Data centers house many diverse bandwidth-intensive devices, clustered storage systems, and backup devices – all interconnected by networking equipment. These devices require an advanced cabling system that is vital for the reliable transmission of ever-growing data volumes over the network
Cabling is a one-time investment for the successful operation of the data center. Carefully planning and getting the cabling design right is imperative for hassle-free functioning of the data center.
The planning process of cabling systems and specific cabling solutions in data centers are worth a study to understand how to deploy cables in a data center.
Structured Cabling Systems (SCCs)
Cabling within a data center may be either structured or unstructured. Structured cabling uses predefined connection points and pathways with a set wiring design and are managed through patch panels for better control. The cables are well organized and labeled. Although a structured cabling system may take longer to install, the operational cost will ultimately be lower, and the life cycle of the system be extended. Additionally, the entire infrastructure is easily scalable in the future and much easier to manage.
Unlike unstructured cabling systems, a structured cabling system uses predefined standards and pathways. As there is no jumbled mess the air flow is not restricted and there is no congestion that can lead to cooling issues or incur higher energy cost and limited life cycle of equipment. A structured cabling system is inherently more reliable and does not result in extended downtime. All data centers follow structured cabling specifications.
Cabling Types: Copper, fiber or a mix of both
Data centers require cables and wires that meet requirements for high reliability, enhanced performance and high bandwidth capabilities. The cabling may be selected on basis of the equipment bandwidth requirements and you may accordingly choose the type of cables for the purpose of data transmission. The two main types of cables are copper and fiber optic cables.
Copper cables are available in numbered categories from category 1 to 6 and even further. Category 6 is used to transmit up to 10 Gbps over longer lengths.
Fiber optic cables are preferred for their better benefits:
– Fiber optic cables deliver high bandwidth transmission.
– Fiber optics offer low power loss, allowing to transmit signals over longer distances without affecting the signals’ quality. Since the data is transferred through the light in these cables, there is a significantly low-security risk.
– The cables are resistant to electromagnetic interference and perform well in environments surrounded by heating and ventilation.
– In comparison with copper cables, fiber optics come in smaller diameters that saves up room space for other cables.
– The biggest advantage is that they can accommodate the growing needs of bandwidth. Without the need to replace the existing infrastructure, you can add new equipment to meet the increase in bandwidth requirements.
Many organizations use copper and fiber optic cables together for optimized results. Modular cabling systems for fiber and copper connectivity are gaining popularity. Modular cabling introduces cables that are normally pre-terminated and tested. With a plug-and-play concept they have simplified the installation process of cables.
The cables used in data center will differ based on their requirements and a list of data center cables will consist of:
Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) Cable
LSZH cables are used to distribute power throughout the data center facility. In case of a fire, the cables do not emit dense smoke, toxic fumes and acidic gases that pose a risk to human health and sensitive equipment. Being halogen free cables, they are specified in vast indoor spaces.
Medium Voltage (MV) Cables
Medium Voltage cables are triple layered insulated and manufactured with a voltage range of 11 kV to 33 kV as per British standards BS6622 and BS7835.
Distribution Network Operator (DNO) approved Triplex cables and European standard unarmored MV cables up to 30kV are used when connecting grid networks to power data centers. They are suitable for installation in the ground, outdoor and in cable ducts, with additional water blocking measures where the installation environment is damp.
At times, customized cable design can deliver efficiencies to a project. This would involve changing the sheathing material to better adapt to the installation environment or designing a cable that is easier to strip and join flexibly considering the on-site challenges, to simplify the installation.
Electric Way- Leading Supplier of Specialized Power Cables for Data Centers.
Electric Way offers specialized cables for enterprise data center projects and has years of experience in handling cutting edge data center cabling. We work with major manufacturers and have cables that meet all the specifications for data centers.
Our technical project managers collaborate with you to deliver a sophisticated cabling system throughout the project. As there exists challenges in terms of on-site storage of cables, we allow for just-in-time deliveries and meet any ad-hoc requests. Be assured our cabling infrastructure provides the optimal quality and performance to make your data center resilient and robust.
Get in touch with our electrical engineers on +971 4 8170777 to discuss your cabling requirements. We also welcome you to visit our state-of-the-art showroom in Jebel Ali.