While installing passive equipment, Saga also laid down cables and performed their termination. Every floor has 4 or 5 hubs, depending on the surface that had to be covered. One hub covers about 90 running meters, and if the area is bigger, another hub has to be installed so that network signal remains strong. Central racks (with 42U capacity) are located in the main server room in the basement, while smaller racks are installed in each hub. Every shop has 4 lines that are used for internet access, POS terminals, and two IP phones. But in several larger shops 8 lines were installed to satisfy their demands.
Implementation of structured cabling was carried out in two phases. The first phase included connections in technical rooms (mounting the racks). Copper cables termination was carried out in technical rooms on the floors, and optical panels, fans and switches were installed. Then all the racks in technical rooms in hubs were connected to the main server room in the basement using the optical cables.
The main switchboard was connected with the central rack using the cluster of cables. From that point, the cables were arranged for the second rack reglets, to make the system clear and easy to maintain. From the second rack new cables are laid down to connect the hubs. Each hub is connected to the floor racks, and then lines were laid to the shops. It took four weeks to end this phase of the project.
The second phase included internal connections in the shops, testing the network, and issuing the certificate. This was finished in three weeks. The work itself didn't require that much time, but it depended on the work of other contractors, and therefore took more time than was actually needed. After the network was installed, it was possible to see the whole routing scheme in Ušće SC from the central location. It was also possible to connect remotely (using a password) from any location and have complete control over the switches. All 17 racks are accessible from one place, everything is centralized, which makes maintenance of the system easier.
Installation of active equipment had it's own challenges. Saga installed environment for providing public services, which includes monitoring, billing and security systems on several levels. All users inside the mall are protected, and special attention was given to the telephone, internet and POS output, authorization and authentication. Special software solution was used to make sure that certain bandwidth couldn't be taken by third parties. Work on this phase of the project was carried out during the day, during the night and during the weekends, so it was finished in only 20 days.
In the beginning of the first phase the technical rooms didn't have electricity, so it was necessary to use extension chords up to 100 meters in length. Sometimes the work had to be carried out under flashlights or spotlights. During the winter there was no heating, because there wasn't any way to install it, so the workers had to use gloves and hats. For safety protection, all workers wore helmets. While the temperatures were low, and while the building wasn't closed, sometimes there were strong winds and draft. The second phase was easier since the building was completely covered, but still it was complicated. The engineers worked at the same time as did the painters, floor layers and other contractors. This type of work was sometimes very demanding: installing fine structured cabling infrastructure, while others were conducting their rough jobs.
Expanding the Capacity
Shops that required more internet connections or telephone lines used their own switches, routers or switchboards, and in that way distributed the internet link or phone line to several points in the shop. Special demands mostly came from larger shops because 4 ports (that they could configure as needed) weren't enough for their needs. If somebody wanted, for example, three analogue lines, cable quality allowed Saga's employees to split the pairs in the same cable. Copper cables were laid out from the switchboard to all 17 hubs in the mall, and to the big stores. The other stores were connected to the hubs with four Ethernet cables.