Data Center Cabling Solutions

This chapter delves into the shortcomings of Method A of the TIA-568 cabling standard.

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Rick: All right, so what are we talking about, JT? So here's what it boils down to. So, TIA 568.3-D actually was just updated. And what that does for us, and again, I'm a big standards guy. I mean, standards are put into place to kind of keep us on the right path, okay. But sometimes the standards can be challenging. You have to understand that number one, it has to be kind of, take care of the entire industry. Okay. So everybody can, for example, participate in the marketplace. All right.

But I guess the inadvertent effect of the standards, unfortunately, is sometimes obviously creates confusion. And I brought this up earlier. The big buzz term for years, especially with MPO connectivity and MPO systems, has been plug and play. Okay.

Josh: Yep.

Rick: Hey, I need a trunk cable. I need a jumper cable. I need cassette modules. Boom, I'm gonna plug this in. Boom, two seconds, I can terminate 12 fiber. Everybody is a fiber expert. Okay. I don't need to pay major labor dollars to have installers come in and kill terminate this. Number one, they can't get the performance as required in our networks today. But number two, I can save a heck of a lot of money. Now, myself or my staff can do this and be called fiber experts. All right. That's the beauty of it. Okay. But again, here inherently, is what the challenge is.

Right now in these particular standards, there's three methods, referred to as Method A, Method B, and Method C. All right. Each of which have I think, advantages, well I shouldn't say that. Personally, Method A, if anybody listening to this podcast hears the term Method A, run. You want to stay away from Method A. Why do you say that? Because Method A kind of goes back to, I think, the old school way of bringing cable into data centers. They basically run a straight path all the way through from end to end and then they flip it at one particular, and then the next person comes in, not really sure where the actual signal needs to be, and they start flipping stuff, flipping stuff, flipping stuff. And you really never have a good system. It's very, I guess, highly labor intensive, that you have to keep track of.

Besides the fact, you can't just buy a jumper. Whoever you're buying it, might be buying it from, you call up vendor A and say, hey I need an LC cable. They send the LC cable. You plug it in. May or may not work. Reason being is because you can take a look at the screen here. You'll see on the Duplex connectivity side, you'll see that you, you need actually two different jumpers in order to connect this system into play.

But here's what I was referring to earlier. Take a look at the right hand side. Say we're using a Method A system and all of a sudden, this is a Duplex system and we did our best managing the system all the way, through all these years. And, now we have some MPO based transceivers that are coming in and I want to run this over my infrastructure. Well, take a look back. So, those on the left hand side, those are what's inside are those cassette modules. That's how the fibers is wired inside of there.

So now I have to pull those cassette modules out. I want to utilize that trunking on the back side but take a look at the positions of not only the MPO, but also the genders of the MPO. You'll see there that on the parallel side, all of a sudden it switches over to male. So, even if you're running Method A, okay, in order to go over a parallel optics, first of all, you're gonna be missing the gender, which you absolutely need to connect the MPO connectivity. And then, if you're, then you need to put the gender on the jumper side, which goes away from the Standard, you won't be able to plug that into a transceiver because the pins are aren’t standard inside of your transceiver. So you can there how that becomes a pretty big challenge. Besides the fact, there's again, you're ordering two style jumpers, a straight jumper on one side and then the flip jumper on the other side. So, you have path and gender to be concerned with there.