Achieving a stable data network is crucial, especially when access to the internet is vital for a business or working environment. Whether you’re building or maintaining a data network, understanding the nuances of fibre optic cables is critical to optimising your networking solutions.
This article discusses the best fibre optic cables for data network centres.
What Is A Data Network?
A data network facilitates data transmission between two or more devices. These networks support everything from internet browsing to video conferencing and database storage.
Data networks employ a combination of system controls, transmission lines, and data-switching mechanisms to ensure the flow of information. Its key components include the following:
1) Transmission Lines
Data networks rely on various transmission lines, such as fibre optic cables. These cables carry data through light signals, allowing rapid and efficient transmission.
2) Data Switching
Data networks employ switches and routers to manage data flow. These devices determine the most efficient path for data packets to reach their destination, ensuring optimal performance and minimal latency.
3) Packet Switching
One of the fundamental features of data networks is their ability to transmit signals via packet switching. Data is broken down into packets, which are small information units, before being sent across the network. This method enhances data integrity, as packets can take different routes and can be reassembled at the destination.
Choosing the right fibre optic cables is critical in data network centres, where high-speed and reliable data transmission is paramount. Selecting the right fibre optic cables can significantly impact the network’s performance, capacity, and scalability.
How Can The Correct Fibre Optic Cable Enhance A Data Network?
The cable you choose can affect how your data network performs and functions. Here’s how the correct data network cables can significantly enhance your data network:
1) Better Bandwidth
Fibre optic cables offer unparalleled bandwidth capabilities, surpassing traditional copper cables. This means they can handle a much higher volume of data simultaneously. With the increasing demands of data-intensive applications and services, having high bandwidth is essential.
2) Faster Speeds
Fibre optic cables enable faster data transmission. The speed of light is the limiting factor here, and data travels at nearly the speed of light through these cables. This results in reduced latency and quicker response times for data-intensive tasks.
3) Longer Transmission Distances
Fibre optics can transmit data over much greater distances without experiencing signal degradation compared to copper cables. This attribute is invaluable in large data network centres where data needs to travel across extensive infrastructures.
4) Stronger Security
Fibre optic cables provide more security than their copper counterpart. They are resistant to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI), making them less susceptible to eavesdropping or data breaches. This added layer of security is vital in protecting sensitive data.
The correct fibre optic cable infrastructure ensures your network can handle current demands and position it for future scalability. Your data network can achieve peak performance and reliability by leveraging the advantages of better bandwidth, faster speeds, longer transmission distances, and more robust security.
The Best Fibre Optic Cables for Data Networks
1) Trunk Cables
Designed specifically for data centre and enterprise network applications, Trunk Fibre Cables are engineered to meet the rigorous demands of data-intensive environments, ensuring efficient data transmission and network reliability.
Purpose-Built for Data Centres
Trunk cables excel in the unique challenges posed by data network centres. They handle high data volumes, making them ideal for connecting servers, switches, and storage area networks (SANs) within the data centre environment.
Versatile Housing Options
Trunk cables are adaptable to different data centre setups. You can house them in 1U or 2U data chassis, commonly used for rack-mounted equipment, or in 0U housings that optimise space and cable management. This flexibility allows for efficient cable routing and organisation.
Featured Cables: OS2 and OM3/OM4 Trunk Cables
Two prominent trunk cables are the OS2 Trunk Cables and the OM3/OM4 Trunk Cables:
- OS2 Trunk Cable: This single-mode optical fibre cable excels in long-distance data transmission. It’s well-suited for applications where data must travel extensive distances with minimal signal loss, making it a go-to choice for data network centres.
- OM3/OM4 Trunk Cables: These multimode optical fibre cables are ideal for high-speed data transmission over shorter distances. They are often preferred for interconnecting equipment within the same rack or row in data centres, providing exceptional performance in these scenarios.
