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Which Is Perfect for Your Business – Data Center or Server Room?

Every enterprise or small business that needed a server was required to invest in its own infrastructure, hardware and maintenance solutions, with all the equipment accommodated in a dedicated room of the office. However, thanks to the cloud technology and the rapidly increasing availability of fiber connectivity, other options like data center have opened up in recent years. So how should you decide whether you will go with a data center service or a server room? To ease out the confusion, today’s article presents the differences between data center and server rooms.

Data Center & Server Room

Of course, every company has their own needs, and what works best for one company is not necessarily going to be the best solution for another. A server room is a room that devoted to store servers. A data center, to this purpose, is a whole building specially designed to contain and support a large amount of computing hardware of some sort.

The main difference between them is the size, but it is linked to design, scale and purpose. There will be several server rooms in almost any modern office building, but only very large companies whose business is about processing data will have data centers. The following part will continue to provide the detailed information about the pros and cons of each approach so you can determine what makes the most sense for you.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Data Center

Pros—If you are just starting up your business, you may find it valuable to keep your network systems in a data center as you can enjoy and provide the same services to other companies to keep your costs down. As for the maintenance responsibility, every data center has the redundant backup system for network access, electricity and climate control, so you are not very likely to experience the network outage. Even in the case of a local power utility outage, they remain up and running owing to the backup power generators. Figure 1 outlines a brief diagram of data center solution.

data-center-solution

Another unique feature of the data center is that enterprises appreciate the colocation model, which allows you to bring you own hardware to the shared facility. Depending on the nature of the data center, you may or may not have the ability to determine when your scheduled maintenance down times will be, and you may or may not be able to choose what hardware is being used for your server stacks.

Cons—Although data center possesses all the above advantages, you can’t miss the point of finical burden involved with infrastructure and maintenance as well as the upfront costs for moving to a data center. Particularly if you opt for a colocation data center, where you provide both hardware and software, there may be major spending involved. Even if the data center provides all of these resources, you have to pay the initial subscription and setup fees. What’s worst, over time, these fees may begin to feel negligible, especially as compared to the ongoing cost of an in-house server stack.

When you remove your server from your premises, you’re going to lose a certain degree of potential for in-house oversight and control. If you completely outsource your server stack, you end up being fully dependent on the data center for maintenance, security and uptime. This may well be to your advantage, but many prefer to be less dependent on remote third parties.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Building a Sever Room

Pros—Just as Figure 2 shows a server rooms with all the hardware and software located in a dedicate room of office, it means you completely own the server facility. All of the responsibility falls on you, but in exchange, you get to enjoy all of the benefits that only your company can control. You’ll be the sole manager of your own facilities, and you can modify your system on your own terms, to accommodate any shifting needs, including expansion as your business scales up. That kind of versatile customization can be particularly useful if your system is unusually complicated, large, or includes many diverse applications.

a-small-server-room

The security issues also all comes down to you, which grants you control over your system in a way that moving it offsite cannot provide.

Cons—All the responsibility of the server room falls on you, but at the same time, you have to devote all your heart and energy to it, which is far beyond the substantial workload. First of all, you may need your IT team to focus on initiatives that related to your business, and the ritual maintenance of the health of the server stacks and physical infrastructure. Their attention will be split, then it will end up with work failure.

Another downside about sever room is that the backups is less effective especially when your data is stored in one physical location. In the event of theft, fire, flood or other disaster, you could end up losing everything with no recourse for recovery. Keeping your network local, moreover, makes it harder to expand your business to new locations. When you do open up new branches, you’ll need to find good solutions for everyone to connect to headquarters, instead of both locations connecting to a facility that’s made for offsite networking, which is the case with data centers.

Upfront costs is significant when you invest in your own onsite servers, and you won’t have any way of knowing from the get-go how much capacity for growth you need to account for, so you’ll end up purchasing a system that’s either more powerful than you need or that isn’t able to grow as your data needs expand.

Which One is Best for You?

After going through the whole passage, I bet you might have made up you won mind of whether to make use of a data center or to opt for your own server room. Many factors you should take into account—budget, your network scale & future proofing, but sometimes it is just a matter of personal preferences. The best way to make the decision, therefore, is to consult with an expert who can assist you in determining given the specifics of your case. FS.COM offers a full range of data center solutions that can be also used in server rooms like the patch panels, fiber enclosure, cable manager, fiber optic cable and transceivers. If you have any requirement, please send your request to us.

How to Create More Capacity in Data Center

With the ever-increasing demand for more computing power and data center servers, data center manager have the responsibility to chart a data center capacity plan and determine what strategy will accommodate business needs best. Of course, they could just expand to large facilities (upgrading to the advanced switch and fiber enclosures). However, not all IT budgets are increasing, and many users just cannot afford the extra money. Therefore, people are turning to high-density and cost-effective infrastructures. To support these applications, this article will introduce a broad selection of high-density connectivity and high capacity cable management devices.

