Investing in the future: collective thinking in facility design






Future-proofing facilities while leveraging previous investments

A new generation of facilities are being designed and constructed around the globe. A key facility design challenge is ensuring the systems and infrastructure involved will not only deliver new advantage but also function seamlessly with (and add value to) the other parts of a company’s ecosystem, including legacy systems and existing capital projects. Old and new primary investments need to work together harmoniously to deliver a more productive and profitable future.

Future-Proofed Facility Design White Paper

READ THE WHITE PAPER: Why state-of-the-art facilities require state-of-the-art infrastructure

In this age of digital transformation, data underpins modern business, connectivity is key, and operational scaling is a fact of life. This is why corporate facilities in banking, finance, and any other sector are being conceived to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this new landscape. Getting the infrastructure right, the strongest underpinning, is crucial. Continuing with the banking example, companies such as HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Crédit Suisse and CitiBank (or their outsourcing partners) are doing precisely that.

The data center, now evolving into next-gen digital infrastructure architecture, has provided the core of banking operations for generations. Today, such data centers are expected to work smarter and do more to process and store vastly increased volumes of data, globally, quicker than ever. They must be always available, with no delays.

As a result, global heads of facilities and real estate want assurances they are investing in the right technical infrastructure, maximizing the ability of the organization’s IT to, for instance, deploy workload in the right places, and deliver the right services to users and customers at the right time (and at the right price) – integrating with still-valuable legacy systems where necessary. This requires technology that is both reliable and flexible, based on global standards, as well as working with acknowledged leaders in the field.

At a basic level, it can mean tried-and-tested cabling – the strongest physical foundations – and ensuring an overall standards-based approach that is not only optimized for interoperability and performance but also addresses a multitude of other facilities (and cost) requirements, from energy efficiency to cooling optimization, even space considerations. By looking at the bigger picture and applying joined-up thinking when making technology choices that affect facility design, facilities and real estate leaders – in partnership with IT and procurement teams – can ensure both connectivity and investment protection. This, in turn, can have a real impact on the bottom line as infrastructure converges, data volumes increase exponentially, and the pace of business continues to speed up.

To find out more about how you can future-proof your facilities while leveraging previous investments, read our report, “Why State-of-the-art Facilities Require State-of-the-art Infrastructure.”

Building the next-gen data centre: global, connected, ready for business






With modern business defined by data and by connectivity, tomorrow’s data centre will bear little resemblance to today’s models.

What we currently think of as a data centre is being superseded by next-gen digital infrastructure architecture: global in scale and defined by the business services it delivers and the user/consumer requirements that it satisfies. According to a recent Gartner, Inc. report, infrastructure and operations people tasked with data centres will have to focus on “enabling rapid deployment of business services and deploying workloads to the right locations, for the right reasons, at the right price”.

These super-charged requirements, and that unstoppable focus on data, mean the most robust, reliable and flexible infrastructure – physical, electrical and network – will be paramount. Gartner also added that, by 2025, eighty percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centre versus ten percent today. The key word is “traditional”.

With the rise of next-gen digital infrastructure architecture, workload placement becomes a critical driver of successful digital delivery. That, in turn, is underpinned by performance, availability, latency, scalability, and so on. Indeed, Gartner suggests an “ecosystem” is required to enable “scalable, agile infrastructures”.

What’s the best way to engage with this era of digital transformation, interconnect services, cloud, edge services and Internet of Things (IoT) if you’re planning or preparing to replace your data centre? The optimum digital infrastructure architecture (aka modern data centre) to meet requirements for the next five, ten or 15 years will, as ever, depend on each organisation’s priorities. There’s no simple answer. For some, a major step will be to ensure the strongest physical foundations including cabling, pathways and security. Many organisations will need an effective way to “bridge the gap” from old-world data centre and stacks into converged networks and infrastructure. At the same time, data centre infrastructure management tools can help improve energy efficiency and reduce costs. Perhaps a through line in all situations is ensuring the right connectivity solutions: to increase network throughput, reduce latency, improve agility, ensure scalability, and so on. That way, you’re not only ready for opportunities presented by the Internet of Things – you’ll be ready for the Internet of Everything.

To learn more about ensuring you have the right connectivity solutions at your core, read the report: https://pages.panduit.com/finance-all.html

Digitizing History for Future Preservation with Data Center Solutions

How the Vatican Apostolic Library Preserved its Manuscript Collection

The Vatican Apostolic Library preserves its invaluable documents with the help of a robust, highly available network infrastructure.

Undergoing a massive data transfer process is not easy, but the Vatican Apostolic Library did just that. Panduit’s previous success in enhancing the connectivity and performance for the Vatican Apostolic Library’s main data center earned it the trust to help digitize and protect more than 80,000 priceless historical manuscripts.

Founded in 1451, the Vatican Apostolic Library’s collection includes precious material from as far back as Michelangelo and Galileo. To preserve the collection and continue to contribute to the worldwide sharing of knowledge, the 15th-century library decided to digitize its antiquated and increasingly delicate manuscripts.

