Preconnected cable systems provide simplified vertical and horizontal management.
One of the biggest issues facing data center and local area network designers is cable management in the racks and cabinets used to house equipment, as well as in cross-connects, interconnects and the cabling backbone throughout the data center and LAN. In commercial building installations, an optical fiber cabling link is typically assembled in the field at the job site. Alternatives to this traditional implementation method are factory-terminated and preassembled solutions.
In these alternatives, the time consuming steps of installation, such as cable sheath removal, cable furcation, connector installation and hardware assembly, are completed in the factory. The complete package is shipped to the job site for installation into a myriad of pathways and spaces. Both vertical and horizontal cable management can be addressed and simplified using preconnected cable systems for trunks, cable assemblies and connector modules, often referred to as “plug-and-play” systems.
One key advantage to preconnected trunks is a reduced cable outer diameter. Rather than utilizing traditional 900-micron tight-buffered fibers, preconnected cables utilize multifiber ribbons or individual 250-micron colored fibers. A traditional 144-fiber tight-buffered cable is approximately 35 to 40 percent larger in diameter than its equivalent preconnected trunk cable. Vertical cable management is typically six to 10 inches wide and horizontal management is typically one to two rack units high.
As fiber counts and density continue to increase, vertical and horizontal cable-management space at the termination and distribution locations is at a premium, with the increasing challenge of maintaining minimum cable bend radius. Reduced diameter cables ease the burden and allow density to increase without losing manageability. Furthermore, preconnected assemblies often integrate mounting hardware into the assembly unit, easing the ability to properly strain-relieve the cables and assemblies.
Preconnected assemblies support a simpler means of upgrades, moves, adds and changes. Constant change is inevitable in modern LANs and data centers. New construction, technology evolutions, personnel changes and changing technical requirements are all issues to be dealt with by network administrators on a monthly and, at times, daily basis. By utilizing preconnected trunk cables and cable assemblies, network administrators can handle changes seamlessly and with little disruption to the network.
Preconnected cables also can be disconnected, rerouted and reconnected without the use of traditional installation manpower, in less time and without the need to remove and reinstall the optical connectors. Preconnected cables support structured cabling methods as recommended in the TIA-568 and TIA-942 industry standards.