2) Breakout Cables
Breakout cables, also known as MTP/MPO cassettes, are engineered to simplify and expedite network installation, making them a preferred choice for data network centres seeking rapid and efficient deployment.
Easy to Handle and Fast to Install
One of the standout features of breakout cables is their user-friendly design. These cables come equipped with MTP/MPO connectors, which allow for the simultaneous connection of multiple fibres, reducing the complexity of cable management. Their one-click latching nature streamlines installation, saving valuable time during network setup.
Versatile Housing Options
Like trunk cables, you can house breakout cables in 1U or 2U chassis for traditional rack-mounted setups or in 0U housings for space optimisation. This versatility ensures compatibility with various data centre configurations.
Quick and Efficient Network Installation
Breakout cables are the go-to solution for data network centres requiring rapid and hassle-free installation. They excel when time is vital, such as data centre expansions, upgrades, or new deployments.
Featured Cables: OS2 Breakout Cables and OM3/OM4 Breakout Cables
Two notable breakout cable variants in the market are the OS2 Breakout Cable and the OM3/OM4 Breakout Cable:
- OS2 Breakout Cable: Ideal for those wanting a cost-effective alternative to field termination, the OS2 Single-Mode Breakout Cable is suited for data centres where cable management is vital.
- OM3/OM4 Breakout Cables: Available at 12F and 24F, the OM3/OM4 Multimode Breakout Cables offer low insertion loss, making them ideal for data centres.
3) Tight Buffered Fibre Cables
Tight buffered fibre optic cables are a versatile and reliable option designed to meet the diverse needs of data network centres internally and externally. These cables offer various advantages, making them a top choice for multiple applications.
Designed for Internal and External Applications
Tight buffered fibre cables are highly adaptable and can be effectively deployed indoors and outdoors, including in data network centres. This versatility ensures they can connect different parts of your network infrastructure.
High Fibre Count
These cables can accommodate many fibres, with some variants supporting up to 24 fibres in a single cable. This makes them an efficient choice for managing the complex interconnections required within data centre setups.
Tight buffered fibre cables can withstand the rigours of outdoor installations, often labelled as “duct grade.” They can endure exposure to harsh environmental conditions, providing robust connectivity in challenging outdoor scenarios.
Meets Industry Standards
Tight buffered fibre cables adhere to various industry standards, ensuring reliability and performance. They meet specifications such as EN 187000, ISO/IEC 11801-1, IEC 60794-2, IEC 60794-2-20, and EN50173-1, guaranteeing that they meet the stringent requirements expected in data network centres.
Tight buffered fibre cables in your data networking solutions ensure reliability and adaptability. Whether you require internal or external connections, the capacity for numerous fibres, or the ability to withstand challenging environmental conditions, these cables offer a comprehensive solution.
4) Fibre Patch Cords
Fibre patch cords, or fibre patch cables, are critical in data network centres. These cables offer precision and adaptability that ensures connectivity, regardless of your network’s requirements.
Various Cables for Diverse Needs
Fibre patch cords have many variants, each tailored to address distinct network scenarios. This diversity allows data network engineers to select the precise cable that aligns with their network’s unique demands, whether for high-speed data transmission or legacy applications.
The choice of fibre patch cord requires you to consider the network’s intended capacity. For instance, OM1 Fibre Patch Cords are well-suited for legacy 1000Base networks commonly found in LAN applications. OM2 Fibre Patch Cords excel in 1Gb/s networks, which are also prevalent in LAN applications. Meanwhile, for high-speed 10Gb/s applications over shorter distances, other suitable fibre patch cords are available.
The fibre optic cable options are diverse, from trunk cables to breakout cables, tight buffered fibre cables, and fibre patch cords, each catering to specific demands. To maximise your network’s potential, align your cable choice with your unique requirements.
At Altimex, we have various fibre optic cables to meet your cabling needs. If you need help with your data networks or fibre optic cables, our team of experts is here to support you. Contact us today and see how Altimex’s cable solutions can help you.