Data cabling and installation are important issues for people who rely on network or computer systems to store, retrieve, distribute, and protect sensitive information. A poorly installed or configured network can cause loss of data, productivity, and time. Installing a costly network involves more than just selecting the right equipment. It also involves planning how to wire the system to prevent disruption to normal business operations. A lack of proper planning can result in high costs, missed opportunities, and frustration. When it comes to cables, reliability is key.
Finding Costs Requires Planning
Get a Rough Estimate on Distances
Planning for network cabling and installation involves considering the physical distance between routers, switches, hubs, or other computer network elements. The physical distance refers to distances between the elements as well as between points that are physically connected.
Determine What Tools You Will Need
Before setting up the network, it is important to consider the equipment’s total cost, cabling, and installation. The cost of the network cabling itself is a key consideration since it is the cost of transporting the cable over long distances. Also, upgrades and maintenance are other costs that must be accounted for. In most cases, a company’s IT department will provide the bulk of network cabling costs. Therefore, when a company installs a computer network, it should ensure that the IT department provides the bulk of the project’s funding.
What Are the Material costs?
When a company plans the network, it should also consider the cost of data cabling. This includes the cost of installing the cabling and the cost of procuring compatible equipment. Network cabling must be compatible with the hardware that will be using it. For example, if you plan on using 10GBit Ethernet, CAT6 will be required for the installation.
What About Labor Costs?
If your company does not have a certified installer within their IT department, it is advised to hire an IT professional to perform the installation, especially if it’s mission critical equipment. Some examples would be Fiber Channel (FC) cards, internal modems, servers, backup servers, and backup tapes. These trained professionals do not come cheap and can cost over 100 dollars per hour. A rough estimate would be 8 hours per server installation and 1 hour for every 50 ft of cable.
Plan For the Future
If you choose to hire an IT professional to perform the installation, you will want to inquire about the costs associated with any professional upgrades that may need to be performed. Professional upgrading is not uncommon, and the fees associated with these services vary by company. It would help if you also inquired about which professional service your cabling needs will be taken care of. Often, some cabling tasks are taken care of by a single professional who will bill you for the specific services. Other companies assign an entire team to each cabling job. This will entail a higher initial cost, but the services will be completed more quickly because of the number of personnel assigned to the job.
Whether you decide to hire an IT professional or hire an installation crew, the initial cost of data cabling and installation should not dissuade you from installing your own network. In fact, the cost of your own network will likely be less than the cost of having a professional install cabling for you. The initial cost of your own cabling installation may even be less than the cost of hiring someone else to do the same job!