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Cabling in the gigabit era.

Healthcare is one of the areas where next generation cabling is revolutionising service delivery. Hospitals are seeing huge jumps in data growth, largely due to the rise of Electronic Health Records, as well as more connected equipment at the bedside and other areas. But there is also a huge push to support staff, patients, and visitors, as they increasingly expect reliable wireless access for mobile devices, observes Asef Baddar, senior manager, network solutions at Leviton. This means that stronger, faster wireless networks, and the wired infrastructure supporting them have become a much bigger priority for health care IT departments. However, hospitals will not see the full benefits of new wireless technology without the right cabling infrastructure behind it, Baddar observes. Health care IT cabling standards, such as TIA-1179, recommend using Category 6A cable for new installations. Only Category 6A will support future migration to speed up to 7 Gbps offered by 802.11ac Wave 2 and 802.11ad technologies, explains Baddar. The Leviton Atlas-X1 Cat 6A Cabling System was designed to support critical systems such as clinical networks, Baddar says. This solution can deliver 10 Gbps out to WAPs, preparing hospitals for 1 Gbps Wi-Fi today and up to 6.9 Gbps with Wave 2 and beyond. In addition, the Atlas-X1 system utilises Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, which can transmit power and data over the same cable. Most WAPs use PoE, which eliminates the need for additional electrical wiring installations, saving on money and redundant cabling. PoE also allows for faster deployment at the WAP. "The Atlas-X1 Cat 6A system can deliver 100-Watt PoE, meeting the needs for both higher bandwidth and power," Baddar says. Indeed, wireless is having a major impact on cabling in all verticals. Contrary to what many thought, widespread adoption of wireless has helped fuel the cabling industry to offer more and better cabling, says Baddar. "Enterprise wireless access points (WAPs) and backbone cabling infrastructure will need to be upgraded to see the real benefits of new standards such as 802.11ac," explains Baddar. Standards have already been revised to support access point upgrades. In late 2013, TIA published TSB-162-A, Telecommunications Cabling Guidelines for Wireless Access Points, which revises recommendations for mounting and routing cable between LAN equipment and WAPs. Cat-6A cabling can prepare networks for next wave of wireless standards. Many other standards have made their way up the ladder and into approval and publication stage, Baddar observes. New copper standard ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 -- Cat 8 Products has just been approved for publication. This standard will set the way to implementation of cables in the data centre addressing EOR/MOR/TOR. The ANSI/TIA-1183-1 -- Lab Testing was also approved and the field testing standard ANSI/TIA-1152-A will follow in October 2016. In the meantime, Fibre standards have also been upgraded with the new publication of standards such as IEEE 802.3bm next generation 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet that defines 4-lane 100G utilising only 8 core of OM3 or OM4 fibre. In the data centres, deployments are moving to leaf-spine architectures with centralised switching for better manageability and scalability. In this topology, a centralised patching field serves as the main cross-connect patching location for all fibre channels in the data centre. Says Baddar. "It keeps moves, adds, and changes much more manageable, and as a data centre infrastructure grows, the management area doesn't. Data Centres have begun adopting frames as they are capable of patching thousands of fibres, and designed with cable management to alleviate the challenges of higher densities," Baddar explains. Leviton has endeavoured to addressing industry trends before they are mainstreamed thanks to its R&D efforts, says Baddar. "Leviton scientists and engineers have been well positioned with data centre managers, IEEE, TIA, and ISO standards to address and find the right solution to those trends," Baddar says. Leviton launched Atlas-X1 Cat-8 cabling solution in 2015 with a full shielded system, exceeding upcoming standards. Atlas-X1 Cat-8 solutions will be available to market in Q3 of 2016, address DC needs for 25G/40G within the row, Baddar explains. To address migration to 100G, Leviton introduced a low loss 24-fiber MPO/MTP end-to-end 24-fiber cabling system, a flexible and scalable solution, says Baddar. Now the same 24 fibre can support 40 and 100G using 8 core fibre legs with 100% fibre utilisation, allowing more connections in a 40G/100G channel, he explains. The Leviton HDX Fibre Distribution Frame on the other hand has the ability to patch 3,168 LC fibres or 15,552 MTP fibres on only one 2' x 2' data centre floor tile, and includes vertical and horizontal cable managers integrated into the frame. The HDX Distribution Frame occupies only one data centre floor tile, while a traditional cabinet occupies four floor tiles. "Even though it takes up a much smaller footprint, the HDX Frame is capable of patching more than 3,000 fibres using LC connections. This is the highest density per square foot for an open frame system. "Reducing the footprint while adding density opens up space for additional cabinets dedicated to network switches and servers -- the revenue generating cabinets in a data centre," says Baddar. Leviton recently acquired Brand-Rex, a leading developer of network cabling solution headquartered in Scotland, UK. "Leviton will use this new expanded geographic presence and logistics infrastructure to offer a wide range of Leviton products in these new markets," Baddar says.

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Date:Aug 30, 2016
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