Networks Europe Issue 13 January/February 2018 - Page 16

16 CABLING Cable volume solutions Oli Barrington, Managing Director UK & Ireland, R&M Practical solutions for dealing with high cable volumes in cabinets as demand increases There are many factors currently driving the uptake of higher density cabinets. The cost of colocation space and the cost and availability of space for on-premises data centres and server rooms are driving businesses towards getting more compute and storage out of each cabinet footprint. This trend has been helped by advances made by hardware manufacturers in reducing the power consumption of their devices and the array of available options on the market for removing heat from cabinets. Today, power and heat considerations are less often the limiting factors when it comes to density inside the cabinet. This leaves physical connectivity as a potential inhibitor to increases in density. Density tends to go hand in hand with complexity. HD connectivity in cabinets brings all sorts of challenges. Larger numbers of cables can impact airflow and allow heat to build up. In the worst case, complete cessation of services and equipment damage may occur. Outlets may be so close together that unplugging cables becomes a challenge. Traditional latching mechanisms on copper and fibre connectors are impractical; manufacturers need to overcome this with patch cords designed specifically for use in high- density environments. A well-designed HD solution should help meet increasing demand with a pay-as-you-grow approach. It should be easy to install additional connections without significantly disrupting existing services. Performance optimisation should be a given. What’s more, as so many HD systems connect critical services, risk mitigation should be an essential aspect of design. Practical considerations In today’s data centres the number of physical connections in each compute cabinet can, in some cases, exceed 200. In switch cabinets, there can even be many more. When you