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Data Center Cabling Best Practices – Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1, modern data centers must be flexible, scalable, reliable, and manageable, making best practices required. Part 2 will cover cabling for Modular Data, High Density/High Port Count Fiber Equipment, and Standards.

Modular Data

Increasing in popularity, modular cabling systems for fiber and copper connectivity introduces the plug-and-play concept, which simplifies cable installation and significantly decreases costs and labor. Typically, cables are factory-terminated and tested.

While modular cabling is less costly when the infrastructure is modified in-house, it will not be as flexible because of the possible required commitment to a vendor for ongoing compatibility.

High Density/High Port Count Fiber Equipment

When networking equipment gradually grows in density and port counts rise to several hundred, the proper management of the connected cabling will also require increased effort.

In the past, the direct connection of cables to individual ports of equipment with low port-counts was thought to be manageable. Unfortunately, the same task will be very time consuming for high-density/high-port-count equipment. Eventually, the addition or removal of cables directly connected to these ports will be almost impossible.

The utilization of Multifiber Push-On (MPO) cable assemblies featuring a single connector at one end of cable and multiple duplex breakout cables at the other end will ease cable management.

The concept revolves around pre-connecting high-density/high- port-count Lucent Connector (LC) equipment with LC-MPO fan-out cable to dedicated MPO modules inside a dedicated patch panel. Once completely cabled, this patch panel will work as “remote” ports. Ideally the patch panels should be located on top of the cabling equipment to facilitate access to overhead cabling. This method significantly decreases cluttering of equipment and cables, resulting in improved cable management.

Standards

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) are the main organizations that develop structured cabling standards for the industry. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) committees do the testing and then set performance specifications.

Standards compliance makes sure that systems function at specified levels, allows backward compatibility, and a greater variety of equipment will be available internationally. Widespread global acceptance of standards allows the sourcing and use of equipment manufactured by different countries.

Color Identification and Naming Scheme will be discussed in Part 3.

Union Network Cabling

When union work requires a unionized cabling group, call on Union Network Cabling for your commercial Cat5e/6/6a and fiber cabling projects. Specializing in cabling for data, voice, security and even the latest WiFi and LiFi solutions. Phone: (202) 462-4290

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