April 4, 2013 by Teri Kelly
Sharing storage adds flexibility because your devices and cables won’t have to be physically shifted from one location to another. A storage area network, or SAN, can span to distant locations enabling effective replication and disaster recovery.
Your data will be transmitted over your cabling infrastructure. You’ve invested money on your SAN equipment – make sure you design and plan your cabling infrastructure, as well. The TIA-942 design standard of structured cabling recommends the use of a main distribution area, or MDA, which is a central point into which all connections are run. All active ports are replicated in the MDA. This makes it so you won’t have to touch your active equipment when making changes.
Using a structured cabling system, however, does increase the number of interconnects you have. When you add more interconnects you also add more loss. You need to be cognizant of the maximum loss budgets of your fiber jumpers and trunks in order to remain within the optical loss budget.
Generally, SAN fiber systems will need to be under 1.5dB to obtain the required distances. Exceeding optical loss budgets can lead to channel errors and downtime. The best way to avoid this is to use a product set that will allow you the benefits of structured cabling without exceeding loss budgets.
Category: Cable Management, Fiber Optic Cables, San Fiber, Structured CablingComments Off
March 26, 2013 by Josh Taylor
Making a mistake with fiber cables can cause downtime in a data center, and nobody wants that! Fiber cables are very sturdy and flexible, but if the following mistakes are made – those attributes won’t mean diddly!
Never exceed the bend radius of your cable.
The rule of thumb for installed bend radius is 10x the outer diameter of the jacket. Don’t know what this means and need a quick, easy way to get the gist of it? Watch this video and prepare for your mind to be blown away!
Do not use poor quality products.
Just because it looks the same, does not mean it is. Spend a small amount of time researching the performance and repeatability of the manufacturer’s products. Ask questions and get answers. Price and value are two different things. This doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for your cabling. There are a lot of high quality products that are well under the premium price point!
Be thoughtful of your overall fiber structured cabling design.
Follow the TIA-942 standard for structured cabling and you will put yourself in a position for maximum uptime and performance. This will help you avoid many costly mistakes, as the proper types of cabling will be used in specific areas. This goes a long way to help you avoid the common issues that lead to failures.
Category: Fiber Optic CablesComments Off
March 19, 2013 by Josh Taylor
Fiber optic cabling provides the massive amounts of bandwidth needed to run today’s bandwidth-hungry data centers. However, end face contamination can virtually cripple the high performance that fiber cabling offers. End face contamination is the silent killer of fiber optic cable assembly performance! The good news is that it is simple to eliminate the problem – so never fear, read on and become educated on the topic.
How does the contamination get there?
The major culprits are skin oils, dust particles and condensation – just to name a few. Even if the assemblies are brand new in the bag, they could still be contaminated with condensation from high elevation transportation and humidity conditions. Watch this short video to learn more.
How can you tell if an end face is contaminated?
Look at it! You can’t see it with the naked eye, but there are many inspection scopes available on the market. The first step is to invest in one. Without being able to get a visual inspection, you are powerless to know if there is a problem or not.
So remember to inspect, clean and inspect. Repeat if necessary.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to Respect Layer One!
Category: Cool Problem Solvers, Fiber Optic CablesComments Off
March 14, 2013 by Teri Kelly
Follow TIA-942 Standard
The TIA-942 focuses on the physical layout of the cabling infrastructure. A structured cabling system can grow and move as data center needs change and throughput demands increase. It is the ideal way to prepare for migration to 40/100G speeds. Basically, you avoid running point to point cabling and run all ports to a central patching location (CPL) or main distribution area (MDA).
When using a structured cabling system you reduce the amount of cabling bulk and congestion and thus reduce power usage. It also allows for modularity. Connector changes [i.e. change from using a standard LC to SNNH connectors (Super New Never Heard of connectors)] can be made without having to replace the whole channel as you would when using a point to point system.
Port replication is a patching system that mirrors (duplicates) the active electronics in a passive environment. This reduces cable management issues, decreases opportunities for patching errors and decreases wear and tear on active ports.
CABLExpress offers enclosures that replicate both Brocade and Cisco switches to ensure optimal performance.
Category: Cable Management, Fiber Optic CablesComments Off
March 13, 2013 by Josh Taylor
Fiber cabling is the best medium when you need to move lots of data, and move it fast! It also offers the highest ROI, as it will last in an infrastructure for much longer than other types of cabling due to its higher performance characteristics. The downside is that fiber cabling (and even more so) optical transceivers are more expensive. This makes it very important to make the best use of the investment that is made. Following best practices is the way to maximize the return on the investment that you make in fiber cabling.
- Do not exceed bend radiuses. Click here for a short video explaining bend radius and bend insensitive fiber. Exceeding bend radiuses will lower performance and potentially damage fiber to the point of catastrophic failure. Fiber is a VERY resilient medium, but best practices need to be followed. Find out the bend radius and follow it carefully!
- Be careful with tie down points. To manage cabling and keep it organized, tie downs are critical. Be mindful with fiber. Use Velcro versus “zip ties.” Zip ties can and will pinch fiber, which can crack the glass inside and cause failures. Follow manufacturer recommendations on where to tie down and what type of tie downs to use.
- When pulling fiber, always use a manufacturer approved pull eye or pulling sock. Never pull fiber from the connectors; this is typically the weakest point in the assembly. This video has some great information on this subject.
- Avoid and remove end face contamination. Fiber is glass. When glass is dirty, light can be blocked. Avoid touching end faces to anything. Leave protective end caps on until the cable is to be used. It is recommended to inspect, clean, inspect and repeat if necessary. Check out this short video to see how this is done!
Category: Fiber Optic CablesComments Off