Many in the data center cabling industry have been wondering how to design their data centers for ease of use and proper future growth. The CABLExpress team has recently attended several AFCOM events across the country where we've had the opportunity to discuss these topics and challenges. A lot of concerns center on the typical topology of cabling within the data center space with a heavy concentration on Fibre Channel (FC) and the large amounts of fiber it tends to use.
Some “old school” topologies for Fibre Channel are point-to-point, crosspoint switched or an arbitrated loop. Installing a port replication style topology within FC, as well as other aspects of the data center, offers many advantages for their immediate needs and future growth.
Professionals who have implemented the port replication topology, have been amazed at how easy the transition to this topology has been and how much it has decreased the amount of real estate their cabling infrastructure takes up.
Port replication mirrors the active ports on the electronics into a passive patching environment which gives many advantages such as:
One of the challenges with port replication is the increase in your loss budget due to the addition of another patch field. With today’s growing speeds in data centers, the industry standards around these loss budget allowances are decreasing. It is imperative that the structured cabling solution you use provides you with the lowest possible dB loss to handle the additional connections.