As-builts are another name for the blueprints a structured cabling company delivers to a building or campus network manager after the completion of a project. This will provide the network owner with data ports marked, usually with a triangle, as well as any other relevant ports (ex. TV, A/V, etc.). This is important for multiple reasons. Initially, it lays out a plan for the network design that will be installed by the structured cabling company. This then provides the cabling company an accurate view of the project, allowing them to give a fair and accurate quote. As-builts are also important throughout construction. They are the guide showing the structured cabling company where to pull and where to terminate cables.
Regarding installation: occasionally on the as-built, the ports are not clearly labeled, the IDFs are not properly marked and it can be unclear which IDF the cables are supposed to be directed to. This can create problems for the estimator and the installer. They must be remedied prior to installation to ensure both an accurate quote and an installation that satisfies that the end-user’s requests.
Upon completion, cables are labeled, typically with their IDF and the switch and port numbers. These labels and the corresponding as-built are the road map for any future adds, moves, and changes.
The as-built is also very important for the end-user. Network Managers and IT Professionals need to know the layout of their network to be able to troubleshoot. This could be anything from a faulty cable, patch cord, or jack to an AP that has interference issues, or a camera that stopped transmitting. Even if a structured cabling company is needed to fix the issue, the end-user can hire a new company, unfamiliar with the network layout to fix any network issues. With the help of a properly labeled as-built, the newly hired firm can quickly identify and solve any problems. Without this tool, problems can cause more than just headaches for a Network Manager. These problems can lead to network downtime and loss of revenue for a firm.
Because of the as-built, your network is not dependent on any one person or one company to correct these problems. Despite not being part of the installation team, a properly trained professional will be able to perform network adds, moves, or changes.