What do you need to consider when selecting a transmission medium?

What are the main factors to be considered when selecting a suitable transmission medium for a network? What is...

the overriding trade off and what additional information would be necessary to make a judicious choice?

Transmission media selection should be based on quality needed over some estimated distance. In some cases, security may also be an issue.

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Where SANs are concerned, I believe short wavelength optical fiber cabling is the best choice for most environments. Copper does not really support meaningful distances and long wavelength cabling is overkill for local cable runs.

Also, higher speed networks will work with fiber but might not support copper. Fiber optic cables are more secure and are much more difficult to snoop.

This was first published in August 2003

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