Frequently Asked Questions | Data Center | Optical Communications | Corning

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions, chances are, we have the answers. We’ve organized this frequently asked question section of the data center into four categories for your convenience. Just click on the questions below to reveal the answers.


General Questions

  • What Is a Data Center?

    A data center is a building or portion of a building whose primary function is to house a computer room and its support areas. 

  • What TIA Standards Cover Data Centers?

    TIA-942 is the TIA standard that covers data centers.

  • What Physical Cable Topology Is Recommended by TIA-942?

    TIA-942 recommends a Star topology.

  • What Is Star Topology?

    A topology in which telecommunications cables are distributed from a central point.

  • What Are the Four Levels of Redundancy Called in TIA-942?
    • Rated 1 (Basic)
    • Rated 2 (Redundant Components)
    • Rated 3 (Concurrently Maintainable)
    • Rated 4 (Fault Tolerant)
  • What are the Recommended Optical Fiber Connectors According to TIA-942?
    • LC connector for one or two fiber connections
    • MPO connector for connections requiring more than two fibers
  • What Is an LC Connector?

    LC (Lucent Connector) is a type of fiber connector designed for high-density connections; it supports SFP and SFP+ transceivers.

  • What Is an MPO Connector?

    MPO (multifiber push-on) is a type of fiber connector for ribbon cables with four to 24 fibers designed for high-density connections.

  • What Is an Equipment Distribution Area (EDA)?

    The computer room space occupied by equipment racks or cabinets.

  • What Is a Main Cross-Connect?

    The main cross-connect (MC) is the centralized portion of the backbone cabling used to terminate and administer it mechanically. The MC provides connectivity between equipment rooms, entrance facilities, horizontal cross-connects, and intermediate cross-connects.

  • What Is a Main Distribution Area (MDA)?

    The space in a data center where the main cross-connect is located.

  • What Is a Storage Area Network (SAN)?

    SAN is a high-speed network that uses the Fibre Channel transmission protocol to interconnect different kinds of data storage devices with associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users.

  • What Is a Telecommunications Room (TR)?

    The Telecommunications room (TR) is an enclosed space for housing telecommunications equipment, cable terminations, and cross-connects. The TR is the recognized cross-connect between the backbone and horizontal cabling.

  • What Is Structured Cabling?

    Structured cabling is a cable infrastructure that yields an organized and standardized cable network that enables simple moves, adds, and changes (MAC) to a network.

  • What Is the Cross-Connect?

    A facility enabling the termination of cable elements and their interconnection or cross-connection.

  • What Is the Interconnect?

    Structured cabling hardware used to connect backbone or horizontal cables.

  • What Are the Steps in the Data Center Design Process?
    • Estimate equipment telecommunications, space, power, and cooling requirements of the data center at full capacity. Anticipate future telecommunications, power, and cooling needs over the lifetime of the data center.
    • Provide architects and engineers with:
    • Space, power, cooling, security, floor loading, grounding, electrical protection, and other facility requirements
    • The needs for the operations center, loading dock, storage room, staging areas, and other support areas
    • Coordinate preliminary data center space plans from architects and engineers. Suggested changes as required.
    • Create an equipment floor plan including:
    • Placement of major rooms and spaces for entrance rooms, main distribution areas, intermediate distribution areas, horizontal distribution areas, zone distribution areas, and equipment distribution areas.
    • Expected power, cooling, and floor loading requirements for the necessary equipment
    • Telecommunications pathway requirements
    • Obtain an updated plan from engineers with telecommunications pathways, electrical equipment, and mechanical equipment added to the data center floor plan at full capacity.
    • Design telecommunications cabling system based on the needs of the existing and planned future equipment to be located in the data center.

Multitenant Data Center

  • What Is a Multitenant Data Center?

    A multitenant data center (MTDC), also known as a colocation data center, is a facility where organizations can rent space to host their data. MTDCs provide the space and networking equipment to connect an organization to service providers at a minimal cost. Businesses can rent to meet varying needs – from a server rack to a complete purpose-built module. The scalability of usage provides the business benefits of a data center without the high price. (April, 2018. Fahey, L. and Robinson, T., Multitenant data centers are key to managing data without breaking the bank, Cabling Installation & Maintenance)

  • What Is a Meet-Me-Room (MMR)?

