image alt tag

Media converters play key part in cabling efficiency plans

By Donna Donnawitz
July 1, 2013

Copper cables transmit signal through the network using a controlled electrical charge that moves through the copper wire between destinations. This can actually lead to major energy-efficiency challenges in data centers where cabling footprints are substantial. With data traffic rates rising and sustainability issues becoming a prominent issue in the data center sector, turning to fiber is becoming a realistic option in some data center efficiency strategies. For this to work effectively, organizations need to invest in fiber to Ethernet media converters to support interoperability within the network.

Considering the environmental impact of copper cables
Copper cabling systems generally hit a data limit at a fairly low level, meaning organizations often must deploy large numbers of cables to different servers in order to meet operational demands. The end result of this situation is a data center in which dozens of cables can be intertwined in an either floor-based or above-rack organization system. This consolidates the cables into a reasonable amount of space from a storage perspective, but also combines all of the small electric signals being sent through the cables into those areas. As a result, Ethernet cables themselves can generate substantial amounts of heat, an issue that is only compounded by the airflow limitations created by cabling systems in the data center.

When heat generated by cables couples with airflow problems, the situation is one in which data center cooling systems often have to work hard to get the job done. In many cases, this leads to major power consumption problems and subsequent energy-efficiency problems for companies depending heavily on copper cables.

Turning to fiber to improve efficiency
While an all-fiber setup is not viable in most enterprise data centers, strategic fiber deployments that link different parts of the data center, such as densely-populated server racks, can reduce the cabling burden in the data center, ease airflow challenges and eliminate the heat generated by electric signals in copper cables. The end result can be a facility that is much more efficient. Some organizations in the supercomputing industry have begun experimenting with similar architectures.

While using fiber to support sustainability efforts is a valid option, it also creates interoperability challenges. Cost-efficient media converters can eliminate these compatibility issues by converting signal between copper and fiber cables, allowing data to move freely through the network while freeing IT leaders to maximize facility efficiency.

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.


Have a Question? Chat with a live Product Specialist!

Have a Question?

We can provide more information about our products or arrange for a price quotation.

email-icon Send an Email
contactus-icon Send an Email callus-icon Call Us

Send us an Email