By Andreas Sila, VP Market Management, Data Centre, HUBER+SUHNER
Data centres are facing increasing pressure to grow and meet the almost unprecedented demand required for modern life. As the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and the ever-growing expansion of 5G networks continue to gather pace, it is essential for data centre operators to invest in the latest technologies and solutions to enable immediate growth and ensure future demands are met.
The challenge of keeping up with connectivity and bandwidth is one that not only impacts enterprise and colocation data centres, but also the hyperscale data centres too. Everyone involved in these operations, including the tech giants with multiple hyperscale data centres, must recognise the need to optimise the existing space, while maintaining the ability to scale at a rapid rate. Structured cabling may hold the key to enhancing operations, saving on time and space while allowing more focus and investment to be spent on revenue-driving technologies.
Maximised space, optimised operations
To make the most of the physical space available, high-quality fibre-optic solutions are crucial to provide adequate fibre capacity and bandwidth, allowing both high data throughput but with low loss and latency. This includes structured cabling systems, fibre optic bandwidth expansion, and all-optical switching. For operators looking for the maximum return on investment, a clear understanding of the solutions available and how each one can be tailored to meet each individual business need is needed. They must also keep in mind the demands that they may face in the future when looking to leverage these solutions for their operations.
Every data centre will have a different amount of space to work with, but the approach often remains the same. Smart, high-density solutions can be deployed to maximise the available space, and should there be any room left over, revenue-generating technologies can be utilised to increase profit. Modern fibre-optic management systems can work for both small and hyperscale data centres, with an excellent, high-density solution offering organisational support for cable systems, freeing up room for more cables. Fibre density can be maximised by using optical distribution frames (ODFs) capable of containing a high number of fibre cassettes and ports.
Accessibility is the aim
As data centres – and the number of fibres they contain – grow, any significant adjustment of the cables can leave operations vulnerable to the risks of human error. Accessibility therefore must be a major consideration regarding fibre management; an unorganised data centre can create an environment prone to technicians making unintentional, and costly, mistakes. All it takes is the accidental removal of the wrong patch cord or getting caught up in other cables when carrying out moves for an accidental breakage for a poor-quality connection to occur. Live links are easily disconnected and can lead to devastating expenses. If the network architecture is disorganised or poorly labelled, new employees may struggle to understand the system and may also lead to further detriment.
A proper structured cabling approach should be paramount to any operation. If the initial installation is not organised from the offset, it will only lead to subpar performance. High-quality installation is vital in making sure cables are integrated in an accessible way, making it easier to upgrade when this is required, rather than carrying out quick ‘fixes’ which can often lead to further issues down the line. With greater ease of management, the likelihood of damage is reduced when making MACs, cutting out unnecessary downtime.
Tailored solutions to match requirements
No technology can provide a one-fits-all solution when it comes to a successful structured cabling strategy. Every data centre requires different solutions to ensure optimised performance. Finding and working with specialised experts can help prepare your operations for future growth, and pinpoint the exact requirements needed to ensure future growth. Using industry experts like HUBER+SUHNER means installations can be managed to give an operator peace of mind that unnecessary expenses and downtime can be avoided. With the right considerations and investment in fibre optic solutions, data centre operators can rely on an enhanced set-up that will enable revenue-driving services to meet demand both now and in the future.