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New Building Network Design – Whitepaper


New Building network Design

Paul McCherry






Abstract. 5

Introduction. 6

Findings. 7

Building Analysis. 7

Cabling. 8

Cable Termination. 8

Planned Network Topology. 9

Recommendations. 10

Building. 10

Network Topology. 11

Cabling. 12

Main Distribution Facility. 13

Cabinet. 13

Cisco Catalyst Router 2911. 13

Cisco Catalyst Switch 2960-X. 13

Routers. 13

Patch Panels. 13

Cable Management bars. 13

Power Management. 13

Cabinet cooling. 13

Addressing Scheme. 14

Curriculum.. 14

Voice. 14

Admin & Staff. 14

Conclusion. 15

Future IPV 6 Implementation. 15


Appendices. 16

Appendix A.1. 16

Rack Layout. 16

Appendix A.2. 17

Addressing & Subnet Colour Scheme Table. 17

Appendix A.3. 18

Logical Network Diagram.. 18

Appendix A.4. 19

Floor Plan & Cable Path. 19

Appendix A.5. 20

TIA/EIA T568B Wiring diagram.. 20

Appendix A.6. 21

Equipment Details. 21

References. 22

Bibliography. 24




A new building is being built to house a combination of teaching PC lab, office space and an undergraduate study area. I have written this report in order to provide recommendations, taking into account network requirements, and produce a design for the network infrastructure.

My report first looks at the building design and analyses and identifies any specific additional requirements that will be required during the build. I also identify the most suitable location for the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) and the specific cabling system and layout.

It provides recommendations on the cabling path throughout the building and the requirement for a raised floor to accommodate this recommendation.

The specific equipment required is listed along with costs.

My report concludes with assurances that the network has been designed to provide the necessary bandwidth expected of high end media users. It also explains that the recommended infrastructure will fully support foreseeable trends such the arrival of Internet Protocol  Version 6 (IPV6) and Cat 6 10 Gbyte bandwidth.





The purpose of this report is to propose a network infrastructure design for the first floor of a new building. The design will take into account not only the first floor equipment but also future network requirements for the ground floor, items such as subnet sizes, router interfaces and switch sizes will be sized and configured accordingly.

It is noted that the use of the building is for a creative media department. Creative media implies the use of video, images, music and voice and therefore it would be prudent to ensure bandwidth is maximised.

The network subnet mask that has been provided is /24. This is an IPV4 address and the network will be designed around the IPV4 subnet structure, However IPV6 will be discussed and taken into account where appropriate.











Building Analysis


The size of the building is 17.3 m by 26m and the proposed cabling path layout (See Appendix A.4) shows that a maximum cable run of 41 metres to the furthest pc is required. This is well within the 100 metres cable length limit specified by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) for cat 5/5e/6 running at 1gb bandwidth. (Telecommunication Industry Association, 2012) and is within the maximum TIA recommended distance of 55 metres for cat 6 cable running at 10 Gigabit bandwidth. (Cableorganizer.com, 2014)

The most suitable room to be utilised for the main distribution facility will be an office on the first floor with ease of access to the ground floor for future expansion. First floor installations also offer protection against floods.  A first floor office will provide a centralised point in which to run the cables from. This room should also be physically secure with suitable authorised access in place.




Cabling Findings


CabeOrganizer.com identifies three type of copper cable are currently in use for network infrastructure, cat 5 cat 5e and cat 6. Of these cat 6 is the most advanced and provides the best performance. It is ideal for supporting communications upto10 Gigabit Bandwidth. (M2PressWire, 2008)

A fourth type of copper cable is now available, cat 6a, this is cat 6 augmented and its main advantage is that it improves the maximum length of cat6 to 100 metres when running at 10 Gigabit. Cat 6 maximum length is 55 meters at 10 Gigabit. (Cableorganizer.com, 2014)

The disadvantages of Cat 6a is that it is heavier than cat 6, requires additional testing and is prone to crushing so you cannot run more than 50 cables in a single bundle. (Cableorganizer.com, 2014)

Optical Fibre and cat 6 both support 1000Base-T and 10Gbase-T. Costs for fibre have been reducing over the past years and there is now an argument to utilise fibre especially between distribution frames or over long lengths.  Due to installation costs it is not currently utilised for general LAN to device cabling. (Cableorganizer.com, 2014)