  • High-Density Patch Panels

High-Density (HD) fiber patch panel solution is the most convenient approach for solving the problem of limited capacity in a data center environment. And it provides a flexible way to connect devices of different generations of equipment quickly and easily. HD patch panels consist of a panel enclosure and modular HD cassettes, which can connect a fiber network feed (via multi-strand or MTP cable) and segment it into standard LC connections in order to interface with 10Gbps devices. The following image shows a fiber adapter panel with 12 LC duplex single-mode adapters.

fiber-adapter-panel-with-12-lc-duplex-os2-singlemode-adapters

HD fiber patch panels feature the following advantages:
Flexibility: They can connect different generations of equipment such as 10Gb, 40Gb, 100Gb in a simple panel-cassette system with different connector types.

Ease of Installation: No tools are required to install the cassette in the panel enclosure. Each cassette features factory terminated connectors that reduce the time and labor required of field connector terminations.

Cost-Effectiveness: High-density and ease of installation provide a low initial investment cost. Flexibility, adjustability and reliability provide a high ROI. What’s more, network reconfiguration is highly adjustable due to the modular cassette system.

  • High-Density Patch Cords

As cabling density increases along with the deployment of higher network speeds, HD patch cords deliver a robust design to withstand the rigorous of daily use. Cables that can offer a smaller overall diameter improve cable management by installing in dense patch cord trays that take up less space. They also provide better airflow to maintain consistent operating temperatures, reducing the likelihood of failure or downtime.

finger-access-for-high-density-cabling

Finger access to each patch cable, furthermore hinder the cable management and makes the cable installation become more difficult. To ensure easy access, high-density patch cords are easy to remove through the use of a flexible pull-tab fiber optic cable just as seen in the above picture. This cable type has the same component and internal structure as the traditional patch cords (e.g.SC FC patch cord), except the a tab attached to the connector, which makes it easy for cable management. These tabs can help increase cabling density and maintain reliability, preventing you from accidentally loosening surrounding connectors as you access the patch cord you need.

MPO/MTP trunk cable is the another example of the HD patch cords. These cables are the foundation of easier, faster and better pre-terminated fiber connectivity solutions, as it allows tighter trunk cable bends for slack storage and routing. With the high-density trunks in your data center solution, less space is consumed and installation is easier.

  • High-Density Fiber Enclosures

Fiber enclosure makes full used of the spaces in data center by combining most of the fiber optic connections in strong standards modules, providing solid protection of data center links and increasing cabling density. Therefore, data center managers can get easy access to fiber connections and easy cable management. Accordingly, the cost for data center installation and maintenance can be effectively reduced.

fiber-enclosure

Fiber enclosures are usually available in 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U. The 1U rack mount fiber enclosure is the most commonly used one on the market. Now 4U or larger rack mount fiber enclosures are also becoming popular driven by the increasing of fiber counts in data center. Except standards rack mount fiber enclosures, a lot of data centers or server rooms use customized fiber enclosures for their special requirements.

FS.COM FHD Series rack mount fiber enclosures are available in 1RU, 2RU and 4RU rack unit options. With optional FHD cassette modules or adapter panels in single-mode, multimode, or 10G multimode versions, users can install, maintain, and upgrade their cabling systems in a more flexible and cost-effective way. In addition to rack mount solution, our FHD series products also support wall mount type which can meet the cabling demands on fiber industrial environments.

Conclusion

High-density optic solutions enable data center operators to maximize the amount of active equipment and cables in a data center by minimizing the foot print of the networking infrastructure. Besides the above HD optical products, there are also a range of HD products including the high speed interconnect optics, cable assemblies, cable management hardware. If you want to know more about the HD products from FS.COM, please have a look at our website.

Choose Twisted Copper or Fiber Optic Cabling for the Data Center

When planning for a long-term cabling solution for your data center, it is important to consider future transmission speeds and the infrastructure to support them. Data center houses equipment like servers, storage units, backup power supplies and other equipment, which act as the heart of a building or campus. And all these equipment require high-bandwidth cables to connect them. The cabling in data center mainly comes in two forms—fiber or copper. To link the devices in data center, unshielded twisted pair (Cat5e/Cat6) and fiber optic fibers (MM fiber patch cords and single-mode fiber)  are commonly used. This article will focus on cabling solution for data center, and provide the cost-effective solution to you.

