Preparing for the Unpredictable

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The Right Data Center Cabling Is Critical —

In recent years we have hit a period of rapid technological advancements. With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based services, 4K videos, AI, VR, and 5G, we are only just starting to witness what this means for cloud services.

With the inexorable approach of these emerging technologies, the growth rate of global data center traffic is expected to exceed 27% CAGR, according to Cisco Global Cloud Index. This will require the expansion of existing data centers, as well as the construction of new ones. With demands for data increasing at such an unprecedented rate worldwide, data center operators are under mounting pressure to develop and build data centers that can handle the increased connectivity and bandwidth demands that these new technologies bring.

As such, data centers are being forced to adapt to the demands of their ever-changing environments, and it is crucial that data center operators invest in technology that will grow alongside them.

An example of a flexible, comprehensive fiber management system that can be managed easily and efficiently.

An example of a flexible, comprehensive fiber management system that can be managed easily and efficiently.

The Call for Change

With the ongoing rapid advancement of these many technologies, the availability of computing and storage with ultra-low latency needs to be at the forefront of data center operators’ minds. Downtime of any data center carries enormous cost implications to an operator, so it is crucial that there are fiber management solutions in place that make day-to-day operations as seamless as possible.

If demands continue at the current rate, it is predicted that hyperscale data centers would need to be upgraded every 2 years to keep up with the bandwidth and storage demands. The cost and time implications for data center operators to overhaul the entire system every couple of years would be astronomical. Instead, operators need to be doing all they can to invest in technology that future-proofs their investments.

In addition, there has been a lot of talk about the need for 400G. Today, it is a small market and 400G links are not widely deployed in the industry at present. But, an increase in the adoption of this technology is expected in the coming years with hyperscale cloud data centers driving the development of 400G.

Fiber Management Is Key

Operators should look to select a system where modules can be installed, exchanged, or removed, easily to lower the risk of human error

Operators should look to select a system where modules can be installed, exchanged, or removed, easily to lower the risk of human error

Fiber management systems are crucial in organising the cabling in a clear and concise way, reducing the risk of damage and downtime. The large costs associated with inaccessible data means that downtime is simply not acceptable for a data center operator. With hyperscale data centers containing a massive number of servers, it is absolutely crucial that every single fiber moved is the correct one.

Due to the complexity of fiber cabling, operators need to deploy flexible, comprehensive fiber management systems that can be managed with ultimate ease and maximum efficiency. The operation system in place is critical to the make or break of data center efficiency. For the ultimate level of protection and maximum ease, operators should install fiber optic systems in the meet-me-room (MMR) or main distribution area (MDA) that are high-density with a clear demarcation point. To ensure a highly secure environment and to reduce the likelihood of human errors, the fiber management system needs to organize the cabling in a clear and concise way, reducing the possibility of damage and downtime. Selecting a dense cross-connect fiber management system is best. By having all the connections in 1 location, there are fewer reasons for someone to interact with the active equipment in the data center and cause an error.

With the future requiring such a short time-to-market turn-around, selecting a fiber management system with modules that can be installed, exchanged, and removed, in a simple and easy way is crucial to the adaption of changes in bandwidth and connectivity demands. One option is a double-access fiber management system that offers a modular approach and makes the cabling structure in a data center incredibly flexible. The ideal system could be installed in a diverse range of positions whether that be against a wall, end of row, or back to back in a row — this means the system can be used in the main distribution area (MDA) but also in the horizontal distribution area (HDA).

As the pressure on data centers continues to increase, operators need to consider all options, and remain flexible and ready for any eventualities should they arise. There are many options for data center operators to consider when selecting a fiber management system.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable

It is difficult to completely future-proof a data center, because, quite simply, nobody can predict what the environment is going to be like in the next 5 to 10 years. However, in order for data center operators to be keeping up with the unprecedented demands, they need to take advantage of the systems that are simple, high-density, and high-quality, that allow them to be able to do their jobs effectively.

As technological innovation continues, the pressure on data centers is going to mount further, making fiber management systems with easy handling designs that clearly demonstrate the incoming and outgoing connectivity critical to their future.

 

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About Author

Andreas Sila is the Data Center Market Manager of the Fixed Network and Data Center division at HUBER+SUHNER in Switzerland. He is responsible for the global portfolio for the structured cabling and data center market. He has more than 10 years of experience in the ICT and Fiber Optics industry, and holds a de-gree in electrical engineering. He is currently doing his MBA programme at a University in Zurich. For more information, please email andre-as.sila@hubersuhner.com, connect on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreas-sila-784338105, visit https://www.hubersuhner.com/en, and follow the company on Twitter @hubersuhner.

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