How will 5G Affect Cabling in the Data Center - Part 2

How will 5G Affect Cabling in the Data Center - Part 2

Dave Fredricks | Data Center Infrastructure Architect

Read the first part on this subject matter here.

As fans of technology, we have been reading and hearing about 5G for several years. 5G is the 5th generation of wireless technology, a breakthrough Verizon is calling “one of the fastest, most robust technologies the world has ever seen.”

5G has been released in some large cities worldwide by the telecom providers, while more and more cities plan to go online in 2020. As a data center structured cabling provider, the experts at CABLExpress are keeping a close eye on the trends that are certain to affect our market with the rollout of 5G.

Using data center cabling standards

When designing and planning connectivity in customer data centers we use published standards as guidelines. Standards from organizations such as the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) cover many aspects of data center cabling.

But when we look at 5G deployment by the telecoms, there isn’t a centralized standard to support the technology. So it’s hard to know if this technology deployment is being governed by any set of standards.

The impact of Artificial Intelligence

Another technology involved with 5G deployment is Artificial Intelligence (AI) software programs. AI needs more data points to better make educated, informative decisions.

More data points require more collection devices and bandwidth to manage the increase in traffic (such as with the potential growing abundance of self-driving automobiles and trucks). This increase in both hardware and the throughput they require for quick information flow will certainly also lead to the need for increased performance from the cabling connecting these devices and the networks they run on.

How to plan for 5G

As a data center operator, how can you plan to support the changes 5G will bring to the data center space? The obvious answer is to prepare to deliver more bandwidth in your connectivity. This includes the cabling into the data center, from the demarcation point from the Internet Service Provider (ISP), and your cabling inside the data center space.

When considering cabling from a bandwidth perspective, singlemode fiber provides the highest bandwidth, then multimode fiber, then category copper offers the lowest.

Know your cabling

Singlemode fiber brings in connectivity from the ISPs into the data center. From this point, most data centers switch to multimode fiber for connections to network and storage gear as the optics are less expensive than singlemode optics.

When supporting 100G optics, multimode fiber can carry a signal up to 100 meters from device to device. When cabling distances further than 100 meters, singlemode fiber is typically used. Copper connectivity is used mostly for in-cabinet connections as 1G at a distance of three meters.

The road forward

It’s easy to foresee that 5G will add more data traffic coming into the data center. It just makes sense that in order to support this increase in traffic more bandwidth will be needed.

Consider to using more singlemode fiber inside the data center space. And, in turn, consider using multimode fiber where copper connectivity was used in the past.

Lastly, make sure you understand current and next-generation optics to ensure your cabling will work in the future. For a no-cost assessment of your cabling infrastructure, contact CABLExpress and we can come onsite or work over the phone to determine if your cabling is ready for next-generation gear and 5G.

 

*Image courtesy of Pixabay