Help me build a Professional Home Network.

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by next-Jin, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. next-Jin

    next-Jin [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Im moving into a new home that did not get any sort of networking cabling ran. I’m lucky enough to be able to do it however I want with a huge attic and large crawlspace.

    I would like to have a wall mounted 12U rack that will house everything and looking at around 24 drops at max.

    I’ve been in communications for 18 years and have a few years experience now with Ubiquiti so I’m leaning towards them.

    House is 2300 sq feet. When I get the blueprints I’ll upload them. Single story home, rack will probably go in a 4x4 A/C closet in the guest room (9 foot ceilings).

    When I did a cost analysis it came out to around 1500 dollars for Cat6 and 2000 for Cat6a.

    I do not believe any single run will be longer than 120ft.
     
  2. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Question is why? For what purpose?
     
  3. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    If you're going down this route, I'd recommend thinking long and hard about how much work it really is and how many ports you might want...then double it! You're never willingly going to go back and do it again! Plan it all out ahead of time and give it some time. Try alternative solutions and make sure you're set on the layout. Buy quality everything if you think you'll be around. Cabling infrastructure should last past least 25years.

    I've wired my house recently. Decided to go with Commscope Gigaspeed X10D Cat6A because it's quality stuff, really the best,\ (get it on contract overruns off eBay for a more reasonable price) and I personally think that 6A is the end for residential use (at least for long, long time). 6A will support 10G at full lengths and likely 25/40/50G on really short runs, remains to be seen though. The primary reason I think 6A is the end for residential is that all higher standards, to date, require shielded cabling and that's really hard to do properly in a residential setting. You can't just tie the shielding into your service ground, it really should be an entire separate signal ground plane and no one's building houses with that! I do have one friend that reground his entire house to the extreme, huge ground plane worthy of a small datacenter, but that's exceedingly rare.

    I put two wall mounted racks in, one in the garage as the service entrance (5U) and the other in a large closet (12U); hardly ideal locations, but the best I could retrofit and trust me I cut a lot of holes and investigated to the bitter end. Overall, it's acceptable locations. I ended up running 5700ft of cabling and 400ft of conduit for future fiber expansion; although I did do six fixed fiber runs to all but one of my wireless access point locations using Commscope OM-4. The last location must have externally run cables due to fire code reasons. That fiber easily supports 25GbE today and should do 50GbE with no problem. Each access point also has two 6A cables, so I'm set for the foreseeable future; POE, 10GbE-BaseT and probably up to 50GbE, maybe higher since the runs are so short.

    I ended up with 4x 24port Commscope Systimax 360 patch panels (definitely use patch panels!), but with 90x copper and 6x fixed fiber in the 12U and one 48port in the 5U (doesn't count towards the 5U space as it's really 5+2U). I also added an external to the 12U rack, 2U patch rack with space for up to 2x APC surge protected patch panels; I ran a lot of external security camera locations and this is the second surge protection as I have space for a dedicated surge protector at each service entrance (see code), but haven't run those dedicated grounds yet. There's also an external APC surge protection at the service entrance. I did run some cables in my attic, but kept that to an absolute minimum since it exposes the cables unnecessarily. The garage rack is just a Tripp Lite, but the closet rack is a Uacoustic 7250 wall mount because I hate noise if it can be avoided.

    Use quality wall jacks everywhere and where you can't, get the pre-terminated modular plugs as crimping them yourself for 10G and beyond speeds just is a no go. I used these: https://www.commscope.com/catalog/s...ctor/2147497756/product_details.aspx?id=46362

    Recommend you use plenum cable even if it isn't required, just safer in a fire than riser or unrated cable. It costs more, but you're doing this once right? I did use riser on the fixed OM-4 runs because it's what I could find at a reasonable price. Everything else is full plenum rated even though my fire code doesn't require it. Seal everything with the high-end 4hr rated fire caulk or the putty if you might ever want to pull new stuff.

