Data Center Cabling Solutions

In this episode, JT reviews the top 5 most impactful cabling technologies that have affected the industry over the past 7 years.

Included are overviews of structured cabling, parallel optics, optical loss budgets, bend insensitive fiber and port replication.

But in usual fashion, there are some funny and offbeat moments thrown in as well!


Hi there, welcome to the 50th Respect Layer One video. It is hard to believe that it has been 7 years. I got to reminiscing, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be exciting to use this 50th video to review the many technology changes that we have experienced?"

Here is the inaugural episode. The concept of the series started as short videos that helped answer commonly asked questions.

From the start, it has always been about respecting layer one and the evolution of cabling and the hardware it connects. So without further ado, here are the top 5 most impactful moments of the first 49 Respect Layer One videos.

The first impactful technology is structured cabling. The term structured cabling has become very relevant to many data centers feeling the pain of running point-to-point cabling. The demand has increased dramatically for a standards-based cabling platform that allows for migration through multiple generations of technology upgrades.

In Respect Layer One 7, we talked about factory terminated cabling. Since this episode, we have seen a sharp decline in onsite termination due to the low performance qualities of this method. Current and future power budgets just can't be met with field terminated cabling.

In this episode I got sprayed with a hose to demonstrate fiber optic light loss. It was a great message, with a comical twist. We're always looking to educate in a quick and fun way.

The second impactful technology is parallel optics. Parallel optics has had a major impact on the market. We did this video when the 802.3BA standard was first announced. Today, we are helping organizations with parallel optic light paths on a daily basis.

In this episode we addressed polarity methods. Multiple polarity methods make it very challenging to maintain proper polarity. This can cause incompatibility issues. Our philosophy has always been, stick with the method that you currently have installed.

The third impactful technology is loss budgets. Hands down, this is the most critical issue we are facing. The lower the loss in the cabling plant, the longer that cabling will last. And loss budgets have dropped at an unprecedented rate.

The fourth impactful technology is bend insensitive fiber. Bend insensitive fiber allows for tighter bends without sacrificing loss. This helps deal with higher port densities and congestion in racks and cabinets.

I'll be honest, I have no reason to show this episode other than to show off on the drums.

The fifth impactful technology is port replication. This concept came from working directly with end users. The object is to make the patch panel look, and act, just like the switch, rather than the standard patch panel configuration that you get from off-the-shelf products. We have now developed a full suite of fiber patch panels that replicate any switch on the market.

Don't try this at home. It is a reminder to be careful when reusing fiber jumpers. You may be surprised on how they were handled previously. This sort of treatment could lead to downtime, and nobody wants that.

I wanted to wrap this up showing how far we've come. It started as a concept, and now I'm touring large data centers. Thank you for being part of our video series. I'm really looking forward to the exciting innovations that will happen in the future.