There are two types of cat 6 copper cabling, Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and Shielded twisted pair (STP).  Unshielded twisted pair relies on positive and negative interference on each twisted pair to cancel out the interference. Shielded twisted pair cancels interference by additionally utilising a conducting shield which protects the data wires from interference (Bolcar, 1995)

Bolcar continues to explain that UTP is lightweight and flexible and is well suited for this type of installation with millions of installations. This type of cable should be used for well-engineered structured cabling systems. (Bolcar, 1995)


Cable Termination


Cable termination should be according to the TIA/EIA T568B wiring scheme (Telecommunication Industry Association, 2012)

Using RJ45 cat 6 modules at the wall points and 48 port cat 6 patch panels at the cabinet. The TIA/EIA T568B wiring scheme is shown at Appendix A.5








It is proposed that the cabinet be installed upstairs in one of the staff offices as shown in Appendix A.4.

The doorway needs to be wide enough to allow a cabinet of 800mm wide to fit through. Otherwise the cabinet will need to come flat packed and built in-situ.

As this is a staff office it is assumed that physical security such as an authorised entry system will already be in place. This office also offers good access to the ground floor via  a storage closet directly beneath. This will be useful for future expansion of the network into the ground floor.

A specialised computer air conditioning unit will not be necessary. Stulz Uk for example recommend to begin utilising their lowest model air conditioner at a heat output of 17.4 KW. (Stulz UK Ltd., 2014). The output from 4 switches and 1 router is far below this heat output, each switch uses approximately 30-45 watts (Cisco, 2008) and the router a further 50 watts. (Cisco, 2014)

Some form of office air conditioning should be installed simply for occupancy comfort as the additional heat output of the equipment may make the room uncomfortable. . (Stulz UK Ltd., 2014)

It is recommended that 3 compartment Dado trunking be installed around each room to carry the necessary cables to the network points. This trunking can also be utilised to carry power cables to power points necessary for the IT equipment.

It is also recommended that a raised floor be installed throughout to allow cable trays to be fitted under the floor. (See Appendix A.4 ) This will also allow the fitment of a floor plate (see Appendix A.7) which will be required in the main conference room. This keeps the network cables away from the magnetic flux of fluorescent fittings in the ceiling and therefore reduces data interference. (The University of Edinburgh, 2011)






Cat 6 UTP cabling is the recommended standard of cabling to be utilised throughout.  (See Cabling Findings) For example see Appendix A.5

Vertical Cabling


There is no intermediate distribution frame currently required for this planned installation and therefore no vertical cabling, ie cables  between distribution frames is necessary.

Colour cabling dependant on subnet is utilised within the Main Distribution frame (MDF) for ease of fault diagnosis and traceability. (See Appendix A.2). All cabling, patch panels and modules must be cat 6 approved and fully tested to Cat 6 standards.

Three metre patch leads of the correct colour (see Appendix A.2) should be fitted between the patch panel and the relevant switch.

Horizontal Cabling


The network cable from the back of the patch panel should be run to each room through the raised floor void on cable trays such as those shown in Appendix A.6. The cable runs are shown in Appendix A.4. The cable will then run through trunking up the wall into Dado trunking and finally to the cat 6 modules within the faceplates as can be seen in Appendix A.6


A two metre patch lead of the correct colour (see Appendix A.2) should be fitted from the wall point to the device.

The maximum single cabling length for the building is estimated to be 46 metres, this takes into account the 2 patch leads at each end. This means that cat 6 cabling provides for future 10 gigabit bandwidth requirements without the need for the added complications of utilising cat 6a technology. (Cableorganizer.com, 2014)

It is therefore proposed to use Category 6 cabling standards.. This provides for gigabit over Ethernet and whilst being up to 20% more expensive than cat 5e it will support possible future video data requirements to which Cat 6 is particularly suited. This is due to lower signal losses and better transmission than cat 5e.  (Kish, 2002, p. 5)

Cat 6 modules are to be installed in the faceplates at the wall points. (See Appendix A.6)

Within the main boardroom it is recommended to utilise a Floor Plate such as that shown in Appendix A.7




Main Distribution Frame


The MDF must be grounded to the building to ensure fire risks due to electro static discharge are kept to a minimum. Some equipment also have grounding points and these should be used to ground that item to the rack. (Cisco, 2014, p. 2/10).



