Cabling For Data Centers
More and more business processes are moving from local networks into the cloud. Network requirements for modern business are skyrocketing, and the rate of change isn’t slowing down. Even modern data centers with modern cabling and infrastructure are reaching capacity. The constant demand for more bandwidth and more data throughput often results in constant expansion.
But for less modern data centers with aging cabling, simply adding capacity won’t cut it. For companies that leverage data centers for their operations, it’s critical to respond to growing bandwidth needs and prepare for the coming decades by future-proofing their data center with high-performance cable solutions.
The Problems With Current Cabling
The biggest issue with existing cabling is that it simply isn’t adequate for modern network requirements. With bandwidth demands approaching the 100GB/s mark, data centers built with 10GB/s equipment are functionally obsolete. And demands aren’t slowing down: Speeds of 400GB/s are now the standard for higher-end data centers. Network and cabling infrastructure has to accommodate existing requirements as well as future speeds.
Like any technology, time and use play a big role in the performance of a data center’s cabling. Much of it depends on the initial installation and how well it was maintained over the years, but performance problems are inevitable as technology evolves. Even when cabling supports modern servers and protocols, it’s often not optimized and creates choke points that slow the entire network.
Lastly, standards have evolved considerably over the last few decades. Improper cable usage, incorrect connectors, and poor or no cable management all significantly impact data center performance. Infrastructure design and management are just as important as the technology used.
When To Upgrade And The Challenges
If your business is facing challenges with slow network performance on an aging data center, there’s a good chance the cabling is to blame. Even for companies that meet existing requirements with older cabling, it’s important to keep in mind that enterprise bandwidth requirements aren’t shrinking. If you’re approaching your data center’s network capacity, it won’t be long before you exceed it.
But upgrading a data center’s cabling is a challenging endeavor. There’s always the risk of unexpected downtimes and network impacts that cause a loss in productivity. Data is the lifeblood of a business, so it’s imperative that an upgrade moves smoothly and doesn’t cause any disruptions to business operations.
The key is choosing the right partner. When dealing with mission-critical infrastructure, working with a business that knows how to assess the existing cabling and identify both pitfalls and opportunities is crucial. Most importantly, the partner you choose needs to understand how to properly plan your cabling transition.
Transitioning From Current Cabling To Future Cabling
Installing the right infrastructure and cabling is crucial for future-proofing a data center. Just as important, however, is planning. You need to weigh considerations such as the complexity of the network’s design, space limitations, bandwidth requirements, and reach. These variables help determine what type of equipment and cabling should be used.
In terms of cabling, most data centers use two types of fiber optic cables:
- Single-mode fibers: These fiber optic cables are smaller and transmit data via infrared light. Compared to multimode fibers, they provide good bandwidth over much greater lengths.
- Multimode fibers: These cables have larger cores that carry data via various light wavelengths. They provide much higher bandwidth over short and medium ranges.
In most cases, data centers need a combination of both types of fiber optics, but requirements differ on a case-by-case basis. For example, a single-building data center will use mostly multimode cabling since the higher reach of single-mode isn’t necessary.
In short, a data center with the right cabling system provides significant benefits to a business’s bottom line. Not only does it create a more efficient and capable network, now and in the future, but it means installation and management of future equipment is far more efficient.
Future-Proof Your Business
Data is the core of every modern business, making network connectivity paramount to your business operations. Whether you’re dealing with poor network performance now or simply want to prepare for the future, upgrading your data center’s cabling is foundational to your business’s success.
Contact Us Today To Learn More
NCS has provided peerless cabling products, solutions, and installations for over three decades. We provide turn-key solutions for modern businesses, from network infrastructure to data center cabling and more. If you’re ready to build a future-proof network for your business, get in touch with us today.