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Fiber making a home in the data center

By Max Burkhalter
June 10, 2013

A wide range of technologies are making fiber-optic cabling architectures necessary in the data center. However, these IT trends are not the only contributing factors to increased fiber throughout the data center. Instead, innovation in the actual cables, and techniques for using them, are making optical networking more accessible in the data center. According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, fiber is becoming more accessible, to a great extent, because of the growing capabilities of pushable fiber and high-density fiber management solutions.

Evaluating the role of pushable fiber in the data center
Pushable fiber has a major impact on the cost and complexity of installing fiber into the data center. As things stand, you generally have to have a dedicated line available to install fiber. Usually, this means having a duct in place to run fiber into the facility. The report explained that pushable fiber is combining with new materials in fiber-optic cables to allow fiber to be installed in existing ducts. This resolves issues with having to develop major projects to install a few wires and also reduces the costs associated with establishing more bandwidth in the data center.

This technology is enabled by a combination of factors, but new types of microducts are absolutely essential in this segment. Microducts are more flexible than traditional optical cabling deployment methods and can be pushed into traditional ducts to ease optical network deployment, the news source explained. Furthermore, advanced polymers are making the actual cables more flexible and durable.

Considering fiber management
High-density fiber management is integral to unlocking the complete capabilities of an optical network in the data center. The news source explained that a company can no longer get by with a dedicated T1 line or other dedicated optical link. That kind of solution is no longer up to the tasks because bandwidth needs are rising quickly. Instead, fiber management systems are integral to maximizing the benefits offered by the technology.

Take out your media converters
If you are going to try and take full advantage of fiber-optic cabling in the data center, you probably want to invest in a few good fiber to Ethernet media converters. While fiber will get the job done for you in many parts of the data center, you are still probably using Ethernet for the vast majority of your structured cabling architectures. As a result, you need to have media converters at the ready if you want to make the most of the network.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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