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Why Choose Pre-terminated Cabling System For Data Center?

Date: 2017-12-20 17:26:12

To bring a data center online, getting high performance network with less time and money is always what people concern about. The termination and cabling of fiber optic links in today's data center are necessary and usually take a lot of time and labor. In traditional ways, these fiber optic links are terminated on field. In some data centers, engineers still use the traditional methods to terminate fiber optic links for data center cabling. However, risks like signal loss are increased with the traditional field fiber optic termination. To increase the working efficiency and network performance with less time and money, pre-terminated fiber cabling solutions are being widely introduced in the modern data center.
 
In fact, pre-terminated cables go through the same procedures as field terminated cables, but these steps are taken at the manufacturer’s facility or cable assembly house and delivered to the job site with the connectors already terminated, properly polished, and the entire cable assembly tested on either both end or one end. Which helps to eliminate the necessity for on-site field termination. Compared with field terminated cabling products, pre-terminated fiber cable assemblies are more convenient and flexible. They are most suited for network installations that are planned well in advance, taking into account both current and future requirements.
 
Advantages of Pre-terminated Cabling
 
1. Superior Performance: One of the main advantages for specifying pre-terminated fiber optic cable is that the controlled factory processes with pre-terminated results in superior performance. Consistent, high quality connector end face geometry results in lower insertion loss and better end-to-end attenuation in the system.
 
2. Time & Cost Saving: Because cables arrive ready for immediate installation, there is no cable termination preparation, no connector scrap, no cumbersome tool kits or testers needed and no specialized testers. Customers have reported that pre-terminated fiber optic cables cut the costs at an average of 20% to 30%, mainly due to time and labor saving over field terminated practices.
 
3. Labor Saving: Generally, when using conventional cabling system, groups of engineers should be employed to make connections, testing and troubleshooting during the deployment of cabling in data center. The use of pre-terminated cabling system simplifies the entire manpower planning process. As all the connections are pre-terminated, the need for labor to make terminations on site will be mitigated. And fewer labor means more savings on the labor bill.
 
4. Reducing Space and Material Wasting: Traditional cabling installations require loose components and tools to be brought to site. So much space will be needed to store these components and engineers also need working area to make termination. However, with pre-terminated cabling solutions, the wastage of space can be reduced, since the pre-terminated links are “made to measure” and if they are delivered to site at appropriate time, they can be used immediately without being stored. Additionally, some manufacturers have developed recyclable reels for pre-terminated links in the effort to minimize the material wastage.
 
Disadvantages of Pre-terminated Cabling
 
The biggest disadvantage of pre-terminated cabling is that the prepolished connectorized fibers can cost much more than epoxy-style field-polish connectors. And the cable length needs to be precisely measured. If pre-terminated cable is too short, you need to install a replacement; if it is too long, you have to deal with the installation issues associated with managing the extra cable length, which will also case additional expense.
 
Choices for Pre-Terminated Cabling Assemblies
 
With all the advantages listed above, there is no doubt that pre-terminated cabling system is an ideal solution for data center and other applications where speed of installation is important. The following part will further introduce some commonly deployed pre-terminated cabling assemblies.
 
>>>Fiber Patch Cable
 
Divided by different connector type, core diameter and fiber cable structure, there are a wide range of fiber patch cables, such as LC fiber cables, single-mode patch cables and duplex patch cables and so on. Fiber patch cable helps to ensure a reliable temporary fiber optic interconnection, making it become the most commonly used pre-terminated fiber cable in data center.
 
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Figure 1: LC fiber patch cable in network
 
>>>MTP/MPO Pre-Terminated Cable
 
Pre-terminated fiber cables, especially those with MTP/MPO interfaces, are very popular in 40G and 100G applications which require high density cabling. The most commonly used pre-terminated fiber cables for high density cabling applications include MTP/MPO trunk cable and MTP/MPO harness cable.
 
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Figure 2: MTP trunk cables
 
>>>Pre-terminated Copper Trunk Cable
 
Pre-terminated copper trunk cable is a bundle of category cables, which are usually built with a choice of 6, 12 or 24 cable bundles and are factory terminated with modules like jacks and plugs. This high-performance copper trunk cable is an ideal solution for places where accuracy, reliability and performance are the priorities. There are various pre-terminated copper trunk cables available in cat5e, cat6 and cat6a UTP and STP cable construction with different termination types, such as jack to jack, jack to plug, plug to plug, etc. on the market.
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Figure 3: Pre-terminated copper trunk cable

Key Considerations for Doing Pre-Termination Cabling Infrastructure
 
Compared to field-terminated cabling, pre-terminated cabling needs more additional upfront planning and detailed analysis in order to establish the cabling and termination routes and lengths needed. Thus, some key considerations should be remembered when planning a pre-terminated cabling infrastructure.
 
>>>Cabling Media
 
Cabling media mainly includes copper and fiber. To determine which type should be used is a key part of the planning process. The selection criteria are determined by cost considerations, bandwidth requirement, distance limitations, equipment interfaces, power consumption, pathway space, and overall life-cycle costs. In addition, we should also consider the cabling environment such as the influence of electromagnetic or radio frequency interface (EMI/RFI).
 
>>>Migration & Scalability
 
A right pre-terminated cabling infrastructure is not only to satisfy today’s requirements but also to meet future-proof upgrade. Knowing the migration strategy and future plans is important for us to choose the right pre-terminated cabling and components with enough scalability. For instance, if we need to migrate from 10GbE to 40/100GbE network, careful consideration should be given to the fiber count, connector type, distances, insertion loss budget, and ease of switching out cassettes or other connectivity components.
 
>>>Cable Runs
 
The rack-level detail of the installation is also an important consideration that impacts pre-terminated cable lengths. It is important to order lengths that do not come up short while avoiding too much slack in cabinets and pathways. In addition, bend radius and service loops must be considered. Moreover, proper sequencing is also important to ensure that longer cable trunks are laid into trays first for an overall cleaner installation.
 
Conclusion
 
Pre-termination cabling is not just a popular trend. It is an increasingly popular way of delivering a project in a more timely and cost effective manner. Through the information discussed above, hope you can understand why we use pre-terminated cabling system in data center and know some choices for pre-terminated cable.

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