Quality vs. Cost: The Threat of Low-Cost Cabling

Quality vs. Cost: The Threat of Low-Cost Cabling

By Michael Palmer, Infrastructure Design Specialist

 

“I only buy inexpensive cables. All cabling is the same anyway.”

We hear these phrases quite a bit at CABLExpress. They, in turn, cue the questions that keep us up at night —

How do we explain that price shouldn’t be the only considerable factor? How do we show that all cabling is truly not created the same and quality matters?

When it comes to data center cabling, we at CABLExpress cite some simple equations and things to keep in mind that prove price can’t be the only deciding factor when investing in cabling. Quality counts!

Quality > Price

The number one resource cabling manufacturers can offer you as a customer is education. Take advantage! Most of you out there are hardware-focused, working as a network technician, administrator, etc. Beside which connection needs to be in which port, this cable talk might as well be a different language.

CABLExpress has ALWAYS taken a quality over quantity approach to all of our product sets. We can help fill that gap of information you may not realize you’re missing. Understanding this reasoning will also help you understand the huge risk you’re taking by buying patch cables for pennies off Amazon.

Stamp of Approval

Quality over price… but why? In the past couple of years, CABLExpress has made improvements to our fiber jumpers, copper patch cables, and mini CAT6 patch cables. Why is this important? Because your cabling needs to continually improve to meet the ever-growing data throughput needs of your network hardware.

How will the cabling product set you invest in ebb and flow with technology migrations in your network? Will the product support moves, adds and changes or will it need to be replaced? Can the cable be bundled safely with other cables?

As far as price is concerned, a cabling manufacturer should never go so low as to interfere with the quality minimums required to put their name on their product. That’s how we feel at CABLExpress. It’s all about product longevity and putting our stamp of approval on product we believe in.

You Get What You Pay For

What we have found is that the cable products from companies selling at bare minimum have a quality that matches their pricing. With copper patch cords, the immediate concern becomes link loss due to Power over Ethernet.

While these bargain basement cables may work as an immediate fix, they most likely will not be able to operate correctly for the future new standards such as PoE++. This could lead to equipment overheating or, in extreme cases, cables could start burning. All this just to save a quarter per cable.

So where does this leave you? You may have to repurchase newer/better versions of the existing cable sets. This could make your total cost of ownership double as technology changes.

We are seeing this issue quite a bit in the 28AWG copper market. The cheaper quality cables are having more problems than their quality counterparts when passing data over PoE links. If they aren’t doing a great job of keeping up at the current standard, what happens when new standards arrive?

Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

- Benjamin Franklin

This is essentially the unofficial motto of CABLExpress. Our customers always receive the best quality components at the best price, even if they are paying a little more than they would for sub-standard cabling. Our products are designed to work with current and upcoming standards, giving you the peace of mind that they’re built to last.

Educate yourself ahead of time and don’t fall victim to the allure of low cost. Quality is the most important factor to consider when buying data center cables.