Data Center Cabling Solutions
What we learned at the 2017 Data Center World Conference

What we learned at the 2017 Data Center World Conference

  • Apr 14, 2017

By Dave Fredricks, Data Center Infrastructure Architect


Data Center World always focuses on the hottest topics in the industry today. It was a valuable opportunity to talk with so many influential people and present our vision on how we see things taking place in the future.

During our time at Data Center World, many questions were about the latest designs running 100GE on Cisco 9000 Series switches in spine and leaf topology. Another hot topic centered on the choice of Wide Band Multimode Fiber (WBMMF), also called OM5. The subject of Brocade’s new Gen 6 Fibre Channel X6 Director was also discussed by several end-users. All-in-all, there were many interesting questions that confirmed what we believe: technologies are moving faster than ever in the data center space.

This concept is not necessarily a bad thing. We all know that technology will always change quickly. But we’re huge proponents of the fact that you’ll need a strong layer one foundation in order to keep pace with these changing technologies.

CABLExpress architects present two separate educational sessions

Rick Dallmann, CABLExpress senior data center infrastructure architect, and I each had an opportunity to present at Data Center World. Rick’s session was titled, “Respect Layer One! Taxing the Limits of Fiber Optic Structured Cabling and Connectivity.” Rick went into the specifics of current and next generation optics and how best to design structured fiber optic cabling plants to support the upcoming speeds.

My presentation, “Understanding Converged and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Connectivity in Relation to in-Cabinet Connections and Structured Cabling,” focused on structured cabling designs with an emphasis on high density compute cabinets using Twinax DAC and AOC connectivity. Along with hyperconvergence machines, network design has moved from three layer to spine and leaf topologies. In my discussion, I also addressed 100GE links between spine and leaf switches, and plans to migrate to higher speeds with accurate port replication.

Always great to meet with attendees in our booth!

In our CABLExpress booth we were showing the latest solutions for port replication. Our display cabinet showed connectivity for the new Brocade FC16-64 SAN blade running QSFP28 optics and Arista’s 36 port QSFP line cards running 100GE SR-4 optics. We also demonstrated cabling solutions using different density enclosures and custom fiber optic harnesses from fiber counts of 8 to 144.

There were many attendees from all over the globe. In fact, we met attendees from three continents! But I have to give props to Minnesota because they seemed to have a large number of attendees representing The North Star State.

No matter where the attendees were from, every conversation we had was stimulating and eye-opening. We look forward to this event every year.


In this video, Brian Teague from Sticklers demonstrates the MPO CleanClicker 600 at the CABLExpress booth at Data Center World 2017. We always endorse keeping your end faces clean to ensure optimum performance.