    Make sure you leave enough slack for thermal expansion and contraction. Use the J-hooks and Velcro everywhere and a cable comb is highly recommended. DO NOT use zip ties...EVER. Have someone help you pull the cable so you can be sure to pull it smoothly and without kinks. I used the Panduit J-hooks and fire rated Velcro. See here: https://www.amazon.com/Panduit-JMJH...qid=1534029721&sr=8-1&keywords=panduit+j-hook
    Those should be spaced every 4ft of so, but in residential it's ok to space them closer as you'll be working around other stuff. Buy more than you think you need because you'll use them. Also, buy the right size; smallest which will fit the number of cables you have in mind. Boundle the cable with Velcro between j-hooks. See here: https://www.amazon.com/Panduit-HLT2...qid=1534029847&sr=8-5&keywords=panduit+velcro Look at the product catalog, I don't recall if that specific model I linked too is fire rated or not (just did a quick search).

    Use pre-terminated patch cables if you want 10G and beyond. Don't make your own. If you buy the Commscope Systimax x10D patch cables and examine the terminations, you'll see what I mean. It's impossible to do that by hand...let alone consistently.

    Get a cable tester or rent a certifier. If that's too much, do what I did. I borrowed a basic tester and 1G certifier (Fluke CIQ-100). And then I used an dual port Intel X550-T2 NIC to test the runs. I kept patching them together until I couldn't make 10G speeds anymore. Push data across the link too using a test utility. Best to use runs that share as much length as possible or panels/wall plates to get the most alien cross talk induced. I was able to exceed the max cable length of 10GbE by at least 20% on all my runs despite having something like 14x connectors (which is way out of spec). Even then I got 5G just fine. For the fiber I did the same using an Intel XXV710-DA2 25GbE card. The nice enterprise NICs have built in testing utilities as well. Test, test, and test some more before you close it up. It's a pain, but worth it.

    There's probably lots more, but that's enough for now. What questions do you have?

    FYI, I'm still working on building out my network, but the plan is to run all Ubiquiti Unifi gear. Running 3x ACHDs at the moment, etc.



    Is that a [H] enough home network setup?
     
    Meeho and Vengance_01 like this.
  4. next-Jin

    next-Jin [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Future proof, at least gigabit access across the house with the capability of 10 gigiabit. I don’t want to run into a scenario like a friend of mine who only has Cat5 in his house.

    At least one drop per room 4 in the living room and 8 ceiling drops (4 for perimeter, 4 for APs).

    The house has nothing in it (walls are up though) and I’ll have 3 days with a buddy electricians help. Once my wife starts unpacking and getting things situated it’ll be a nightmare.
     
  5. next-Jin

    next-Jin [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think we are on the same page, trying to get clarification on 6a vs 6 though. With less than 125ft runs why would you go with 6a? Is here a higher standard they fail over to like 6 does with 10gigabit?

    I love super clean and efficient runs, ends, and setups (I might do it in construction when I retire from the Army).

    Another issue is my place has access to AT&T 1Gig service. Can they run the fiber directly to a Ubiquiti Security Gateway Pro?
     
  6. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    Simple answer first, I don't know about AT&T, I have Verizon. However, the FiOS ONT does not have fiber output on it and you couldn't hook it directly up since those are generally not Ethernet based; they're a modified ATM on a Passive Optical Network (PON). Ethernet PON does exist, but it's relatively rare in the USA. ONTs can change and upgrade though. In the end, you kinda get what they give you.

    10G over Cat6 is sort a backwards hack and while it technically may work, it's far from ideal when you have multiple runs together and other interferes such as nearby power cables. I've gotten 10G to work over a really short Cat5e patch cable too, but I wouldn't recommend that. Cat6A is "augmented," which means that it has a way to manage the twisted pairs. This separates them more which reduces cross-talk between the pairs as well as makes them consistent along the run...consistent coupling between pairs is easier for the NICs to contend with and thus maintain 10G speeds. Cat6A is the 10G baseline, Cat6 is the it can work but we won't guarantee it. Cat6 makes sense over Cat5e for POE and the recently approved mGig (2.5/5G) standards. 6A also has much better outer jackets with more empty space which greatly reduces alien cross talk (cable to cable in a bundle). Plus, the jacks are better which reduces end-point cross talk and alien cross talk (jack to jack).

