Designed to drive business success
- Copper Cable
- Fibre Optic
- Wireless & Laser Wi–Fi
- Audio Visual
- Data Centres
- Cable Audits
- Active Kit
Our design process is created by heavily trained professionals and it takes into account multiple factors, such as:
- Cabling medium
- Building structure
- Future growth
- Building regulations
- Health and safety
Copper cabling has been used in the communications industry for more than 100 years, and it is still in use in many networks today. While there have been several advances in network technology in recent years, with fibre-optic networks and wireless networks becoming more popular, copper cables still dominate most networks because they are affordable, fast and reliable. There are several different kinds of copper network cabling.
Cat 3 cables are simply twisted pairs of wire. This kind of cable is incredibly slow and outdated, and would almost never be found in a modern network.
Cat 5e cables are the most common form of network cable, and they are based on a similar twisted pair form to Cat 3 cables. Most home and office networks use Cat 5e for their Ethernet network. This type of cable has a bandwidth of 100MHz, which is sufficient for most day-to-day use.
Cat 6 cables then superseded Cat 5e with a higher bandwidth of 250MHz giving better characteristics for PoE, Power over Ethernet.
Cat 6a cables offer significantly more bandwidth at 500MHz, so they are popular for higher-end applications such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Cat 6 and Cat 6a cables also use the twisted pair design, but these cables are more durable and offer significantly more bandwidth, so they are popular for higher-end applications such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Cat 7 and Cat 7a are the fastest form of copper wire network cable. This cable offers the fastest speeds, and a bandwidth of up to 600MHz for CAT7 and 1000MHz for Cat 7a. However, it is also the most expensive type of copper cable.
It is important that you choose the right kind of copper wire data cabling for your network’s needs. Some business owners are reluctant to invest in copper cables because fibre-optic technology provides even greater bandwidths. However, for most business applications there is no need for the extra bandwidth that fibre-optic technology provides. Copper cabling is fast, reliable and affordable and is also easy to maintain.
If you would like to know which technology is the best choice for your network, please do not hesitate to contact our team of networking professionals at Direct Data. We would be happy to discuss your needs and explain your options.
Direct Data offers fibre optic network cabling as one of its network infrastructure options. Fibre optic cabling installations offer many advantages over those using traditional copper cables, so should be considered when you are planning a new network cable installation or an upgrade.
Faster Speeds. Fibre optic cables have a core that carries light to transmit data. This allows them to carry signals at speeds that are only about 30 percent slower than the speed of light, much faster than copper cables. There is also less signal degradation with fibre cables. If your business depends on efficient handling of high quantities of data, such as financial transactions, large backups or multimedia content, upgrading your core network to fibre optic technology can dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of your day-to-day operations, with far less maintenance and additional equipment than traditional copper infrastructure.
Longer Distances. Fibre optic cable installations can carry signals much further than copper cables, although the actual distance depends on the type of cable, the wavelength and the network. In some cases, you can send data up to 40 kilometres without any degradation.
Greater Bandwidth. Traditional copper cables were originally designed for voice transmission and have a limited bandwidth. Fibre optic cables provide more bandwidth, allowing them to carry more data than copper cables of the same diameter. Single-mode fibre delivers up to twice the throughput of multi-mode fibre.
More Reliable. Fibre cables are immune to temperature changes, weather conditions and moisture, all of which can hamper the connectivity of copper cables. In addition, fibre does not carry electric current, so it is not affected by electromagnetic interference that can interrupt data transmission, and it does not present a fire hazard, which worn copper cables can.
More Durable. Compared to copper cables, fibre optic cables are thinner and lighter in weight, can withstand more pull pressure and are less prone to damage and breakage.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership. Although fibre optic cables may have a higher initial cost than copper, the durability and reliability of fibre can make the total cost of ownership lower. In addition, fibre optic installations are cheaper to maintain, more durable and require less hardware.
It is important that you choose the right kind of fibre optic network cabling for your business and the environment that you operate in. You must consider the distance the cables will cover, the environment that they will be in and whether the hardware you are working with can support the cables. It is also important to consider the skills of your IT team, and whether they will be able to maintain the network effectively.
At Direct Data we have experience with blown fibre cable installations. This form of installation involves using compressed air to ease the fibre through the ducts. This is an efficient way of installing cables in hard-to-reach places. Our team also has many years of experience with fibre optic fusion splicing and with OTDR testing.
OTDR tests can be thought of as being RADAR tests for fibre optic cables. These tests can be used to identify fusion splices and mechanical splices in your cables and to troubleshoot problems with your cable installations. OTRD testing is designed to identify issues on very long cables but is likely to show ghosts and other errors on networks which cover shorter distances.
If you would like to know more about the services that we offer, or would like some advice about the kinds of network cable that would be best for your office or network, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team. At Direct Data we work with businesses of all sizes, and we would be happy to help you find a scalable and practical solution for your IT and telecommunications needs.
