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Continuing Education Credits Now Announced!
Networks Centre Training Academy has been growing strong since its beginning a little over 2 years ago. Through the inclusion of some of the industry’s leading learning providers such as City & Guilds Square Mile and BICSI, we’ve been able to offer a variety of hands-on and theory-based courses that have helped further the knowledge of over 300 students. As part of the Academy’s growth, we’ve been lucky enough to work closely with BICSI in ensuring our courses truly provide the most they can to our students. This is why we’re proud to announce that both our Versiv Test Professional and AirMagnet Survey Pro course now both provide BICSI Continuing Education Credits. Versiv Test Professional 7 BICSI CECs The Versiv Test Professional Course enables students to gain a wider understanding of test standards and fault finding. Students will take part in hands-on demonstrations of the Fluke Networks DSX-5000 and CertiFiber Pro. AirMagnet Survey Pro Course 7 BICSI CECs Students will learn about maximising wireless networks and the investment placed in Survey Pro software. They’ll understand the full potential of the design and surveying tool through theory and hands-on exercises. To find out more about a course or to discuss any of the other courses we run, call our training department on 01403 754233 or email email@example.com.
How CPR will impact Network Cabling in 2017
We’re more than halfway through the one-year transitional (Coexistence) period for copper and fibre cables to be compliant with the Construction Products Regulations as related to fire performance. This covers the reaction & resistance to fire and release of noxious substances. CPR defines a common technical language and uniform assessment methods for fire performance of all fixed cables. The cut-off date is 1 July 2017. From this date, all copper & fibre cables supplied to EU / EEA member states must comply with the Construction Product Regulations and carry the CE marking. The regulation does allow for existing stocks already ‘on the market’ to be sold after the coexistence period within the country so it won’t mean that distributors will be left with unsaleable non-CE marked stock unless they rely on export to other EU countries. Most people in the industry by now are aware of this happening, but there remains some fog about what it will actually mean in practice despite efforts by responsible manufacturers to educate the industry. This is partially due to the complex nature of fire regulation in the UK and unlike many EU countries, no national regulations existed prior or are planned post CPR regulations. The result is a current general lack of guidance at UK national level in terms of what EuroClass cable will be applicable to which type of building or situation, discussed further below. EuroClassification SummaryEuro classification will replace IEC 60332 which everyone is familiar with, as the means of benchmarking the flammability of cables. However, the methods of testing are different so direct equivalency cannot be made. There are seven EuroClasses as follows: It can be seen that Class A (ignoring the subscript ‘CA’ which just means Class) is the best i.e. the most flame retardant and Class F the worst. Class A is the equivalent of Mineral Insulated electrical cable so would never be practical for data cables. Conversely Class ‘F’ would not be permitted as it fails all fire regulations e.g. PVC. However, the regulations themselves do not make the use of PVC cables unlawful. The current ‘norm’ i.e. meeting IEC 60332-1-2 or ‘HF1’ as some refer to, equates to EuroClass E. In conjunction with flame propagation (flammability), there are three other sub-categories of cable fire performance between class B1 and D. These will cover: smoke production, (classified s1 to s3 where s1 is the most demanding ) flaming droplets (d0 to d2 where d0 is the most demanding) acidity (a1 to a3 where a1 is most demanding) So a full EuroClass designation would be (class + smoke + acidity + droplets) and look something like this example:B2ca-s1,d1,a1. There can, in theory, be any permutation of the 4 performance measures but only a few will be practical to manufacture. ApplicationThis mandatory regulation applies only to fixed cables installed in a building. It does not apply to non-fixed e.g. patch cords including pre-terminated cables with plugs on either or both ends that can be disconnected e.g. MTP trunks and also blown fibre systems. However, in practice, most such cords will be manufactured using EuroClass cable and should have the information included on the spec sheet including reference to the DoP (declaration of performance). This enables the cable to be included when assessing the overall building for insurance and fire safety. Additionally, all external data cables are not included, however where a cable runs from outside to inside a building, a dual sheath could facilitate compliance without jointing the cable. Dual Sheath Fibre Cable It is up to each EU member state to decide which classifications they will adopt for their local construction specifications so this regulation does not mean the same class of cable will be applicable across Europe. In general, EuroClasses B through to D is considered to be a low fire hazard. Here are some examples of how the regulations are being applied across Europe: In France the minimum requirement will be Class D. In Germany it will depend on the building type. So for example, high-rise buildings will be Class C with Class B2 for fire escapes. Class E will