Basic Knowledge & Tips for Data center Cabling

Updated on Jun 10, 2022

In the data center cabling system, both optical and copper cables are very important, and they each have different performance and features. While fiber optic cables are widely deployed and have always been the preferred choice for data center cabling, the use of copper cabling is also very popular. However, no matter which one you choose, you must consider how to ensure the cabling cleaning and avoid losses and problems. Here are some necessary knowledge and tips.

Data Center Cabling Standards

Industry cabling stands for data centers is to ensure safety and provide the basis for building an integrated infrastructure. At the same time, they also offer guidelines for maintaining high-levels of cable performance for the next several years. There are a number of data center standards for cabling. Here are the three common ones.

Cabling Standard Type Function
ANSI/TIA-942 This standard outlines the functional areas specific to the data center and provides a minimum recommendation for pathway and space, distance between the backbone and the horizontal cable medium, redundancy, cable management and environmental considerations.
ISO/IEC 24764 Based on TIA-942 and EN 50173-5, this international standard specifies the cabling used in the data center. We refer to ISO/IEC 11801 and add information related to data center.
ANSI/BICSI 002-2014 This standard provides guidelines for data center design and operation. It covers planning, construction, commissioning, protection, management and maintenance of the data center, as well as cabling infrastructure, pathways and spaces. It also covers modular data center, container type data center, and energy efficiency, and also describes its own availability class structure for determining reliability.

Tips for Data Center Cabling Design

The data center gathers the most expensive servers, storage, and network equipment, and is responsible for the arduous task of data storage and access. Therefore, you need to pay great attention to the design of data center cabling and consider many aspects to make it conform to your current and future business plans. You can choose pre-terminated cables, which save wiring time and improves wiring efficiency.

Choosing the Right Cabling Design

There are two main ways to consider when designing data center cabling: backbone cabling and horizontal cabling. The backbone cabling is mainly used for the connection of terminal machines, fiber patch cords, and other parts of the data center. Its advantage lies in simplifying the design pattern of data center cabling. However, it is not suitable for distributed data center environments or environments with multiple portals.

Horizontal cabling supports all cabling options, including fiber optic, copper, or combination. At the same time, horizontal cabling enables machine termination, patch cords, and horizontal crossover connections in the horizontal distribution area (HDA). Apart from this, there is also a cabling design, called area cabling, which not only increases the design cost but also cannot be applied to the cross-connect channel.

Appropriate Planning

Space planning is required first, and you need to take into account the central wiring that allows the running of cables from the HDA as well as the EDA. Airflow and cooling are very important in space planning as cabling design can strongly affect airflow efficiency. The second is planning for future business. The cabling needs to allowable the state of the network in the next 10-15 years. Although UTP copper cables are now commonly used in data centers, the need for maximum and future support for high-speed systems has led to the use of more fiber.

Planning cabling patches is also one of the most important factors to consider when cabling in a data center. The key parameters that affect cabling paths are rack density, cable type/quantity/diameter, end equipment cable entry, and room height.

Media Choice

Media selection covers all aspects of data center cabling design, which means you need to choose the right cables to complete your cabling design. Media converters are as easy to install as patch cords and connectors and do not interfere with upper-layer protocol information, allowing you to quickly complete the implementation of fiber expansion.

Data Center Cabling Installation & Maintenance

After the design of the data center cabling system is completed, the next step is to start the installation. The installation also requires great attention to avoid the adverse effects of data center wiring on data transmission. Below we have listed some installation methods, and routine maintenance also needs to be done regularly.

  • Using fiber raceway. Routing path has been clearly defined by the fiber raceway and is easy to follow, which can determine the validity of cabling, as well as reduce congestion in the termination panel.

  • Using cable labels. Cable labeling makes cabling jobs easier and safer. Label cords with “from and to” location. Clear and intuitive identification eases installation along with moves, adds, and changes. /p>

  • Keeping fiber and copper cable runs separated. Copper cables are heavy and can damage any fiber cables that are placed underneath.

