It is rare that people think to factor in the growth of a company, or the launching of new products and services when estimating future bandwith requirements. But, failure to make an accurate assessment of future bandwith requirements can end up costing a lot of money. Unfortunately, estimating future bandwith is both complex and often speculative. As an example, it might seem that doubling the number of employees in a company would result in a doubling of the network bandwith demand. Rarely is it so straightforward, however. Consider that several of the new employees might be multimedia authors, who generally have much higher bandwith requirements. Also consider that bringing on several new sales people means bringing on the back-and-forth communication between those sales people and all their customers. Perhaps the sales department has decided to host an in-house, web-based CRM implementation – this could result in an increase in bandwith requirements that are far out of proportion to the rest of the users on the network. Because of such factors as these, it is important that a network administrator have knowledge of the future plans for a business when planning a structured cabling implementation. Generally speaking, it is far less costly to “future proof” a structured cabling implementation than it is to replace the existing cabling once it becomes apparent that it is not sufficient to meet the demands of the network.
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