DCN April 2016 - Page 16

cabling BIG FUTURE, BIG DEMANDS Valerie Maguire of Siemon discusses current and future application standards, media types and deployment strategies for data centre cabling to meet the demands of Big Data and the Internet of Things. E veryone is talking about how the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are driving the need for more bandwidth and increased transmission speeds in cloud, colocation and enterprise data centres to handle larger sets of complex data from multiple sources. Much of this growth in data is being driven by advancements in sensor technology and a growing number of IP enabled devices, as well as an ever increasing number of mobile devices. Today’s leading organisations are looking to effectively utilise all of this data to improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, cut Figure 1 16 operational expenditures and improve productivity. For organisations to gain the most from the IoT and Big Data, data centre cabling infrastructures must allow for quick and efficient transmission of data for processing, analysing and storage. Whether the data centre is outsourced in a cloud or colocation centre, customer owned and operated, or a hybrid of both, effectively moving today’s larger sets of complex data requires reliable, low latency, high bandwidth connections between a variety of active equipment at the edge and within switch-toswitch backbone links to the core and storage area network (SAN). At the same time, the data centre cabling infrastructure must ensure maximum management and scalability to accommodate the continued growth in data and bandwidth demand. Thankfully, developments in industry standards, advancements in cable technology and improved infrastructure design are making this possible. Data centre owners and operators will be well benefited by understanding current and future application standards, media types and deployment strategies for their data centre cabling. Cabling the edge In the equipment distribution area of the data centre, where access switches transmit data to and from active equipment at the edge (eg. application servers, storage area devices and other processing equipment), transmission speeds have increased from 1 to 10 gigabit per second (Gb/s). The IEEE 10GBase-T Ethernet application supports 10Gb/s over standards based Category 6A or