Siemon picks up the pace
As the basis for LAN and datacentres, cabling must keep innovating to keep the rest of the network humming
Structured cabling is the key foundation to all local area networks (LANs) and data centres. That is why keeping up with the latest technology and developments in cabling is key to ensuring network efficiency.
In the LAN, notes Prem Rodrigues, sales manager for EMEA at Siemon, businesses are looking to provide the optimum balance of performance for current and future applications, flexible spaces that accommodate moves, adds and changes (MACs), and the most efficient use of cabling materials. “This has given rise to trends such as zone cabling and the use of a single, simplified structured cabling infrastructure to support a wider variety of converged, IP-based applications and devices, as well as deploying higher-performing cabling systems to ensure support for emerging applications,” adds Rodrigues.
In the data centre, the focus is on preventing downtime while maximizing space and manageability and keeping up with higher-speed data transmission. One of the main developments in data centre cabling, Rodrigues explains, has been the shift to plug-and-play pre-terminated cabling solutions that reduce deployment time and offer improved performance. “Other trends include the use of higher-density solutions and smaller diameter cables to save space in patching environments and pathways, as well the use of advanced fibre solutions to support the latest 40 and 100 gigabit per second (Gb/s) applications in switch-to-switch backbone connections and higher performing shielded copper solutions to support 10 Gb/s and higher applications in switch-to-server horizontal connections,” Rodrigues adds.
Siemon offers a comprehensive range of suites of fiber and copper cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, power solutions and automated infrastructure management, explains Narender Vasandani, technical manager MECA region for Siemon. Some of the company’s flagship products include LightHouse Advanced Fiber Cabling Systems for 1, 10, 40 and 100 Gb/s applications, LightStack Ultra High Density plug-and-play fiber system, the highest performing TERA Category 7A/Class FA copper system, Z-MAX Category 6A shielded and UTP systems, data center cabinets, ConvergeIT IP-based intelligent building & zone cabling systems, and, EagleEye Connect Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) system.
“The combination of these high-performance products and a long-standing commitment to customers and the industry has earned Siemon a reputation for industry leadership, innovation, quality, and expert service and support,” says Vasandani. “This reputation is reinforced through adherence to industry standards, significant investment in R&D with more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified manufacturing facilities and global sales, technical and logistics expertise with certified installers and distribution partners spanning 100 countries,” Vasandani adds.
The fibre optic space is where a lot of innovation is at play.
Bend insensitive multimode fibre (BIMMF), Rodrigues notes, is one advancement in fibre that has quickly gained traction in the industry. When optical fibre exceeds a certain bend radius during installation, light can be lost, which causes signal loss. This is especially a concern in tight-fitting, high-density fibre patching areas. BIMMF can withstand less signal loss during bending, making it an ideal choice for data centre applications, Rodrigues explains.
“In addition, there is current work within standards bodies to specify wideband multimode fibre (WBMMF), which uses wavelength division multiplexing to support four wavelength transmission over one fibre and enable the potential for a duplex multimode fibre to support 100 Gb/s rather than the 8 or 4 fibres used today,” Rodrigues says.
The Fibre-to-the-Office segment is a key focus area for Siemon.
Siemon’s LightHouse line of fibre solutions includes a comprehensive set of cable and connectivity that enables end-to-end systems, from the data centre and telecommunications room to the office, Vasandani says. “Siemon MAX fibre adapter modules are compatible with MAX faceplates, modular furniture adapters, surface mount boxes and patch panels. They also can be installed in Siemon MAX Zone Unit Enclosures that offer an economical, high-density solution for use with low-profile sub-floor applications in open office environments. This enables short fibre links from the zone enclosure to the office that improves flexibility of work spaces by accommodating moves, adds and changes,” Vasandani adds.
Decades ago many proponents declared that fibre it would eventually replace copper. However advancements in copper have since brought us class EA/category 6A and class FA/category 7A, and will soon bring us category 8. “Not only has that paved the way for copper to keep up with bandwidth demands, but unlike fibre, copper has the capability to deliver dc power to IP-enabled devices such as surveillance cameras, wireless access points, RFID readers, digital displays, IP phones and other equipment,” says Vasandani. “The popularity of this technology is staggering—more than 100 million power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled ports are shipping annually,” Rodrigues adds.
Fibre has its obvious benefits of course.
While fibre to the desk is typically limited to specialised applications or highly secure networks, Rodrigues notes, it remains the standard for backbone cabling in the LAN, the data centre and in the outside plant arena where longer distances and higher transmission than what copper cabling can support are typically required. “Fibre is the only cable media able to handle longer distance 40 and 100 gigabit channels in the data centre and the outside plant. With the need for remote power applications like PoE in the LAN and higher speed long distance transmission in the backbone, it’s obvious that copper and fibre both have their place in the network and will co-exist for many years to come.”