Testing and Troubleshooting Data Center Cable Plants

Given today’s competitive landscape, businesses must always be on the lookout for ways to improve data center (DC) performance and reliability. As legacy data center hardware and software gets swapped out with modern technologies with the goal of better application performance and stability, one must not forget about the impact this has on the existing DC copper and fiber plants. It’s not uncommon, for example, for a brand- new technology to be implemented within a data center only to have it be plagued by connectivity issues, lower than expected speeds and other inconsistencies caused by cabling.


Additionally, data center trends that leverage power over Ethernet (PoE) for various IoT purposes within a DC are also on the rise. Common examples include surveillance cameras, LAN-connected door controllers, temperature/humidity sensors and PoE lighting. These additions are creating a much higher demand for PoE within the data center than ever before. Significant increases in the number of PoE connections can cause several unforeseen problems – especially when twisted-pair cable plants were not designed with PoE delivery in mind. The distribution of electricity over copper cables increases heat and electromagnetic interference that can impact individual cables as well as cross- cable interference with other twisted-pair runs within a cable bundle.

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