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Analysis / Enterprise

The Basics: Point-To-Point Cabling Versus Structured Cabling – What You Need To Know

Messy Rack

Your organization is having its own data center, and an extremely critical part of its existence is its cabling system that connects its servers, switches, and storage units. There are two basic methods used in setting up data center cabling systems, namely, point-to-point cabling and structured cabling. If this is your first time ever to hear of these two cabling methods, here’s what you need to know about them.

Point-to-point cabling lets you directly connect a server, switch, or storage unit to another one

As if it wasn’t already obvious enough in the name itself, point-to-point cabling is a system that allows you to connect two servers, switches, and storage units to each other on a one-to-one basis. It’s a simple, fuss-free way of setting up an overly basic network infrastructure – though not so much once your organization starts needing more servers, switches, and storage units for its data center as you’ll find out later.

Structured cabling lets you connect servers, switches, and storage units to each other by way of a common patch panel

Compared with point-to-point cabling that allows direct connections to be made between two servers, switches, or storage units, structured cabling uses a patch panel that serves as a middleman between two or more servers, switches, and storage units. Structured cabling is particularly helpful if you need to connect one server, switch, or storage unit to several others and vice versa, something that you wouldn’t be able to do with point-to-point cabling.

Despite the appealing simplicity of point-to-point cabling, your organization’s data center might be better off with a structured cabling system in place

Point-to-point cabling is generally a good idea if you only have a handful of servers, switches, and storage units to connect to each other and manage in your organization’s data center. However, once your organization begins to grow and would thus need additional servers, switches, and storage units for its data center, connecting them to each other using the point-to-point method would only result in a tangled mess of data cables that don’t look good at all in the eyes of any casual observer and can result in countless networking setup mistakes.

On the other hand, structured cabling provides enough room for your organization’s future growth and subsequent need for additional servers, switches, and storage units for its data center as a patch panel can accommodate tens or even hundreds of connections. Structured cabling is also more clean looking and more organized compared with its point-to-point counterpart.

You can set up your organization’s data center networking infrastructure using structured cabling on your own if you have previous experience doing it yourself. But to save time, you can also consider hiring a professional cabling solution provider instead. All you’ll need to do is to click here and let them take care of all the work for you.

Almost every organization out there accesses information that travels back and forth through a data center. Thus, the importance of data centers couldn’t be underestimated. However, your organization’s data center wouldn’t exist at all if you’ll just leave all its servers, switches, and storage units gathering dust. You’ll have to connect them together using data cables and by applying either point-to-point cabling or structured cabling, the basics of which have been discussed above. It’s entirely up to you which among the two basic cabling methods you plan on using as long as it meets your organization’s data center needs.

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David Richardson considers himself a technology enthusiast, having developed a love for gadgets and all things hardware even as a young boy. He’s cultivated these interests and have begun sharing them with his pieces, now as a writer and contributor for sites such as Basic Solutions. He tries to ensure his pieces are understandable and comprehensible enough for readers to understand his subject matter, but also entertaining to keep them reading until the end.