The cabinet is a 42U 800mm wide by 600mm deep cabinet. This easily provides storage for all of the current equipment with ample space for additional future equipment. (See Appendix A.1) An 800 mm wide cabinet allows for leads to be easily run down vertical cable runs on each side of the cabinet. (Excel, 2014, p. 7)  At 600 mm depth the cabinet easily copes with the switches and larger router size. (Cisco, 2014)

The Cabinet layout has been designed with future expansion capabilities and load bearing steadfastness in mind.  The heavier equipment, such as the router and switches are installed at the bottom of the rack. The lighter equipment such as the patch ports are placed at the top. This leaves space in the middle for future expansion of additional switches and patch panels.  (See Appendix A.1)

Cisco Catalyst Router 2911


The Cisco 2911 Router comes with 3 integrated 10/100/100 Ethernet Ports and 2 Wan Interface Card expansion slots. (Cisco, 2009)

One of these slots will be utilised for a NM-2FE2V interface card which provides an additional 2 Fast Ethernet ports. This provides 5 Ethernet ports, 4 of which will be utilised for the 4 subnets and 1 for the data feed.from the campus network. (Cisco, 2009)

Cisco Catalyst Switch 2960-X


Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches are fixed configuration which means they do not have pluggable modules for expansion, they are however stackable and scalable gigabit Ethernet switches providing enterprise-class access. (Cisco, 2014)

One of these switches will be a 48 port switch for use with the voice network. The other 3 will be 24 port switches, one each for the staff, admin and curriculum networks.



The cabling colour is yellow for the cables from the switches to the routers. This readily identifies these 4 cables within the rack.(see Appendix A.2)



Patch Panels


48 port cat 6 patch panels are to be fitted to the cabinet to provide ease of re patching from the wall points to the switches.

Cable Management bars


Horizontal cable management bars underneath each switch, router and patch panel will ensure tidy cable runs.

Power Management


Vertical Power Extensions attached to the rear of the cabinet will provide the necessary power points for the routers and switches.

Cabinet cooling


A fan has been included to ensure equipment is kept cool. At 28 decibels it is very quiet. Therefore this should not be audible to staff members working in the room. (Mayflex, 2014)



Physical Network Topology


The router has 5 interfaces, four of which are connected to switches belonging to each subnet. The fifth provides the route to the external campus network.


Layer 3


The router is a Cisco 2911 with an additional 2 port fast Ethernet interface which brings the total number of network interfaces to five. The cisco 2911 Router is a layer 3 device which routes IP frames dependant on the TCP/IP network address and the net mask. The IOS on this router supports IP version 6 to ensure any future IPV6 requirements are fully met. (Cisco, 2014)

Layer 2


Each router interface is assigned a network address and net mask and is connected to one or more 2960X switches.  A switch is a layer 2 device which switches network packets dependent on the source and destination MAC address and is encapsulated within the layer 2 frame.  The IOS on this switch also supports IP version 6 to ensure any future IPV6 requirements are fully met. The 2960X switches are much faster than the older 2960 switches with switching capacities up to 216 Gbps compared to 17.6 Gbps. (Cisco, 2014)

Layer 1


It is recommended that the network interface cards (NIC) on the PC’s should be 1 gigabit Ethernet cards which will provide high performance for handling the high transfer rates necessary for creative media data. All NIC’s now support IPV6. The NIC translates the frames into electrical signals onto the cable media. (Murphy, 2009)


Logical Network Topology


The network address  has been supplied as the subnet to use for the building network. No IPV6 network address has been provided however the network infrastructure fully supports IPV6. The logical network topology is shown at Appendix A.3.

Addressing Scheme


The network address has been broken down into four subnets. Two addresses on each network are reserved for the network address and the broadcast address. The first useable IP address of each subnet has been selected for the relevant router interface. (See Appendix A.2).


The subnet is and this allows up to 126 devices to be connected.(See Appendix A.2)

Although there are currently only 4 Pcs connected to the Curriculum network on this floor, the subnet has been created to take into account the future expansion of the network into the ground floor. This makes the Curriculum subnet the largest of the 4 networks.


