Guide to Measuring FOR Fiber Cables in Data Center Installations

Posted by Josh Taylor on Jun 23, 2023 2:04:14 PM

Pre-terminated fiber cables offer convenience and efficiency in data center installations. These cables come factory-terminated...

Pre-terminated fiber cables offer convenience and efficiency in data center installations. These cables come factory-terminated with connectors, saving time and ensuring reliable connections. However, taking accurate measurements is crucial to ensure proper cable lengths and precise installation. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of measuring for pre-terminated fiber cables in data center installations, helping you achieve optimal performance and efficient cable management.

Understand Installation Requirements:

Before taking measurements, it's essential to understand your data center's specific installation requirements. Consider the following factors:

  1. Pathway Planning: Identify the cable pathways, such as overhead trays, raised floors, or conduits, and plan the route for the pre-terminated fiber cables. Ensure the pathways are clear of obstacles and provide appropriate space for cable management.
  2. Cable Types: Determine the type of pre-terminated fiber cable required for your data center installation. Consider factors such as fiber type (single-mode or multimode), connector type (MPO, LC, SN, MDC, CS etc.), and cable length.
  3. Growth and Expansion: Anticipate future growth and expansion needs. Allocate additional cable length to account for potential reconfigurations or changes in the data center layout.

Accurate Measurement Techniques:

To obtain accurate measurements for pre-terminated fiber cables, follow these steps:

  1. Cable Route Measurement: Measure the pathway length along the planned cable route using a measuring tape or laser distance meter. Ensure to account for any bends, corners, or elevation changes.
  2. Determine if a service loop is appropriate for the installation. A service loop adds extra length to allow equipment rack elevation changes in the future.
  3. Cable Slack Calculation: Calculate the required slack for each cable segment. Consider factors such as cable management, equipment installation, and potential cable movement during maintenance. Add a recommended slack percentage (e.g., 10-20%) to the measured cable route length.
  4. Total Cable Length Calculation: Sum the measured cable route length, service loop, and slack length for each cable segment to calculate the total cable length required.

Safety and Handling Considerations:

During the measurement process, prioritize safety and proper handling techniques:

  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE, including gloves and safety glasses, to protect yourself from any potential hazards.
  2. Cable Handling: Handle pre-terminated fiber cables with care, avoiding excessive pulling, bending, or twisting. Treat the connectors gently to prevent damage.
  3. Cable Labeling: Label each pre-terminated fiber cable with unique identifiers or tags to ensure accurate tracking, documentation, and proper installation.

Procuring Pre-Terminated Fiber Cables:

After taking accurate measurements, it's time to procure the pre-terminated fiber cables. Ensure the following:

  1. Order Verification: Cross-check the measured lengths and connector types with the cable supplier to ensure accurate order placement.
  2. Quality Assurance: Choose reputable suppliers who provide design support, and high-quality pre-terminated fiber cables with reliable connectors and proper testing certificates.
  3. Cable Testing: Before installation, test each pre-terminated cable to validate its performance using appropriate fiber optic testing equipment, such as a power meter and an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR).

Taking precise measurements for pre-terminated fiber cables is a crucial step in data center installations. By understanding the installation requirements, using accurate measurement techniques, and considering safety and handling precautions, you can ensure the proper length and efficient installation of pre-terminated fiber cables. Remember, accuracy and attention to detail in measuring pre-terminated fiber cables contribute to reliable data transmission, optimal performance, and effective cable management in your data center.