  • Noticing the location of copper wires, and do not place them near devices with high-level electromagnetic interfaces. Generally locations near power cords, fluorescent lights, building electrical cables, and fire prevention components.

  • Measuring cable lengths and determining cable branch lengths for interleaving into specific ports, patch panels and/or hardware.

  • Carefully check the end face of the optical cable to avoid end-face contamination. Debris, dust, and oil from your wiring ends can wreak havoc on your network. This is one of the most common problems when dealing with fiber cabling failures.

  • For horizontal and backbone twisted-pair cabling, preserving the same density of twists in the pairs up to its termination.

  • Reserving expansion space for future business expansion to increase cable requirements.

  • Noting the fiber bend radius. The measurement of the bend radius or curve can determine the flow strength of the data signal. When installing fiber patch cables, do not bend them beyond their specified bend radius.

  • Completing the cable test. After installing the cables, system inspection is required to ensure the stability of the cable connections and avoid other troubles.

Regular maintenance tips are also critical when cables are connected and put into use, such as keeping cables clean and tidy, storing cables, and regularly checking their usage status.

Data Center Cabling Solutions

Cabling is an important part of data center designs. Regardless of how or where you deploy your infrastructure, FS provides end-to-end fiber cabling solutions to support your growing network needs in the data center, including pre-terminated fiber/copper cables and cable management assemblies.

data center cabling, fiber optic cabling, copper cabling

Fiber Optic Cabling Solution for Data Center

In trunk or backbone cabling applications, fiber optic cables can save up to 60% more space than copper UTP cabling, making them the perfect choice for high-density data center cabling. FS provides various fiber optic cables, such as OS2 single-mode fibers, OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4/OM5 multi-mode fiber cables, MTP/MPO cables, etc., to meet the different needs of data center cabling.

FS single-mode fibers and multi-mode fiber cables have good repeatability and interchangeability, offering a variety of connector types with flame retardant, rugged factors. And FS MTP/MPO cables facilitate rapid deployment of high density backbone cabling in data centers and other high fiber environments, reducing network installation or reconfiguration time and cost. They all are rigorously tested before leaving the factory and comply with cable standards. 

data center cabling

Copper Cabling Solution for Data Center

While fiber optic cables are becoming more popular in data center cabling, copper cables still make up a large percentage of existing data centers. For modern high-density data center construction, FS offers a range of copper cables including Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7 for high-quality data transmission. Copper cables have fast transmission speed and good signal quality. FS copper cables are divided into multiple colors and lengths to help simplify complex cable runs and are protected by a CM-grade PVC jacket. Plus, the snap-free design protects the clip during insertion and extraction.

Products Cat5e Cat6, Cat6a Cat7
Typical Construction UTP UTP/SFTP SFTP
Cable Outer Diameter 5.5± 0.4mm 6.1 ± 0.4mm/6.2 ± 0.3mm 6.2 ± 0.3mm
Maximum Frequency 250MHz 550MHz 600MHz
Cable Jacket PVC CM (Round) PVC CM (Round) PVC CM (Round)
Application 10/100/1000Base-T 1000Base-T/10GBase-T 10GBase-T

Data Center Cable Management Assemblies

Cable management assemblies are necessary for orderly data center cabling. FS cable management assemblies are complete, including horizontal cable managers, vertical cable managers, cable ties, and cable labels to realize more convenient cable management, maintain the aesthetics of data center wiring, and achieve a certain protective effect.

Product Description Product Description
data center cable management, cable manager 1U Metal Detachable Horizontal Cable Management Panel with 5 D-ring & Lacing Bar data center cable management, cable marker 10pcs/lot Color Label Numbering Cable Wire Marker Identification
data center cable management, cable ties 25pcs/Bag 10in.L x 0.5in.W T type Magnetic Velcro Cable Tie-Colorful data center cable management, fiber raceway 4"x10" Horizontal Cross Fiber Raceway / Fiber Routing System


Related article:

Efficient Cable Management: How to Make It Right?

Fiber Patch Panels: Network Necessities

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