Pre-terminated Solutions for Data Center MDA, HDA and EDA Cabling

Pre-terminated Solutions for Data Center MDA, HDA and EDA Cabling

Posted on by FS.COM

With the rapid growth of big data and cloud service, many enterprises build their own data centers to support the increasing business. Pre-terminated fiber solutions that are more cost-effective and can better meet the high density demands, are ideal options for enterprises to build their modern data centers. In this post, we are going to talk about the pre-terminated solutions for MDA, HDA, and EDA cabling in an enterprise Data Center.

MDA, HDA and EDA in a Data Center

MDA (Main Distribution Area), HDA (Horizontal Distribution Area) and EDA (Equipment Distribution Area) are three main areas of the basically functional spaces in a data center. In addition to them, the basic data center spaces include Entrance room, Zone Distribution Area (ZDA), and so on. The detailed definitions of these areas are shown as following:

Data center functional areas

Item Space Description
1 MDA (Main Distribution Area) The space where core layer equipment such as routers, LAN/SAN (Local Area Network/Storage Area Network) switches, PBXs (Private Branch Exchanges) and Muxes (Multiplexers) are located
2 HDA (Horizontal Distribution Area) The space where aggregation layer equipment such as LAN, SAN, and KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switches are located
3 EDA (Equipment Distribution Area) The space where access layer equipment such as LAN, SAN, and KVM switches and servers are located
4 ZDA (Zone Distribution Area) The space where a consolidation point or other intermediate connection points are located
5 Entrance Room The space where the carrier circuits and demarcation equipment are located


Cabling Between MDA, HDA and EDA

According to TIA-942 standard, the basic data center cabling topology is illustrated as the following diagram. It generally includes a single entrance room, possibly one or more telecommunications rooms, one MDA, and several HDAs and EDAs. From the topology, we can see that there are two main types of cabling between these spaces. One is the backbone cabling, and the other one is the horizontal cabling. Cabling from the MDA to HDA generally uses the backbone cables, and from HDA to EDA, it is horizontal cabling.

TIA-942 data center topology

Note: In addition to the basic type, other topology types such as distributed data center topology, simplified data center topology, and so on are applied according to the actual requirement.

Backbone Cabling
Backbone cabling provides interconnections between entrance room, MDA, and HDAs. Fiber is the recommended media used in backbone cabling, but sometimes copper is also applied for short distance interconnection. In addition, other components such as terminations, patch cords, intermediate and main cross connects are included in backbone cabling. Generally, backbone cabling is expected to serve the needs of the user for 3-10 years based on current and future needs.

Recommended maximum distance limitations for backbone cable include:

  • Voice grade 100 ohm UTP 800 meter limitation
  • STP data grade 150 ohm 90 meter limitation
  • Multimode 62.5/125μm fiber 2000 meter limitation
  • Patch cable 3 to 6 meter limitation

Horizontal Cabling
Horizontal cabling provides interconnections between HDAs, ZDA, and EDAs. The media of horizontal cabling can be either fiber or copper. Horizontal cabling usually extends from the work area telecommunications outlet to horizontal cross-connect. Horizontal cabling can be run in the wall, ceiling spaces or floor through the wireways and conduits. Additionally, installer should also consider voice, fire/safety, video, HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) and EMS (Environmental Management System) when provisioning for the horizontal cabling system.

Recommended maximum distance limitations for horizontal cable include:

  • 100 meters total
  • Maximum of 3 meters from wall jack to workstation
  • Maximum of 6 meters in the telecommunications closet
  • Maximum of 90 meters from telecommunications closet to wall jack

backbone & horizontal cabling

Pre-terminated Solutions for MDA, HDA and EDA Cabling

Pre-terminated solutions are designed for rapid deployment in data center installations and upgrades. Including pre-terminated cable assemblies, enclosures, panels and cassettes, they are ideal for environments where performance, flexibility, and scalability are critical. The following picture shows the basic cabling with pre-terminated solution between MDA, HDA and EDA.

pre-terminated connection sample

Related Product
Space Products
MDA 4U fiber enclosure or 4U HD fiber enclosure
12 or 24 fibers MPO/MTP cassette or HD Cassette
LC to LC Breakout cable
Backbone Cabling 12-144 fibers MPO/MTP trunk cable
MPO/MTP adapter panel
HDA (End-of-Row) 1 or 2U fiber enclosure or HD enclosure
12 or 24 fibers MPO/MTP cassette or HD Cassette
Uniboot LC duplex patch cables
Horizontal Cabling OM3/OM4 fiber cable
EDA (Aggregation Switch) 1U patch panel
Uniboot LC duplex patch cables
MPO/MTP to LC Harness cable
Direct attach cable

Note: Products here listed are pre-terminated fiber assemblies. Copper cabling solution such as Cat6a patch cables, trunk cables, jacks and patch panels are also available in FS.COM.


This post illustrated the pre-terminated solutions for MDA, HDA and EDA cabling in an enterprise Data Center. All the product mentioned above are on sale in FS.COM. For more information about the pre-termination solutions or other cabling solution for data centers, please contact us via or call 1 (718) 577 1006.

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