Wireless & Laser Wi-Fi
All the different aspects of Wi-Fi networks can be fairly complicated, especially when the company network needs to be large and accessible through an entire building. That’s why Direct Data is standing by to help with your bespoke wireless network installation. We conduct wireless surveys and work within any budget to find a wifi system which is both affordable and effective for your company.
At Direct Data we have an expert team of highly qualified and experienced wireless network engineers who will work closely with you to achieve and surpass your business requirements for your wireless network. Our experienced team of engineers have a wealth of knowledge and experience of working with SME’s, national and internal businesses in a wide variety of different industries.
Not very long ago wireless networking would have been the stuff of science fiction. But today it’s a common feature in many homes and offices. When used for business, though, wireless provision needs to be planned carefully. There are more and more devices such as smartphones and tablets which use Wi-Fi and will require extra network capacity.
Whilst installing Wi-Fi at home is a simple matter of plugging in a router, for businesses things can be more complex. If there are several buildings on site, for example, you have the problem of getting signal between them. If running cables isn’t practical – because you need to cross a road, for example – you may need to look at a solution such as a laser link, which can transmit data securely between the buildings. If there’s line of sight between the locations, point to point Wi-Fi networks can provide a secure wireless bridge over long distances.
As with any form of business IT, wireless networking needs to be planned carefully. An initial survey needs to look at what coverage is needed and how that can best be provided – if it’s necessary to provide a wireless bridge between buildings, for example, and whether there are any areas where the Wi-Fi signal will need boosting in order to provide a reliable effective network connection.
Capacity needs to be planned carefully too in order to avoid loss of performance caused by the network becoming overloaded. Depending on how crucial it is to your business, you may also need to plan redundancy to cope if part of the network fails.
Security is an important consideration too. Your network needs to be protected from unauthorised access. However, it also needs to be flexible enough to provide a connection for visitors or contractors without allowing access to important information. If employees are allowed to use their own tablets and smartphones for work, the network security needs to take account of this too.
Four different Wi-Fi standards are commonly used today: 802-11a, 802-11b, 802-11g and 802-11n. There are, of course, different pros and cons specific to each standard that should be considered when setting up a network. Choosing the right blend of affordability, speed and range is important when setting up a network for office use.
Audio visual systems are now central to the way that many businesses and other organisations operate. Companies large and small, along with hospitals, charities, public events and more, all frequently make use of audio visual infrastructure to some degree. Direct Data offer a wide range of audio visual solutions for clients of every kind, and we provide a bespoke design and build service to ensure that every project we tackle is perfect for the unique needs of our clients.
We source equipment and components from some of the best manufacturers around. Some are household names, while others are highly specialist companies with a strong reputation within their section of the industry. This gives us the freedom to select the very best professional visual equipment and audio components to provide a high-quality, high-performance, reliable system for every single application.
Each visual and audio system installation we handle is customised for the client. Standard solutions handed out straight from the shelf never achieve perfect results. Every organisation has different needs and requirements, and a standard solution will never quite fit. Instead, we are able to offer a completely bespoke service, designing audio visual solutions that are developed from the ground up to fit the individual requirements of your business perfectly.
Today’s audio visual systems are more closely integrated with IT infrastructure than ever before. Our expert team have a diverse skill set and extensive experience in both the IT and audio visual sectors, and we invest in ongoing training programmes to ensure that we always stay on top of the latest developments. Specialising in both IT and audio visual installations, we are able to deliver custom solutions in which these two areas are perfectly meshed together. The result is a smooth, functional and highly capable system which works seamlessly with the IT infrastructure and operations of your business or organisation.
At Direct Data we understand that a data centre is a key component of ensuring many modern businesses operate effectively. Despite the fact that many applications are moving to the cloud, there’s still a need for in-house systems, if only to link up desktop workstations, so having the right data centre solutions in place ensures a smooth and efficient day-to-day operation.
Whilst you might think setting up a data centre is just a case of finding somewhere to house a couple of racks and run some cables, data centre design is a specialist skill. It needs to plan for serving existing capacity as well as allowing for any future expansion. And it needs to take into account the need to route cabling around the building easily, tidily and safely to comply with any health and safety requirements. Our expert team of networking professionals can help you design, plan and implement your new data centre.
Correct routing of cabling is important in order to keep things tidy. It used to be popular to use raised floors in machine rooms, but in modern data centre management it’s more common to use overhead trays. These keep the cables out of the way but make access easy for when expansion is required.
The layout of equipment in a data centre design is important too. Partly this is a matter of access, as some items will need more frequent attention by operations staff so need to be easy to get to. But layout can also be used to help manage temperature, positioning hot and cool items in order to get the most effective cooling airflow.
It is important to plan data centres with business continuity in mind. If systems are crucial to the business, some form of back-up power may be needed. Even for less essential systems, an interruptible power supply will allow an orderly shutdown in the event of mains power failure. Redundant cabling may be needed to keep systems running in the event of problems. Our expert team of networking professionals are available to ensure that every aspect of your data centre is thoroughly planned and comprehensively designed to achieve the requirements of your business.