only be permitted in isolated buildings with low usage & population. In Sweden, it will depend on whether fire suppression systems are in operation. In Holland Class D will be the minimum default where cables are installed in bundles and B2 & C will apply where buildings have a high population or evacuation is difficult. In the UK it is anticipated that EuroClass D & E will only be permissible for residential and standard commercial property. Class C will be required for fire escape routes. This is referenced in BS EN 8482. In general, we anticipate that hospitals, schools and most public buildings will have a higher requirement than is currently the case. Design guides from organisations like CIBSE (Chartered Institute for Building Services Engineers) will determine the application of standards going forward. This demonstrates the complexity and requirement for local knowledge. It is worth mentioning that if as looks likely, the UK remains outside the EEA or EFTA, then BSI would submit a separate application to remain within CEN & CENELEC so Brexit is unlikely to have an effect. Product Marking & CertificationEvery manufacturer is required to have their cables tested by an approved notified body who will provide a declaration of performance (DoP) and the manufacturer will ‘CE’ mark the cable drum accordingly. The cable itself must not be CE marked but may have the relevant classification as in the picture below. The CE mark is an assurance that a product will meet a particular fire standard - it is not an assurance of quality. To distinguish between CPR and other non-CPR product, many manufacturers are changing part numbers, cable print legends, cable colours and box labelling. Most have already made announcements within the past 6 months. The regulations require that the DoP certificate must be readily available for users to access. Some manufacturers will be adding a QR Code (matrix barcode) image, which when scanned on a mobile device will link to a web page showing full fire performance classification details. Others will be accessed by searching the manufacturer’s website on the part number. It is important to know where to locate this information as installers may be challenged to demonstrate compliance. CE marking on cable drums will apply equally to cut lengths of fibre optic cable. The drum on which the cut length is wound should be labelled in the same way as the originating drum. There is a duty of care for the distributor to ensure product bears the CE mark and accompanying documents are available. Networks Centre have already implemented this into our QA. Examples of CE cable drum labelling with DoP number: References: https://www.brand-rex.co.uk/technology/cprhttp://www.panduit.com/en/solutions/enterprise-solutions/topics/construction-products-regulations-for-fiber-n-copper-cablinghttp://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/copper-and-fiber-communication-cable-now-subject-to-construction-products-regulation-cpr-to-carry-ce-marking-by-july-2017
Improving Data Centre Change and Risk Planning
Improving Data Centre Change and Risk Planning - Learning Workshop 1st and 2nd March 2017 Wednesday 1st March Square Mile Systems HQ, Poulton, Cirencester, Glos Thursday 2nd March Networks Centre, Horsham Start Time: 9:00 for 9:30 start Finish: 12:00 followed by buffet lunch In our free half day workshop we’ll be covering how change and risk planning are heavily dependent on the quality of infrastructure documentation – often found to be the weakest link of IT systems administration. Many still find it difficult to maintain an inventory of hardware and software components, but we will go further and look at naming conventions, process and data requirements to map multiple dependencies as well to support project, recovery and cyber security information needs. Types of dependencies we will cover include space, connectivity, virtualisation, applications and services. Our speaker will cover the following areas; Achieving a baseline inventory for project/programme/risk planning Documenting physical and logical dependencies of shared infrastructure components Practical mapping of data centres, cabling, networks, applications and services Improving change impact analysis for centralised planning and management Integrating monitoring systems with infrastructure documentation Automating Visio rack, network and ITIL service diagrams from databases Combining multiple datasets from discovery systems, CMDBs and spreadsheets Host to application mapping techniques Keeping the information current, using change workflow and automation David Cuthbertson, Director, Square Mile Systems, AssetGen David Cuthbertson is the Managing Director of Square Mile Systems and AssetGen – UK companies specializing in best practice infrastructure documentation methods and visualization techniques. He is also a serving committee member of the UK and Ireland BICSI chapter. His IT experience covers both technical and management aspects of complex IT infrastructure, -- from running his own network integration, cabling and outsourcing companies, to working at committee level in the British Computer Society (BCS) on the ITIL framework and configuration management methodologies. David is an acknowledged expert on the application of the Microsoft Visio package to IT infrastructure - delivering Visio training courses for Network Centre’s training hub. A buffet lunch will be provided after the workshops.Please register by using the event registration page HERE or by using the Square Mile Systems website contact form.
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