As networking equipment becomes denser and port counts in the data center increase to several hundred ports, managing cables that are connected to these devices becomes a difficult challenge. Traditionally, conneting cables directly to individual ports on low-port-count equipment was considered manageable. Applying the same principle to high-density and high-port-count equipment makes the task more tedious, and it is nearly impossible to add or remove cables that are connected directly to the equipment ports.
Using fiber cable assemblies that have a single connector at one end of the cable and multipe duplex breakout cables at the other end is an alternative to alleviate cable management. Multifiber Push-On (MPO) cable assemblies can achieve these goals. The idea is to pre-connect the high-density and high-port-count Lucent Connector(LC) equipment with and MPO to LC Breakout cable (shown in Figure 6-1) to dedicated MPO modules with a dedicated patch panel. After the panel is fully cabled, this patch panel functions as through it were “remove” ports for the equipment. These dedicated patch panels ideally should be above the equipment whose cabling they handle for easier access to overhead cabling. Using this strategy drastically reduces equipment cabling clutter and improves cable mangament.
As an example, the MPO module that is shown in Figure 6-1 is housed in a modular patch panel that is installed above a Fiber Channel director switch at the EDA. MPO trunk cables are used to link this patch panel to another moudular patch panel at the HDA. The patch panel at the HDA converts the MPO interface back to the LC interfaces by using MPO cassette. MPO trunk cables an accommodate up to 72 individual fibers in one assembly, providing 36 duplex connetions.
Choose the fire-rated plenum type. These cables might not be as flexible as the patch cords because they are meant for fairly static placements, for example, between the EDA and the HDA. For fiber, high density involving 24-strand to 96-strand cables is adequate. Fiber breakout cables provide more protection, but add to the diameter of the overall cable bundle. For fiber, MPO fiber trunk cable(up to 72 fiber strands can be housed in one MPO connetion) can be installed if you are using MPO style cabling.