The subnet is This allows up to 62 devices to be connected. (See Appendix A.2)

There are 29 phones on this floor and there is a future requirement for 3 on the ground floor making a total of 32 ports in total. Two additional IP addresses are also required for the network address and broadcast address therefore a total of 34 IP addresses will be required. A 24 port switch would not be large enough for 32 phones and therefore it is recommended that a 48 port switch be installed for the voice network.

There are other alternatives to installing a 48 port switch, for example an additional 24 port distribution switch could be installed in an intermediate Distribution frame on the ground floor for the phones on this floor but the physical distribution and number of phones on the ground floor would not reduce the cost of the cabling and would increase the complexity of the infrastructure.

Many IP phones now have a built in 2 way switch allowing the computer to be plugged into the phone, offering another alternative. This would reduce the cabling and the infrastructure costs but in order to provide a comprehensive sub-netting scheme example it is proposed to keep the phones on a totally different subnet and switch.

Admin & Staff

The admin subnet is offering support for up to 30 devices. The Staff subnet is again offering support for up to 30 devices.(See Appendix A.2)

Both of these networks require less than 32 but more than 16 Ip addresses so the subnet has been calculated to take into account the numbers of equipment required on each network.




The equipment necessary for the installation is listed at Appendix B.1 along with costs. Labour costs have not been included.

All routers and switches chosen support IPV6 and use the LAN Base IOS images, the less expensive models utilise the LAN Lite IOS image which do not support IPV6 and therefore these models have been disregarded as solutions. (Cisco, 2014)

To ensure the network supports high bandwidth users the whole network has been designed to provide CAT 6 specification 10gb bandwidth direct to the end devices if required. It also fully supports IPV6 to ensure the infrastructure supports foreseeable future trends .

A full price list for the equipment required is included in Appendix B.1


Appendix A.1

Main Distribution Frame Rack Layout



Main Distribution frame

Main Distribution frame

Appendix A.2

Addressing & Subnet Colour Scheme Table

Network Colour Code Network CIDR Notation Net Mask
Curriculum Network Address /25
Curriculum Router    
Curriculum Broadcast  
Voice Network Address /26
Voice Router    
Voice Broadcast  
Admin Network Address /27
Admin Router    
Admin Broadcast
Staff Network Address /27
Staff Router    
Staff Broadcast
Router Cables Yellow From Switch to Router



Appendix A.3

Logical Network Diagram

logical network diagram

logical network diagram


Appendix A.4

Floor Plan & Cable Path

floor plan

floor plan



Appendix A.5

TIA/EIA T568B Wiring diagrams

UTP Wiring colour codes

UTP Wiring colour codes

wiring diagram 2

Cable wiring diagram

Cable wiring diagram





Appendix A.6

Cable Trays Trunking and Wiring Placement






Wall Section

wall section

wall section

















Cable Tray










cable tray

cable tray

Appendix A.7

Floor Plate


floor plate

floor plate


Appendix B.1

Equipment Details


Off Description Supplier Reference Price
1 42u Excel 800mmx600m Cabinet
1 4 way Fan, roof type.
1 2 port Cisco Catalyst 2911 Router
1 2 Port SM-2GE-SFP-CU Interface Card. May also require adapter
1 48 Port 2960X-48FPD-L Cisco Catalyst Switch
3 24 Port  2960X-24UPD-L Cisco Catalyst Switch
2 48 Port Patch Panels cat 6
8 Cable Management Bars
6 3 metre patch lead – green cat 6 use in rack
6 2 metre patch lead – green cat 6
29 3 metre patch lead – purple cat 6 for use in rack
29 2 metre patch lead – purple cat 6 for use at device
22 3 metre patch lead – blue cat 6 for use in rack
22 2 metre patch lead – blue cat 6 for use at device
18 3 metre patch lead – red cat 6 for use in rack
18 2 metre patch lead – red cat 6 for use at device
4 3 metre patch lead – yellow cat 6 for switch to router
1  8 Way Filtered 45 Angle UK Socket PDU – UK Plug – Vertical
6 305 metre rolls cat 6 cable
44 single gang faceplates(accommodates 2 x cat 6 modules)
19 faceplate blanking covers
1 floor plate
1 Pack Cage nuts
73 unscreened cat 6 modules
9 Cable tray 300mm wide x 30mm high x 6metres
1 Earth bonding pack
Final total








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