Information for Project Managers
Construction projects must assume all costs associated with deploying network service, including cabling, new equipment, and modifications to the backbone and other facilities not in the new construction.
When performing renovations to existing buildings, the trend is to collapse small, older TCs into a single modern MDF/IDF per floor. This may make some space available, but may also require installation of new cable. Project Managers must also consider how to provide continuous service to other building occupants during the renovation.
For design and construction, no distinction is made between voice and data applications. The cabling and support requirements are all the same. There will be some costs differences, though, as ports are allocated to the different applications. Projects are required to purchase any new telephone instruments needed as well as PBX circuit packs needed to support them.
Only suitably qualified and approved contractors, including the Caltech Electric Shop, are permitted to install, modify, or maintain voice and data cabling and support infrastructure. Unqualified personnel will not be permitted access to any CITNet facilities. Please consult with VDN ahead of time to obtain the current approved contractor list.
Wireless networks are deployed in all new construction, in addition to (not in place of) wired networks. Wireless is no substitute for wired. Issues are: security, performance, interference, fairness. The VDN design goal for wireless uses a 50ft. radius for AP placement. Depending on the construction of the building, and other factors, a higher or lower density may be required.
VDN is not responsible for providing voice or data facilities for construction contractors, trailers, etc., during on-campus projects. The project must pay for any facilities or services it uses and acquire these from outside vendors.
VDN does not provide voice or data services to buildings under construction. We provide connectivity and support when all of the following conditions are met:
- the building has been turned over to Caltech to operate
- the as-built drawings and other test results, as required by our standards, have been provided to VDN
- permanent doors and CITNet-approved locks have been installed in all TCs
- the cable plant, TCs, etc., have been inspected and accepted by VDN as meeting our standards
- building power and HVAC are operating nominally
VDN does provide:
- standards for cabling and facilities; we can provide a customized 27 0000 document for your project, with sufficient advance notice
- approval of workmanship
- approval of submittals
- consulting (on an as available basis)
- budget estimates (given sufficient requirements definition)
- list of qualified, acceptable cabling installers
- accept/reject cabling work
- network electronics installation
- building support (once live)
VDN does not provide:
- project design for new construction
- day to day supervision of cabling or other contractors
- project management
- budget management
- schedule management
For other IMSS VDN policies, please see our network policy page.
Frequently Asked Questions
- May I have a key to the network closet?
A: No; there are no "user serviceable" parts inside. Longer answer: Caltech shop employees may check out a day use key for the purpose of repairing non-network facilities that happen to be in CITNet spaces; a record of key issuance will be made. Click for detailed information about CITNet spaces.
- May I install a cable?
A: No; IMSS VDN maintains a list of approved vendors (including the Caltech Electric Shop) who are allowed to perform work on the cabling. This maintains the 25-year warranty we have, insures a quality installation, and allows us to maintain current configuration information. The list of approved vendors changes from time to time as vendors are added or removed; please contact VDN for the current list.
- May cables be installed in a faceplate (user end) that terminate in different patch panels (IDF end)?
A: No. All cables in a single faceplate must terminate in the same patch panel.
- If delivery time for an item is long, may I substitute a similar item?
A: Not without prior written approval from IMSS VDN. Note that VDN will not allow substitution if it will void the Panduit warranty in any way.
- How much noise does the installed equipment generate?
A: This is a difficult question to answer objectively. It depends on the location, type of construction, and type of equipment placed in the closet, among other factors. In the smaller closets, the workgroup switches (actually their fans) are the predominant noise generators. (Remember, a fan that doesn't make noise moves no air!) While these aren't loud, they probably aren't suitable for colocation with office workers either. It's best to observe an installation and judge for yourself. Equipment in the larger closets and MDFs can generate considerable noise.
- Why require termination and testing of all strands in a bundle of fiber optic cable?
A: If the strands are not both terminated and tested, how do you know they are viable? Fiber optic cable, despite the precautions of the manufacturers and installers, is still a fragile cable. Unless all the fiber stands are tested, which requires the fiber be terminated on both ends, the viability of the cable is unknown. Flaws in manufacturing, accidents during transportation, mistakes during installation (including tight bends, too much pulling force, etc.) will only be discovered during testing. The system suppliers (Panduit, Systemax, etc.) require termination and documented testing in order to provide a system warranty (usually 20 years, or so). Therefore, there is no value to installing a fiber optic cable without terminating and testing all the strands.