Why a Managed Fibre Structured Cabling Approach is Vital

Enhance Data Centre connectivity performance and growth with a managed fibre structured cabling approach

Data Centres are the engines powering the digital age, providing the compute capacity for the endless array of applications we have all come to depend on. Data centres need to be stable, secure, reliable, but also flexibly designed such that they can respond dynamically to technology changes and provide continuous uninterrupted service. They also need to be efficient; to keep operational costs low whilst boosting service delivery to maximise revenue growth.

Connectivity along with space, power, cooling and security is one of the key elements of a successful data centre. Connectivity is critical both in terms of connections to the outside world via external carriers, and the internal connectivity within the data centre itself. High speed, high bandwidth Data Centre connectivity is underpinned by fibre optic cabling. The projected proliferation of data coupled with the need to move large volumes of data reliably and at speed within and between cloud, enterprise, colocation, edge Data Centres and the sources and users of data around the world will have a big effect on how fibre connectivity and structured cabling evolves.

The migration to 100Gb bandwidths is well underway but planning a Data Centre’s fibre infrastructure for the future demands of 400Gb+ connectivity will be key to supporting future applications. Making sure your data centre’s fibre cabling is able to cope with this demand is a consideration that needs to be thought about now by creating suitable upgrade paths that can be ready for future expansion.

Having a standards based, managed fibre structured cabling strategy enhances the overall connectivity performance of a Data Centre and supports the scalability necessary for driving business growth. A structured fibre cabling system involves clear up-front planning to define physical cable pathways and the location of main, zonal or intermediate distribution areas where patching takes place, isolated from the active equipment itself. A well-planned structured fibre cabling system will outlive several generations of active equipment in the Data Centre and will deliver significant ROI compared to less efficient unstructured cabling. Other key benefits to a structured fibre cabling system are the operational efficiencies it will offer and the reduction in risk.

Physical layer connectivity solutions from HUBER+SUHNER facilitate best in class fibre structured cabling, linking backbone infrastructure from the Data Centre Meet Me Rooms (MMR) to equipment ports in the data halls via main and zone distribution areas.

HUBER+SUHNER CDR for centralise cross-connect fibre management

MMR connectivity is carefully managed within Cabling Distribution Racks (CDRs) which provide a centralised cross connect transitioning internal fibre connections within the Data Centre to external carriers. HUBER+SUHNER CDRs allow for mixed fibre types, connectivity options and are modular which means they can be scaled in line with overall Data Centre growth and adapt to technology changes. HUBER+SUHNER CDRs provide a high density (up to 25920 fibres!) cross connect solution on a very small 300mm deep footprint making their use highly space efficient, helping to optimise Data Centre real estate. With their modular trays, integral cable management, and clear labelling, CDRs enable rapid deployment of new fibre circuits and easy MACs.

HUBER+SUHNER IANOS High-Density in-rack Fibre Management system

Across the Data Centre and within the data halls, high density structured fibre cabling is achieved using HUBER+SUHNER IANOS in 19” server, network and storage racks. IANOS is a modular high density cabling system that provides fast, flexible, connectivity options as well as upgrade paths to support future application requirements.

HUBER+SUHER LC-XD Connector with Label Clip fitted

Using IANOS, with its clear labelling fields, in conjunction with HUBER+SUHNER LC-XD patch leads and labelling clips facilitates easy identification of connections and speeds up the process of adding or removing patches while at the same time reducing the risk of downtime as a result of disconnecting the wrong port in error.

Also, with a planned structured cabling approach where zonal and centralised patching locations are deployed, backbone cabling remains undisturbed as there is no need to lift floor tiles to open up pathways to add more circuits. With a point-to-point unstructured approach permanent links are at risk of being disturbed accidentally every time a new circuit needs to be installed which can cause damage to cables or cause connections to become dislodged leading to service disruption and downtime.

An organised approach to structured cabling also makes responsibilities between installation teams more transparent as there are clearer demarcation points. Where there is no structure to the cabling infrastructure it makes it hard for installation teams to define or manage network responsibilities.

Additionally, through the use of high-density structured cabling, including trunk and high core count cables, there are improvements that can be made to the performance of the facility in relation to airflow, fire safety, energy, and space efficiency. The point-to-point approach of unstructured cabling requires additional physical cabling and larger cable pathways to accommodate new links as they are deployed, each one utilising a dedicated cable. Overtime this leads to congestion and sub floor spaces or overhead basket and raceways can become clogged (often due to redundant cables not being removed when connections are upgraded). Severe cable congestion has an impact on the performance of the Data Centre airflow required to cool computer equipment, leading to inefficiencies in power consumption or worse case, putting active equipment at risk of failure. Unstructured cabling can have negative impact on fire safety. By utilising multiple small cables as opposed to higher core count trunks or bulk cables there will be an increased volume of plastic and other compounds which have higher burn and toxicity risk in the event of a fire. Through utilising multi-fibre cables these risks can be mitigated against. With high core counts now available up to 288 fibres in one cable, compact trunk cables save space which supports airflow optimisation, and fire safety is also improved as applicable high-quality industry standards require less plastic in cables that are specifically developed for use in shared pathways.

By utilising fibre network connectivity solutions from HUBER+SUHNER and taking a unified approach to your fibre cabling, Data Centres can implement scalable, modular systems that provide high density, flexibility, efficiency and reliability.

Contact us to discuss how we can assist you in improving your structured fibre cabling and your network’s readiness for tomorrow’s demands.