Cabling Data Center Process: Planning & Implementing its Infrastructure

Today’s data centers are the home to diverse bandwidth-demanding devices, like servers, storage systems, and backup devices which are interconnected by networking equipment. All these devices drive the need for reliable and manageable cabling infrastructure with higher performance and more flexibility for today and future growth. While managing the cabling in data centers, two main processes are included: planning the cabling infrastructure and implementing the cables.
Planning the Cabling Infrastructure
As networking equipment becomes denser, and port counts in data centers increase to several hundred ports, managing cables connected to these devices becomes a difficult challenge. Thus, during planning the cabling infrastructure, it’s wise to do the following:
Choosing Fiber Cable Assembly
This assembly has a single connector at one end of the cable and multiple duplex breakout cables at the other end, an alternative to avoid cable management. The LC (Lucent Connector) –MPO (Multifiber Push-On) breakout cable assemblies are designed to do just that. The idea is to pre-connect the high-density, high- port-count LC equipment with LC-MPO breakout cable to dedicated MPO modules within a dedicated patch panel, reducing equipment cabling clutter and improving cable management. This image below show the LC-MPO breakout cable assembly that consolidates six duplex LC ports into one MPO connection.
Nowadays, this breakout technology is widely used in 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) applications. Like QSFP-4X10G-AOC10M, this product is the QSFP to four SFP+ active optical breakout cable assembly with the 10m short reach.
Using Color to Identify Cables
Color coding simplifies management and can save you hours when you need to trace cables. Cables are available in many colors (table shown below). For instance, multi-mode fiber (MMF) looks in orange (OM1, OM2) and in aqua (OM3), while yellow is usually the color of single-mode fiber (SMF) which is taken as the transmission media when the required distance is as long as 2km, or 10km . Take WSP-Q40GLR4L for example, this 40GBASE-LR4L QSFP+ transceiver works through SMF for 2km link length.
Implementing the Cabling Infrastructure
While implementing the cables, the following tasks should be obeyed by.
Testing the Links
Testing cables throughout the installation stage is imperative. Any cables that are relocated or terminated after testing should be retested. Although testing is usually carried out by an authorized cabling implementer, you should obtain a test report for each cable installed as part of the implementation task.
Building a Common Framework for the Racks
this step is to stage a layout that can be mirrored across all racks in data centers for consistency, management, and convenience. Starting with an empty 4-post rack or two, build out and establish an internal standard for placing patch panels, horizontal cable managers, vertical cable managers, and any other devices that are planned for placement into racks or a group of racks. The INTENTION is to fully cable up the common components while monitoring the cooling, power, equipment access, and growth for the main components in the racks.
A good layout discourages cabling in between racks due to lack of available data ports or power supply ports, allowing more power outlets and network ports than you need. This will save you money in the long run as rack density increases, calling for more power and network connectivity. Using correct length cables, route patch cables up or down through horizontal patch panels alleviates overlapping other ports. Some cable slack may be needed to enable easy removal of racked equipment.
Documentation
Typically, the most critical task in cable management is to document the complete infrastructure: including diagrams, cable types, patching information, and cable counts. It’s advised update the documentation and keep it accessible to data center staff on a share drive or intranet Web site.
Stocking Spare Cables
It’s sestible to maintain an approximately the same amount on the installed cabling and ports in use, so as to face the environment variation or emergency.

Author: Fiber-MART.COM

eShop of Fiber Optic Network, Fiber Cables & Tools

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