In today’s data centers, many key technologies such
as virtualization and cloud computing have greatly improved efficiency and
asset utilization; however, they come with a much higher level of network
It is time to implement intelligent connectivity
systems − based on the AIM standards − in the data center to help manage this
complexity and ensure that the physical layer is fully-documented and can
automatically report all changes.
With the increasing use of software tools to manage
network and application performance, security, latency and any number of
parameters, it is difficult to believe that many data centers still rely on
spreadsheets or even paper records to manage their physical layer connectivity—until
Here are my top
five reasons you should deploy an
intelligent connectivity system to manage data center connections.
Fiber has taken over in the data center.
the past, fiber connections in the data center were confined to the storage
network and were considered to be relatively static. As new servers were added,
fiber channel connections were established between server, SAN switch and
storage array. It remained in place until any of these three active systems
This is not the case today because servers and
storage devices are constantly being added to support the 40
percent per year growth rate forecasted into 2020. Fiber has become the
medium of choice to interconnect all data center devices, regardless of whether
they are running Ethernet, Fiber Channel, Infiniband or other protocols. It is a much more dynamic environment now and
intelligent connectivity systems play a more important role in documenting the
Intelligent connectivity is now a standard.
infrastructure management (AIM) standards are completed in TIA (ANSI/TIA-606-B)
and in process in ISO/IEC (ISO/IEC 14763-2 and ISO/IEC 18598). These activities
confirm the importance of AIM for managing the physical layer.
Fiber patching frames are denser and prone to user error.
the latest generation fiber patch shelves supporting up to 72 duplex LCs (144
fibers) per 1U of rack space, the chance of making a patching error increases
dramatically. Intelligent fiber connectivity
systems can prevent this by providing guided patching and confirmation
following the completion of a correctly made patch.
Higher densities are also changing how connections
are made between servers, patching frames and switches. In the past, simple LC patch cords were used
with simple one-to-one relation between equipment. With the benefit of higher density QSFP and CFP4 footprints, it is
now common to connect multiple servers to a single switch port with a pre-terminated
fiber array cable. These cable assemblies
have multiple LCs to connect to servers and an MPO connector on the other end
to connect with the switch port.
Real-time data provides operational efficiency and savings.
the increasing level of moves, adds and changes in the data center, it is
common to remove servers or switches without verifying that the end-to-end
links have also been taken down. As a
result, many switch ports are still patched, but not in service as the
equipment at the far end has been removed. These incomplete circuits cost money, take up space and ultimately lead
to more investment in new equipment. With
an intelligent system, processes can be established to ensure that when servers
or switches are decommissioned, all intermediate connections and switch ports
are freed up and available for future use.
Intelligent connectivity covers copper.
fiber is overtaking copper in the data center, there are likely applications
that will continue to use copper cabling. 10GBASE-T has
emerged as the lowest cost solution for 10G up to 100 meters and continues to
gain share in the 10G space. Fortunately,
intelligent connectivity solutions can manage the copper network as well.
All five of these reasons for deploying an
intelligent connectivity system, like
imVision™, provide data center managers a better understanding of their
network and gain the advantage of staying ahead of the fast-changing IT and
data center landscape.
To learn more about how intelligent fiber
connectivity - based on the AIM standard - can help you control your fiber
infrastructure, check out this video and be sure to register
for Michael German’s webinar, Beyond
Bandwidth: Managing Your Assets in Today’s Fiber Network, on Tuesday,
September 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.