|Yay, networking, my favorite...|
Ok, so I'm helping a school that is in really bad shape. Their enrollment is WAY down, and they're trying to improve their technology.
On to more...
Their current building is fairly large, your basic parochial school, about 30 yrs old, concrete block walls, drop ceiling...
The cat5 network was put in about 9 years ago in 2000.
It was put in by parent volunteers who probably didn't know what they were doing, and didn't know what code restrictions were. They pulled wire wherever they wanted to, not hanging it or securing it to anything. Plus, they crossed a lot of electrical and other building wiring, which should NEVER be done.
Everything was just perfect until this year when we tried to deploy a backup system. Well, in some parts of the building, the backups would just zip by, and others, it would take DAYS! Generally, the size of the backups were about the same. (They're incrementals, just in case that mattered)
Lo and Behold, the speeds of the network vary. Some computers are getting the full 100 MBPS, while others were getting 10, and others getting anywhere in between. One even got 2. (BTW: this is all local network, we're not getting in to internet.)
I suspect this is because of electrical wiring interference??
And, when the school went to conduct a fire drill, a pull station was pulled, and NOTHING happened. Thank God this was a drill.
Once again, Lo and Behold, it was network interference. Turn the switches off, the pull station works just fine. Turn it back on, it doesn't. This is a serious safety issue.
We are also thinking that the volunteers didn't pay any attention to the 100 Meter cat5 rule. Sigh...
Also, they didn't leave enough slack in the wire to strap it to the roof beams, so in order to get it off the rest of the wiring, its all going to have to be rerun. Yay once again, considering I'm gonna get to do it! (**ahem**sarcasm**ahem**)
Have you ever heard of Cat5 causing so many issues before?
So, when we rerun the wire, we'll probably run cat5e to all the drops. That way, we'll have better speed and be able to run it further.
One question: If we were to futureproof ourselves and run cat6 drops to each classroom, could we plug in all our existing cat5/cat5e patch cables to the computers?? Or would we need to make all new cat6 patch cables??
Thanks in advance,