Pre-terminated structured cabling

Pre-terminated structured cabling is a boon when deploying mission-critical network infrastructure explains Shibu Vahid, head of technical operations, R&M Middle East & Africa.

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Pre-terminated structured cabling Shibu Vahid from R&M says that pretermination eliminates the need for on-site field termination, simplifying the implementation process.
By  Shibu Vahid Published  February 1, 2013

Pre-terminated structured cabling is a boon when deploying mission-critical network infrastructure explains Shibu Vahid, head of technical operations, R&M Middle East & Africa.

The explosion of ‘big data’ and the seemingly limitless demand for bandwidth are driving trends in today’s IT-centric world. The ‘faster, better, most cost effective’ mentality has led enterprises of all sizes to closely scrutinise their networking infrastructure.

The need to deploy high speed network backbones that meet present and future requirements while reducing costs present conflicting interests.

With the need for higher bandwidth and flexibility for growth, organisations are looking at the network’s physical layer and its overall life cycle as a capital investment essential to the business.

Throw into this mix the increasing focus on sustainability and the task of designing a high-performance, high-efficiency network seems insurmountable.

Addressing efficiency at a physical infrastructure level has fueled the growing adoption of pre-terminated structured cabling systems. Available for both copper and fibre-optic systems, pre-termination is carried out at the factory and eliminates the need for on-site field termination. These solutions simplify the design and installation of network services by providing high-density, end-to-end systems that deliver quick, plug-in network deployment.

Designed to speed up installation and reduce material wastage, pre-terminated cabling is the ideal solution for quickly deploying the mission-critical network infrastructure.

Problems with on-site termination
In a traditional cabling installation project, cables are cut to appropriate length and then terminated on location. This is both time consuming and requires that cable-installers have skill and experience. Furthermore, given the exposure to uncontrolled environmental conditions the connector quality can be affected.

The construction of a typical data centre also involves collaboration between a number of subcontractors, coordinating these subcontractors is a challenge and any solution which can help reduce installation time, free up schedules and reduce man-power reduces the implementation costs.

Benefits of pretermination
Pre-terminated cable systems require more effort at the planning stage. Once the requirements have been identified, the implementation process is simplified. The modularity of pre-terminated cabling solutions in the data centre enables fast installation times and swift upgrades, which reduce the total cost of network ownership. The plug-and-play nature of these systems means that installation does not require skilled specialists.

Cabling systems are installed to last anywhere between 20 to 25 years. Precision factory termination processes for both fibre and copper take place in a clean environment, offering advantages over the variability that can result from connector termination in uncontrolled field conditions. These components are factory tested by the cabling vendors and deliver consistent performance.

Also, the high-density design of these solutions conserves valuable data centre real estate.

The high-density cabling also has an effect on air circulation in data centres and on the energy consumption of the overall data centre systems.

Bunching of long cables blocks the flow of air in the data centre. Eliminating cable bunching improves optimisation and contributes to energy efficiency.

While pre-terminated cabling solutions present a larger investment upfront, the advantages they offer in terms of reduced installation time, labour costs, reduced material wastage, space and energy savings and life-cycle translate to a significantly lower cost of ownership.

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