    Location in a multitenant data center where telecommunications companies can physically connect to one another and exchange data.

  • What Is a Cage?

    An enclosure that subdivides multitenant data center space within the building using mesh walls, a door, security panels, etc.

  • What Is Latency?

    Latency is the amount of time it takes to get a response.

  • What Is Cloud Computing?

    Cloud computing is the practice of storing, managing, and processing regularly used computer data on multiple remote servers that can be accessed through the internet.

  • What Is a Private Cloud?

    A private cloud is a dedicated cloud infrastructure, designed with the needs of a single business.

  • What Is a Public Cloud?

    A public cloud is a multitenant/shared infrastructure typically owned and managed by a third party.

  • What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

    A hybrid cloud is the combination of private cloud and public cloud services in a single hosting solution.

Network Monitoring

  • What Is Network Monitoring?

    Network monitoring is the use of a system that constantly tracks a network's performance, usage, failing components, and outside threats and notifies the administrator in case of potential issues.

  • Why Network Monitoring?

    Network monitoring is essential to ensuring your network system’s success as it can automatically detect and respond to threats and performance issues.

  • What Is Port Tapping?

    Port tapping is a method of extracting data out of a live data link to enable network monitoring.

  • What Does “TAP” Stand For?

    In the telecommunications industry, “TAP” is not an official acronym. However, some vendors have used the acronym “TAP” to refer to a “test/traffic access port.” The term “tapping” comes from the surveillance nature of connecting to and monitoring communications.

  • What Is a Coupler?

    A coupler, also called a splitter, is a passive device that takes a single input of optical light and divides it into two or more outputs. (It can also take two or more inputs of light and combine them into a single output.)

  • What Is a Split Ratio?

    A split ratio refers to the percentage of output power going to the live traffic receiver versus the output power going to the monitoring device. For example, if you have a 70/30 split ratio on your tap module, 70% of your power is going to the live receiver, while 30% is going to the monitoring device.

  • What Is the Maximum Distance from the TAP Port to the Monitoring Device?

    Supportable monitor link lengths are determined on a case-by-case basis for different protocol data rates due to the monitor link length limitation for unequal split taps and varying monitor equipment receiver sensitivity. For multimode fiber channel applications, the monitor link’s maximum distance should not exceed 20 meters for direct monitor equipment interconnections in all multimode applications.

Data Center Architecture

  • What Is Serial Transmission?

    In serial transmissions, data is sent through a single pair of fibers with one fiber for transmitting (Tx) and one fiber to receive (Rx).

  • What Is Parallel Optics Transmission?

    Parallel optics transmission uses a parallel optical interface to simultaneously transmit and receive data over multiple fibers, typically used in short-to-mid-reach applications.

  • What Is Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM) Transmission?

    It is a technology that multiplexes a number of optical signals onto a single fiber by using different wavelengths of laser light.

  • What Is BiDi Transmission?

    It is a proprietary network transmission protocol that uses 2x20G lanes at two different wavelengths.

  • What Is Spine-and-Leaf Architecture?

    It is a two-tier network consisting of spine switches and leaf switches.

  • What Is the Port Breakout?

    It is a configuration that breaks 40/100G ports into 4x10 and 4x25G ports.

  • What Is TOR?

    Top-of-rack (TOR) is a common architecture of switch-to-server connections. The switch is placed at the top of the rack for easier accessibility and clearer cable management.

  • What Is MOR?

    The middle-of-row (MOR) switch is placed in the middle of the row to reduced cable lengths.

  • What Is EOR?

    The end-of-row (EOR) switch is placed at the end of the row. Each server in individual racks is directly linked to an aggregation switch, eliminating the use of individual switches in each rack.

  • What Is the Data Center Interconnect (DCI)?

    It is the networking of two or more data centers to achieve business or IT objectives. This interconnectivity enables the data centers to work together, share resources, and pass workloads between each other.