Data Center Cabling Best Practices – Part 1
Modern data centers are equipped with devices and networking equipment that connect them. These devices demand increasingly greater bandwidth, and so their fiber or copper cabling must perform at a high level. Today’s data centers must be flexible, scalable, reliable, and manageable, making best practices required.
Planning the Infrastructure
Thus, documenting the existing and planned network, along with its equipment is needed. A flexible patching structure will permit the interconnection of devices at desired locations.
The structured approach of cabling revolves around the design of runs and connections that ease cable identification, maintenance, repair, and future expansion or reconfiguration. A Main Distribution Area (MDA) and Horizontal Distribution Area(s) (HDAs), along with two-post racks that permit improved access and cable management, will be needed.
MDA and HDA components must be of high quality and capable of bearing expected future loads. Their layout should have horizontal and vertical cable managers. The MDA contains primary cross-connects and core networking equipment. The HDA contains the cross-connects for the distribution of cables to Equipment Distribution Areas (EDAs). Patch cables will connect servers and storage by utilizing patch panels at their respective EDA.
Next, the equipment racks inside the data center must have their layout determined. A horizontal cabling configuration will be used for the distribution of cables from the HDA to the EDA. Flexible connectivity is required by a dynamic data center environment. The goal is the implementation of a system that transmits fiber channel, Ethernet, and other protocols.
Future port and application requirements will also need to be considered. Expansion and technological advances must be anticipated, so the installation of ports and cabling needed in the future should be done now to save on labor costs and downtime if upgrades are needed.
Structured Infrastructure Benefits
- Cable identification and fault isolation simplified
- Consistent cabling lays sound foundation for future
- Future expansions and modifications made easier
- Standard-compliant components from multiple vendors possible
- Flexible connections provided
Cabling for Modular Data and High Density/High Port Count Fiber Equipment will be discussed in Part 2.
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