    For me, 6A over 6 is really about making sure my runs will work in the future as the cabling system ages and future proofing. I wanted 10G to work for sure and anything faster to maybe work. Using Cat6 is you want 5G to work for sure and 10G is maybe.

    In case you didn't know, buy quality cable. A good manufacturer actually tests their runs and qualifies their production of that cable to meet the standard. Most cheap cable found in stores and even online is never tested to verify it meets spec. They simply make it like a cable that should meet spec and hope it's ok.

    I hear you on the moving in and the extreme hassle it will be to work around that. Honestly, my systems up, but I have some patching left to do that I have been putting off for a few months...

    Only you can decide the right path and the risks you want to take. Cat6 should work, but is not a sure thing for 10G. It may or may not age well. I decided to go the, "I really want it to work" because I already have 5e from the builder (10 years ago) and the only reason to do all this work is for 10G and beyond. If cost or schedule are driving you more than risk of a run not working out, then Cat6 is fine. Gotta find the balance that you're willing to accept.

    Edit: Hopefully I haven't misunderstood your question about 6/6A. If I have, my apologies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  7. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    I won't lie, the setup I did is practically datacenter grade (well older data centers, we've moved on to faster than 10G at this point) and not reasonable for residential. It was a fun project, as much as a need for 10G copper and 25G fiber. It also was a lot more than your budget even buying some stuff as overrun off eBay. However, there are cheaper, high quality 6/6A solutions out there. Certainly some that will fit in your budget.

    Look at this diagram: https://www.commscope.com/catalog/s...ry6a/2147496560/product_details.aspx?id=20441

    See the "X" in the cable and the extra space around the twisted pairs? That's what 6A gets you.

    Here's 6: https://www.commscope.com/catalog/s...ory6/2147496562/product_details.aspx?id=18309

    Edit: Fluke has a lot of good information out there on cabling standards, testing, and they'll even send you a free poster or two about it.
     
  8. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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  9. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Ok maybe I am in the minority, but the last thing I want is to work on networks and routers when I get home.

    I had a 10gig capable network for a while but realised that by the time I need it, there'll be other solutions available. That hasn't stopped me running cat6a everywhere necessary in the house, just right now most of my computing is done wirelessly, so there is no point in going 10 gig
     
  10. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    Depends on what you end up doing at work. As you move up to more senior positions, you end up doing less and less hands on work.

    Also, depends on your needs or wants. I'm running FreeNAS on an old Xeon with 32GB of RAM and need 25GbE to support my workstation (Intel XXV710) and then also have in it a 10GbE (Intel X550-T2) for the rest of the network. I send a fair amount of data back and forth to rationalize the 25GbE direct connection, but the reality is I could just wait longer. I also could do it over 1GbE, but at some point it gets so slow that I have other things do with my life. Gotta find the balance.

    I admitted my use is hardly average.
     
  11. Leo Zhang

    Leo Zhang n00bie

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    So what is your question? If you need a 12U wall mount rack and Cat6/ Cat6a cables, you can consider finding them from a good vendor, for example, FS. Hope it will be helpful for you!
     
  12. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    i'd get 6a for if 2.5g or 5g ever end up taking off... and i thought shielding was built in to the 6a spec... although i've seen 6a that are unshielded, do these really meet the spec?

    basically, the only real way to make your home future proof is to run smurf everywhere....

    that's what i'd do... at least to the main places, and any places where access after the walls are up would be very difficult...

    i'd definitely have conduit running to any office space, as well as any entertainment center