By Patrick Mclaughlin
The building that adorns this issue's front cover is the recently constructed computer science building at Stony Brook University, located on Long Island's north shore. The article beginning on page 12 tells the story of the cabling within this new building, including the process by which the cabling technology was selected and installed.
We chose this article as our cover story not just because it includes a nice-looking photo of the building, but more importantly, because the story represents the essence of the Cabling Innovators Awards program we recently completed. The cabling project at Stony Brook was an honoree in that program because its conceptualization, execution and administration demonstrate not just incremental improvement, but makred improvement over other methods, approahces, and system use. Told by Siemon, the cabling-technology provider for the project, the article describes how the use of a Category 7A cabling system and the implementation of cable sharing are innovative in each of the characteristics we identified in the Cabling Innovators Awards program.
It provides value to the user because, as Stony Brook's director of computer operations Ken Gladky noted, "While we would have deployed the same number of connections if we had gone with Category 6A, with TERA we don't expect to have to run any more cables for future use. This will save us in the long run." It is a sustainable techology deployment in that cable sharing makes use of pairs that otherwise would have been left unused in four-pair channels dedicated to an application that required just one or two pairs.
The cabling technology deployment at Stony Brook met the user's defined needs, including distance requirements of 100 meters and the existence of a single main equipment room where all the building's connections converge. It also paves the way for future higher-power Power over Ethernet distribution.
The project was a good example of collaboration among a number of involved parties, from the technology manufacturer to the end-user organization, and along the way a consulting engineer, infrastructure installer, and distributor.
The project and the building within which it was carried out make a significant impact on the university and its network users. The building aims to accelerate Stony Brook University's growth in a number of research areas. And with the structured cabling infrastructure it has in place, it is poised to do exactly that.