Enterprise Networking: 10 Things You Should Know About Cabling for Modern Data Centers
10 Things You Should Know About Cabling for Modern Data Centers
By Chris Preimesberger
Fiber Is the Future
Fiber-optic cabling is required due to its superior bandwidth and attenuation properties. The next-generation data center requires fiber throughout the backbone and horizontal cabling areas.
As speeds and bandwidth needs increase, the loss budget is lowered. The loss budget is the amount of light (measured in dB) that is lost between the transmitter and receiver. The next-generation data center has precision assemblies and mating components to meet these tight loss budgets.
Today's data center needs cable assemblies that have high repeatability. They need to be able to perform just as well on the 100th plug-in as on the first.
Due to demand, vertical space needs to be used very efficiently. Higher port counts per RU (rack unit), and products that eliminate the use of rack space altogether are needed.
Data centers need to implement the TIA-942 (Telecommunications Industry Association) standard for data center design and cabling. This allows for a structured cabling system that reduces current and future installation costs due to its modular and scalable platform.
The next-generation data center does not have "cable spaghetti," as it leads to management, cooling and performance issues. Proper size patch cords and modern cable management products are needed.
The next-generation data center has field testing capabilities and full documentation of all test results from purchased cable assemblies.
Labeling and Administration
The TIA/EIA-606-A labeling standard needs to be followed. The next-generation data center has a well-documented and uniform labeling system that has coverage from the cabinet to the port.
The next-generation data center contains standards-based, not proprietary, product sets. This is due to more stringent standards in the industry as well as the need to avoid the pitfalls of proprietary technology.
Copper Has Its Place
Copper cabling needs to be implemented into the structured cabling system for shorter distances and for data transmission speeds of 1G and under.