Choosing the Correct Fiber Enclosure and Modules

Choosing the Correct Fiber Enclosure and Modules

Ken Fraser | Cable Specialist

Let’s suppose you’re opening a new data center, will be purchasing some fiber trunk cables, and are interested in a structured cable design approach. You know you need to consider purchasing fiber enclosures and modules to connect the fiber to but aren’t sure where to begin.

Here are a few things that you will need to consider.

The first is the size, which will be determined by both the amount of rack space you have available, as well as the number of ports the enclosure will need to support. Typically, enclosures will be available in 1U, 2U, 3U and 4U options.

At CABLExpress, we have these sizes, along with 6U, 10U and 12U options in our H-Series enclosures. The 10U model can support up to 576 ports for very high-density locations.

Where will you be installing the enclosure, in a cabinet, a rack, on the wall? This decision will also determine which enclosure and options you choose. For example, if the unit will be installed in an open rack, you may want an enclosure that has a front cover to protect the connections. If it’s going into a cabinet with a closed door that’s secure, this may not be as important. If you’re out of space in your rack or cabinet, CABLExpress also has an option that attaches directly to the ladder rack above your rack or cabinet. Another option for limited space is our Z-Mount bracket, which connects off to the side of your rack’s posts.

If you are interested in the structured cabling concept, then you know that one of its most important components is the MDA or Main Distribution Area. This is the common space where all the active equipment like switches and directors are connected to. It functions somewhat like the old-time switchboards from many years ago and makes managing all those active devices’ connections easier.

You will want to budget and plan for these connection costs as well.

After you’ve established the enclosures’ size and mounting locations, you will need to fill the enclosure with the correct modules. To determine the modules that will be used, you need to know about the fiber trunk cable being run. Is it a single mode or multimode? How many fiber strands does it have, and what are the connectors? The fiber modules come in many options. There are different port counts, pass through adapters (which have the same port connection type on both sides) as well as modules that will convert a MTP port coming into multiple LC or SC ports out.

After all these factors are determined, you should have a good start on the enclosures and modules that are needed to complete your structured cabling design. Still, we’d recommend you engage a data center architect to help you ensure your loss calculations are within standards, and you’ve made allowances for future growth!