Structured Cabling Systems

When planning your network, Oracle MICROS recommends the Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard TIA/EIA-568-C.

TIA/EIA-568-C defines standards for the implementation of structured cabling systems for commercial buildings and between buildings in a campus environments. It is composed of four sections.

The primary standard, TIA/EIA-568-C.1 defines the general requirements such as cable types, distances, cable termination, and certification methods. -568-C.2 focuses on twisted-pair cabling systems, -568-C.3 covers fiber optic cable systems, and -568-C.4, addresses coaxial cabling components.

The complete specification and related documents are published by Global Engineering Documents (

If a customer requests a structured cabling system other than ANSI/TIA/ EIA-568-C, a disclaimer should be drawn up absolving Oracle MICROS of responsibility for data cable related problems.

Elements of a Structured Cabling SystemA structured cabling system divides premise wiring into five basic elements. Four of these elements are shown in Figure 39. Each component, including the fifth, Network Administration, is discussed in the following paragraphs.

  • Work Area

    The work area encompasses all components between the faceplate and Ethernet based device. This includes the patch cable between the faceplate and Ethernet device. Each work area is served by a telecommunications closet or wiring closet on the same floor.

  • Horizontal Cabling

    This section consists of the cabling between the work area and the telecommunications closet. This includes the faceplates in the work area, the cable run to the faceplates or patch panel in the wiring closet.

    Horizontal cabling can use UTP or STP cables and connection hardware. The use of a 110 connect system to terminate horizontal cables at the wall plate and patch panel is recommended.

    The maximum distance for any horizontal cable run is 90 meters (295 ft.) independent of the cable type. 90 meters allows an additional 10 meters (33 ft.) for patch cables in the work area and wiring closet.

  • Computer Room or Telecommunications Closet

    All buildings should include at least one telecommunications or wiring closet that contains the hardware required to connect the horizontal cable runs from each work area to the patch panels and hubs. Patch panels are key elements of any structured cable system. Moves and changes are performed by moving a modular patch cord on the patch panel. Other devices on the network are unaffected by a change to an individual connection at the patch panel.

    Use appropriate cable routing and dressing fixtures in the wiring closet to eliminate stress caused by tension and to effectively organize cables.

  • Backbone Cabling

    Backbone cabling is the structured cabling element that provides interconnections between multiple wiring closets. However, in a small system that is served by an 8, 12, or 16 port switch/router, a backbone cable is not required unless the POS LAN becomes part of an existing on-site network or requires internet access.

    Fiber is the recommended solution when distances between wiring closets is greater than 100 meters.

  • Network Administration

    While not shown in the illustration, it is as important as any other element of the system. Network Administration encompasses system documentation, security, and backing up user data.

  • System Documentation

    Document even the smallest systems to allow for additions, troubleshooting, and equipment moves. Documentation includes producing a physical plan of the system that maps out the location of each device and the wiring between each.

    Implement password protection schemes on each workstation (and server, if applicable) to prevent unauthorized use of the application software or to prevent unauthorized access to critical data files. Implement a procedure where unique user passwords are created and stored in a central, secure location.

    Deploy procedures to change passwords at regular intervals and to remove the passwords for users who no longer have access to the network.

  • Backups

    Roofs leak, pipes burst, hard disks fail, lightning strikes, and sometimes it even strikes twice. Any number of sources can cause the loss or corruptions of data and application files. Backing up system data and totals on a regular basis and storing them in a safe and secure place is a critical part of Network Administration, and speeds up the recovery process in the event something does go wrong.

    Develop a procedure that defines when server backups occur, how often they are performed, and how often backup tapes are rotated and stored. Backup tapes stored on-site are useless if the building is flooded or burns down. Keeping a second set of backup tapes secure and offsite is a worthwhile precaution.