It’s easy to assume that the cabling for your business network and telecommunications is something that can be safely ignored once it has been installed. However, that’s not the case, especially if it’s a few years old. Networks tend to evolve over time, with ad-hoc additions often being made to accommodate extra machines or office reorganisations.
The problem is that often these additions don’t always get properly documented, and if the IT staff who installed them leaves your business you can end up with difficulties when trouble shooting or making more changes.
Carrying out a cabling audit is the answer. It can be used to map your existing infrastructure and can identify any weaknesses, save time when it comes to making changes and help plan for future requirements and expansion. At Direct Data our expert team of networking professionals will perform a comprehensive audit of your existing network to identify any potential issues with infrastructure, equipment and overall performance.
We are available to design and implement cabinet plans, making it easier to see where there’s spare capacity. The audit can also identify and correct any labelling issues both on patch panels and outlets. If you’re experiencing performance issues, you can also have cables individually tested to identify bottlenecks and the types of cable used, as well as carry out any repatch work needed.
Network and cable audits can include your mains cabling too, in order to make sure it’s safe and not overloaded. Power requirements of your cabinets can be included as well as their heat outputs so that you can effectively plan your machine room and any network cabinet replacement that might be required.
Once an audit is complete, you’ll be able to identify any issues arising from older cables that can’t cope with faster network speeds and may suffer signal drop over long distances. This will also help you plan any future requirements to grow the network or make better use of your office space, where extra cabling may be needed.
Direct Data are determined to deliver the best results for all our clients on every project that we undertake. Delivering the best, in this line of work, requires the highest quality, high-performance network and IT hardware available, and it is important that the equipment will provide long-term as well as short-term reliability. For this reason, we have teamed up with many of the best and most renowned and trusted technology brands on the market in order to procure the highest quality of equipment on the market.
Some of the brands we turn to in order to source this equipment are household names. The likes of D-link, Netgear and APC Schneider produce high-quality consumer-level as well as professional-level equipment. Similarly Cisco, HP, Juniper, though are much more business than consumer focussed, they are huge names in the world of communication systems and is therefore very well known. These companies have made a name at every level of the industry by providing reliable and high-quality technology and networking equipment, it is on the basis of these strong reputations that we turn to them when sourcing hardware for our clients’ projects.
We also team up with many other brands. Some are more well known than others in general circles, as some produce highly specialised, high-end or industry-focussed equipment and do not become so well known among non-networking professionals. However, all have a strong and hard-earned reputation within the industry as providers of extremely good technology solutions.
The brands we turn to for the best hardware around include APC, Draytek, Ruckus, Juniper,Aruba and Siklu. We also turn to such specialist brands as Geodesy, Fluke, Avigilon, Axis and Valcom.
The complete list of brands we can turn to in the procurement process is long and is made up only of names that we have carefully chosen as companies capable of providing the highest standards that our clients require. This gives us plenty of choice and the freedom to obtain the best and most appropriate equipment for every individual project.
Environmental Monitoring & Control
At Direct Data we understand that our customers require safety and security of their precious data. Whether planning, installing or maintaining dedicated data storage facilities, rooms, racks or just a single server, we believe that every single element requires the same commitment to providing an excellent and professional service.
Network monitoring and data centre monitoring are specialist areas requiring top-level specialist solutions in order to maintain systems at their peak levels at all times. Any compromises could have disastrous consequences for businesses, which is why at Direct Data we specialise in only the best of the best when it comes to network and data centre monitoring software.
StruxureWare for Data Centers collects and collates data centre information, including use of resources, assets and status of operations throughout the life cycle of the data centre. Managers are then better equipped to integrate, distribute and apply the information in order to optimise PUE (power usage effectiveness) in order to achieve targets. The program suite ensures that the appropriate person is provided with the information required at all times.
At Indigo we stock the Netbotz range of environmental monitoring and security systems to protect data centre security. A range of solutions is available to suit every data centre set-up, from the smallest to the most sophisticated. Incorporating state-of-the-art technology to monitor a range of issues, including temperature, humidity, dry contact and door contact, the higher-end models include surveillance systems that can warn of intruders, leaks, smoke and even excess vibrations which might compromise data security.
At Direct Data we supply a wide range of sensors, software, cables and accessories. We also stock specialist software which integrates seamlessly with NetBotz appliances to enhance the many features within the system. Audio recording, audio playback, IP filtering, video recordings with digital signatures and camera block-out are just some of the many benefits which a fully functioning system can provide, ensuring the health, safety and security of your data centre.
Our company values
Our promise to you, the customer
We offer a complete tailored design and build service, putting together unique IT networks that are specifically built for the needs of each client.
The best IT networks must be built on the best and most up-to-date technology. For this reason, we partner with many of the most innovative and most renowned manufacturers in the industry.
Our expert network engineers have years of experience in crafting high-quality and market-leading technology solutions for clients of every type and size.
Our ethos is “you are only as good as your last job”. With this in mind we strive to deliver quality service at all times.