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The basics of structured cabling – definitions and key benefits

23 Sep Posted in Tech

It might be difficult to understand what structured cabling is if you have no technical knowledge in telecommunications or telephone systems, but to put it in simpler words, it represents a type of cabling infrastructure that is built by using small elements that are standardized. In plain language, a structured cabling system helps with improving performance by offering the user more flexibility.

This translated into the possibility of making specific changes without ruining the rest of the infrastructure. It allows upgrades, so there is no need of replacing the whole infrastructure for future proofs. This article will cover the benefits of using a structured cabling infrastructure instead of a conventional point-to-point one in a business.

The basics of structured cabling

The MDA is the heart of the structure

MDA, which means Main Distribution Area, is a component of the structured cabling infrastructure that has to do with cross-connecting. This component allows making the aforementioned changes whenever they are required. The MDA is located in the computer room of the system. The changes that can happen in a structured cabling system are called MACs (Moves, Adds, and Changes). These can be done by using patch cords, as cross-connections.

There are other components included in this system: the Network Operations Center, the entrance room, the Horizontal Distribution Area, the Zone Distribution Area and many more. Understanding what the MDA and MACs are should help you understand how a structured cabling infrastructure works. Websites such as will give you more information about this topic. 

The difference between structured and point-to-point cabling

Business data centers that still use point-to-point cabling have a lot to lose. Direct connections, which refer to point-to-point cabling infrastructures, involve spending more money when changes are required. The likelihood of downtime is tremendous for businesses that rely on point-to-point cabling because it is problematic and has numerous limitations.

For instance, data centers are required to use more ports than initially required, which involves spending money on something unneeded at that time. On the other hand, when all ports are used there is the risk of oversubscription, which is a very dangerous case scenario for businesses. In a totally opposite direction, structured cabling systems don’t carry any recurring maintenance costs and are safer in terms of downtown. Moreover, the risk of oversubscription is thoroughly reduced.

The benefits of structured cabling

Here is why businesses should invest in a structured cabling system instead of a point-to-point one:

  • Future upgrades are possible

By using structured cabling, you can enjoy a future-proof investment, meaning that you no longer have to change the entire system to make a change. You no longer have to disrupt your workflow to adapt your system to the newest needs of the business.

  • It is cost-efficient and simple to use

The flexibility that a structured cable system is offering can help you improve the performance of your business in a short period of time, with minimal costs included. More than that, structured cabling is easy to use, so everyone is able to learn how to make network infrastructure changes through it.