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I'm interested to know where other folks buy networking cable in bulk. Many of the places I've found appear somewhat "iffy", and I'd like to buy from a reputable outfit that will be around the next time I need to order.

What's particularly complicating my current search is that I'm hunting for bulk stranded Cat-6A in an attempt to future-proof the infrastructure for 10 Gbit (not my call to make). Unless I'm looking in exactly all the wrong places, it's quite difficult to find a decent place to get something like this, let alone receive any choice of color for organizational purposes.

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

Edit: I'm in Billings, Montana. I'll be surprised if there are any major suppliers here :)

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You might want to give some details about where you're located –  Mark Henderson Aug 5 '09 at 3:50
    
Good idea -- thanks! Updated. –  Collin Allen Aug 5 '09 at 4:00

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

monoprice.com

Excellent prices, quantity discount, great shipping rates, and a superb product

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Monoprice almost always has the best prices on all cable & adapters. –  Drew Stephens Aug 5 '09 at 5:09
    
They have some excellent prices on Cat6A patch cables: monoprice.com/products/… I think we'll go with an assortment of pre-made cables and save the time and hassle associated with making our own. Thanks! –  Collin Allen Aug 5 '09 at 14:17

Just so your boss knows -- the cable isn't the expensive part of this operation, the expensive part is hiring the right people to do the install so that everything works after they do the install.

The whole cable plant needs to be correctly installed or all the cat6a cable in the world won't support 10g speeds. Slightly incorrectly punched patch panels, not enough twists in the shells where they're crimped, etc, all will make your whole plant spec out at cat6 or cat5 performance even if you use all cat6a or whatever certified parts.

Make sure they test everything and get whoever does the work to certify that it is to spec.

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Thanks! We do -- one of our guys has a Fluke CableIQ tester for this purpose. It's an incredible tool. –  Collin Allen Aug 5 '09 at 14:07
    
It can test to verify that the cable-plant is 6a from end to end? Must be a pricy bit of kit... –  chris Aug 5 '09 at 14:37
    
It tests individual cables for correct pair arrangement, certifies them for various network specs and speeds, can tell you the length of a cable in a box or a run without a far adapter, and plenty more. It's quite possibly one of the most amazing tools I've seen. It costs about $2,800 if I recall correctly! –  Collin Allen Aug 7 '09 at 1:55

I've bought LOTS of cables from Deep Surplus (http://www.deepsurplus.com) and have always had good batches of cable.

I've also purchased from various other places (online and offline) found myself troubleshooting and replacing cables more often than I'd like to.

They're located in California, ship fast, have a 90 day warranty, no restocking fees, etc.

Just a good bunch of people to work with.

Here is some more info about them:

http://www.deepsurplus.com/Company-Info

My recommendation is that once you find a decent supplier who offers decent customer service... stick with them. :-)


Just a quick comment on the whole CAT6A requirement. Obviously you know this is for future expansion but here's a great link on essentially where we are today with CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, etc.

http://www.broadbandutopia.com/caandcaco1.html

By the time you start reaching levels of CAT6 everything is going to require some serious testing. CAT6 patch cords are precision products... but they're only as good as what you'll be plugging in to. :-)

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Great info! Thanks! –  Collin Allen Aug 5 '09 at 14:18

I buy mine from Insight actually I buy just about everything from them. I've yet to find something they couldn't get their hands on outside of hyper specialized equipment. And the prices aren't that bad at least on my corporate account. I forget the exact price of my last purchase of ~500 cables of varying lengths but they came in at more that 50% cheaper than the next cheapest supplier. These were Belkin brand cables too not house brand.

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Graybar is a good source for Datacenter supplies, including Ethernet cables. There's one in Billings, Montana.

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protected by Mark Henderson Apr 8 '11 at 1:28

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