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TIA working on new standard to support data center network demands

By Max Burkhalter
July 11, 2012
The requirements for networks in the data center are changing quickly. In response, the Telecommunications Industry Association is already working to revise a standard that has yet to be officially ratified, Cabling Installation & Maintenance reported.

The TIA-942-A Telecommunications Infrastructure for Data Centers standard has been in the works for a while and is designed to help organizations adapt their network systems to the unique challenges emerging in the industry. It is currently being analyzed by the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and is expected to be ratified fairly soon. However, the TIA has identified virtualization and cloud computing as technologies that are fueling rapid changes in the data center. As a result, the standards body is already working on an addendum that will include provisions for data center networking solutions that specifically target the demand created by cloud computing and virtualization.

Jonathan Jew, principal of J&M Consultants, told the news source that TIA is actively working to adapt its data center networking standards to support a variety of new technologies. Jew, who worked on the panel for TIA-942-A, TIA-942 and many other cabling and network standards explained that standards bodies in general are responding to the changing data center network climate by adjusting how they go about developing regulations.

"[Standards bodies] are updating their standards to incorporate many new industry developments, like energy efficiency and modular data centers," Jew told Cabling Installation & Maintenance. "Additionally, we are trying to get ahead of the curve by increasing minimum grades of cable and recommending grades of cable capable of supporting new networks. We are also not restricting ourselves to the five-year cycle of ANSI standard revision and are developing addenda to handle new needs."

Virtualization is at the foundation of networking shifts in the data center. A variety of changes are taking place throughout the sector, but many of them point back to the core problems created by virtual server infrastructure. Typically, a server has a network port that the application hosted on it uses to communicate with the network. When a server is virtualized, dozens of virtual machines may have to share that port, created new data throughput demands and performance challenges that are demanding new solutions. Without innovation, many of the infrastructure and efficiency advances taking place may be stifled by inferior communications architectures.

Perle’s wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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