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We have a smaller datacenter that is located in an older facility. (This building was built back in the 40's or 50's) Does it matter if I run UTP or STP through my racks? It may not matter but the cable for backbone running from my isp to my network is cat5 UTP running through the ceiling that is really old and there is a ton of florescent lighting and such that goes with the run. Any advice?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Shielded cable can significantly reduce interference, which can also mean that the signal quality may degrade less over a distance. Within the same rack, shielded cable is probably overkill. You're going to get the same local gigabit connection with Cat5e as with shielded Cat6.

Shielded cable comes with some grounding requirements. Not grounding the devices properly can cause some trouble, mainly if the devices at the ends aren't using the same grounding source. This is usually more of a problem going between buildings, but in older construction, who knows how (or even if) electrical grounding has been implemented. Improper or missing grounding is serious business. I've seen entire racks of machines spontaneously and randomly lock and reboot simply because they weren't properly grounded.

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I aggree with this post, I've seen so many people run shielded cable without grounding it and only making the noise worse. – Bad Dos Aug 12 '12 at 20:18
The best rule for any kind of shielded cable is to only ground at one end, not both. Ideally pick the end with the least resistance to ground. – John Gardeniers Aug 13 '12 at 6:35
great thanks for all the input i appreciate it. – zaneywisdom Aug 13 '12 at 23:10

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