Horizontal and Backbone Cabling Explained

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Horizontal and Backbone Cabling Explained

Structured cabling solutions heavily involve the use of both horizontal and backbone cabling. These types of cabling support the existence and proper operation of entire IT infrastructures in organizations of all sizes.

Therefore, when dealing with our IT and structuring cabling needs, it is important to know the difference between the different solutions, both of them equally necessary.

There is no choosing between horizontal and backbone cabling. Instead, they coexist and complement each other, serving varied purposes.

Understanding Horizontal Cabling

Horizontal cabling is responsible for effectively interconnecting telecom rooms with WAOs (Work Area Outlet) or individual active workstations. The goal is to be the link between work devices and the central system.

When it comes to designing structured cabling solutions, it’s important to say that horizontal cabling doesn’t run between floors, a connectivity role that is exclusive to backbone cabling.

Horizontal cabling commonly uses CAT5e, CAT6, and CAT6a copper cables and TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) standards demand that no more than 90 meters in cable length can be installed between the WAOs and the end-point in the telecom rooms.

Understanding Backbone Cabling

On the other hand, backbone cabling enables the central IT infrastructure to operate. This cabling solution runs through facilities and buildings, floors, and telecom rooms.

The backbone method is based on the use of fiber optic cable, which is more versatile than the traditional copper cable that is present in horizontal installations. One of the main advantages of the backbone method’s fiber optic cable is the distance this cable can run between telecommunication rooms, something that is not the case with copper’s 90-meter limit.

The Fundamental Difference

As we saw, horizontal and backbone cabling methods serve different purposes and both are necessary for our connectivity needs. They fulfill different roles within the IT infrastructure.

If we want to get into technicalities, we will discover that these types of cabling solutions also differ in the materials they require. Because of their use and the environments they are in, the cables used in backbone installations must comply with reliability standards, making sure, for example, that they will safely tolerate a range of temperatures, support their weight, be fire-resistant, among other requisites.

Solving your Structured Cabling Needs

Either for horizontal or backbone cabling projects, your business will need a partner it can trust. At LayerLogix, we help our clients with quality IT solutions so they can enjoy peace of mind.

We are specialists in structure cabling projects. Our team can take care of your cabling needs, successfully supporting the proper operation of your IT infrastructure.

Call us today and get a quote.

Need Help with IT?

At LayerLogix, we pride ourselves on offering pain-free IT Support and Services. From Networking to Cyber Security, we have solutions to support your business. 

Let us manage and maintain your IT, so you can focus on your core business. For a consultation, call us today at (713) 571-2390.