Twisted Copper Solutions For The Data Center

2006 witnessed the publication of the the IEEE 802.3an standard, meaning that users can use the twisted copper cabling or 10GBASE-T to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Compared with the former IEEE 802.3ak or 10GBASE-CX4 standard, 10GBASE-T standard has the advantage of supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters. What’s more, the 10GBASE-T using structured wiring systems based on the RJ45 connector is less costly than the 10G optical transceivers for supporting the same Gigabit Ethernet. All this attributes to the development of the copper twisted-pair cabling for horizontal, or non-backbone, distribution between LAN switches and servers.

colorful copper solution in data center

UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cabling is a widely adopted copper cabling solution due to its support for both voice and data applications. A UTP cable consists of insulated, copper wires twisted around each other to reduce crosstalk and electromagnetic induction between pairs. Typically a twisted pair will be enclosed in a shield (STP) that works as a ground; in other cases (UTP), the pair remains unshielded. UTP cables are often referred to as a Category cable, such as Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat7, etc.

Cat5e cables had been the standard solution and often used for legacy equipment or lower bandwidth needs. But Cat6 is the most common copper type in new installations today, especially for 10G Ethernet application. Cat5e will soon be going away, with available options being Cat6, Cat6a and Cat7. These options offer increased levels of performance and improved installations. All of these cable types can adequately provide you a connection. The differences between them lie in their transmission speed capabilities and costs.

Fiber Optic Solutions For The Data Center

In a data center, bandwidth distributed to servers and other devices may range from 1 Gbqs to 10 Gbqs or more depending on application and data center models. Fiber optic cabling are usually worshiped by overall users owing to numerous advantages. For instance, compared with copper cabling, fiber systems can provide up to 60 percent space savings over copper cabling, and it also have a greater bandwidth and error-free transmission over longer distances allowing network designers to take advantage of new data center architectures.

fiber optic solution

In practical terms, fiber cables are comprised of light, which reduces signal interruption, allowing for signals to be carried longer distances seamlessly. Though fiber cables are highly sought after, the cost to purchase and install has decreased throughout the years, making them a reasonable choice for companies seeking a reliable, scalable solution. The fiber optic cables can be mainly divided into two parts, that’s multimode and single-mode fibers.

The multimode fiber type can be separated into categories: OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4. Applied for short distances, multimode fibers have a high light-gathering capacity, meaning the use of lower cost, lower wavelength technologies like LED and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) can be employed. For longer distances, single-mode OS1 and OS2 are used; single-mode fiber uses lasers to achieve higher speeds and further distances. Additionally, fiber optic cable terminated with different optical connectors (like SC fiber cable) are also widely utilized in data centers. Fiber optic cables are critical to network performance as they do more than join servers and connect switches. They are the foundation of your technology environment. Thus it is important to have the best options for your optical network.

Field-terminated vs. Pre-terminated Fiber Solutions

In commercial building installations, an optical fiber cabling link is typically assembled in the field at the job site. The cable is pulled in from a reel of bulk cable, cut to length, attached to the patch panel housing and terminated with field installable connectors on each end. The terminated ends are then loaded into adapters in rack or wall mountable housings. Finally, the complete link is tested for continuity and attenuation.

factory-preterminated

The most efficient optical infrastructure is one in which all components are pr-eterminated in the factory see in the above picture. Connectors are installed, tested and packaged in the factory. The installer unpacks the components, pulls the preconnectorized cable assembly into place, snaps in the connectors and installs the patch cords connecting to the end equipment. This is the fastest installation method and provides the best solution for turning up servers quickly and lessening the risk of not meeting the customer’s availability expectations. The design and product selection process remains the same with selection and specification of fiber type, fiber count, cable type, connector type and hardware type appropriate for the environment.

Conclusion

There is no absolute solution to utilizing fiber or copper cabling for data centers. Twisted pair cabling wins the broad acceptance among users owing to the horizontal medium, low initial cost, and the ability to deliver higher data rate LAN services and the flexibility to use one medium for all services. Therefore, in the majority of situations, copper cabling remains the preferred choice for the final link to the desktop, and other short links such as those found in data centers. However, with the speeds increasing and more copper cables installed, copper-based LANs will require more complex and expensive electronics. It might be inappropriate or impractical to implement in many current building environments.

While fiber optic cabling’s significant bandwidth distance gives it advantages over twisted pair in centralized architectures. Thanks to its high performance and high density, fiber optic cabling becomes an important factor where equipment density and heat dissipation are a concern. To sum up, whether to use copper or fiber for network cable type, the data center must have the best and fastest cabling. FS.COM offers a variety of integrated, holistic physical infrastructure solutions for data center intra-rack and inter rack applications. All the products including high speed interconnect optics, cable assemblies, cable management hardware etc. guarantee a reliable and stable performance for your network. If you have any requirement, please send your request to us.