured system can keep pace with your needs. Finally, while a structured system is a greater upfront investment than a point-to-point one, it pays for itself over time through lowered IT costs and increased employee productivity.