Not as easy as it looks

One of my late Aunt Jeanne's most-used expressions was, "It's not as easy as it looks, is it?" She used the term almost always in jest ...

From the January, 2014 Issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine

By Patrick McLaughlin

One of my late Aunt Jeanne's most-used expressions was, "It's not as easy as it looks, is it?" She used the term almost always in jest, and most often to lightheartedly remind one of her children (or sometimes her nephew) that until you've been responsible for something, you probably don't realize just how much it takes to accomplish it.

That expression crossed my mind many times as the contents of this issue were coming together, although in our professional sphere the stakes are so high I doubt that the challenges are viewed lightheartedly. We could flip through this issue page-by-page and point out the highly complicated endeavors reflected within.

Carol Everett Oliver discusses the multi-layered landscape of designing and implementing a standards-based infrastructure for security systems. From professional credentials to system standards published by multiple industry groups, the factors that contribute to a well-thought-out, practically implemented security system certainly do not look easy, and may in fact be more challening than they appear on the surface.

Elsewhere in the issue, Masood Shariff takes a comprehensive look at the hows and whys of building a cabling infrastructure that will support the game-changing 802.11ac wireless networks soon to arrive at enterprises around the globe. As Shariff asserts in the article, "If not implemented correctly, the traffic demand for WiFi service can easily outstrip the capabilities of the network's cabling infrastructure." Also within the article he explains why wireless, in the form of 802.11ac, very likely will be the application beyond the capability of Category 6 cabling. (Remember, even 10GBase-T can run on Category 6 under the right circumstances and to certain distances.)

Then we move on to the simple topic of Category 8. (I tried to inject some of my Aunt Jeanne's trademark sarcasm into that last sentence, but found it quite challenging to do so via the keyboard.) In two separate articles, we discuss the complex balancing act that is the Category 8/40GBase-T dynamic. One article explains the delicate balance of technical accomplishment and market acceptance, using Category 8 as a current example. The other article talks about (get this) testing the testers that will test installed Category 8 systems.

As challenging as these technological developments appear, bringing them to fruition also is steeped with difficulty. In many cases they indeed are not as easy as they look.

PATRICK McLAUGHLIN
Chief Editor
patrick@pennwell.com

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