To successfully complete this project, the library’s Belvedere Court building needed a more efficient data center infrastructure to support document storage. The library also needed solutions to address power and energy usage challenges, capacity constraints, environmental and connectivity issues, and security and access control requirements.

Adapting to the constraints of the ancient structure, Panduit developed a solution with security, storage, and power management.

The building now uses hot-aisle containment with hot/cold air separation inside the cabinets for improved airflow – delivering a power savings of nearly 30% compared to the previous system.

SmartZone solutions simplified the library’s network infrastructure, managing, and monitoring rack power distribution units and environmental sensors through a single IP address. For enhanced data center security, the gateways support access via intelligent handles on cabinets.

The Vatican Apostolic Library now has the capability to support the vast amount of data generated by the digitization project, ensuring high reliability and elevated transmission speed. Because of Panduit’s network, people around the world have online access to these invaluable treasures.

Read the full article here.

Innovation 2.0

At Panduit, we take pride in finding new solutions to old problems (and new onescim_generic, too!). And, when we  work with the best customers around to help them find solutions to their problems, that’s even better. Last week, Cabling Installation & Maintenance presented their annual Cabling Innovators Awards. And, for the second year, several Panduit projects were recognized as being the best of the best. Without further ado, I’m proud to present a snapshot of our honorees and their cabling innovations.

Purdue University

panduit-purdue-university-innovators-award-photo

CI&M Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin (left) and Group Publisher Alan Bergstein (right), present a Gold Cabling Innovators Award to (from left) Tom Kelly, Director of Business Development, Enterprise Solutions, Panduit; Daniel Pierce, Telecommunications Design Engineer, Purdue University; and Dennis Renaud, Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Panduit.

Purdue embarked on a project during the 2014-15 school year, to update and expand their wireless coverage on campus. For today’s students, wireless access isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Information Technology at Purdue tackled the upgrade project in two phases: One to add coverage in residence halls; a second to add density in academic buildings and common areas. The residence hall project caught the judges’ eyes for innovation, as the university relied on Panduit’s surface raceway and 28 AWG patch cords, along with Cisco 702 access points to deliver wireless throughout the residence halls. The raceway/patch cord/AP solution provided the wireless performance they needed while keeping the aesthetic already in place for their wired connections.

The Purdue wireless project was named a “Boilermaker” Gold honoree by the CI&M judges.

Global Insurance and Financial Services Firm

Panduit’s small-diameter cabling is at the heart of the solution installed by a global insurance and financial services firm, to optimize the space in their telecommunications rooms. Switch harnesses with 28-AWG patch cabling has provided four main benefits:

  1. Time: the quick-connect feature cuts installation time from about an hour per RU to 20 minutes per RU … and we all know that time means money!
  2. Space savings and cable management: Because of the small size, more cabling fits, saving rack space for equipment rather than cable management; it also simplifies cable management, making moves, adds, and changes simple.
  3. Single length: The company uses one length of patch cord everywhere, which eliminates ordering and installation errors.
  4. Standardization: Every telecommunication room at all of their sites are deployed with the same footprint, making installation and management easier for everyone involved.

CI&M’s judges awarded this project a gold award.

CenterPoint Energy

Texas-based CenterPoint Energy presented a Texas-sized issue: they wanted to unify their IT physical infrastructure platforms across their internal business units, and within each facility. Multiple vendors, multiple sites, and multiple cities equals multiple headaches. CenterPoint standardized its data center operations around a Panduit Intelligent Data Center solution, including Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, hardware, and infrastructure offerings. This solution was end-to-end Panduit: fiber and copper cabling, dual cable pathways, PDUs, overhead patching, cooling optimization, grounding and bonding, and thermal containment. “We required a solutions provider that could deliver comprehensive technological advancements while helping us ensure business continuity,” said CenterPoint’s Tom Tanous, senior manager of Business Reliance and Data Center Management.

centerpoint5-cropped

CenterPoint Energy was recognized with a Silver Cabling Innovators Award.

The CenterPoint project was named a silver honoree by CI&M judges.

CyrusOne

panduit-cyrusone-innovators-award-photo

Winner of a Silver Cabling Innovators Award was data center provider CyrusOne. CI&M Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin (left) and Group Publisher Alan Bergstein (right) presented the award to (from left) Dennis Renaud, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Panduit; CyrusOne Chief Information Officer Blake Hankins; and Panduit’s Tom Kelly, Director of Business Development, Enterprise Solutions.

With more than 3 million square feet of rentable data center space, CyrusOne is one of the largest data center providers in the U.S., with global customers relying on CyrusOne’s colocation services. Their new Austin Data Center II has been optimized with Panduit’s SynapSense software, delivering energy savings and increased efficiency by continuously aligning cooling capacity with changes in IT load.

“Panduit has enabled our customers to essentially keep tabs on their servers in CyrusOne’s facility with a level of data access and detail comparable to operating a data center of their own,” said Amaya Souarez, vice president of CyrusOne’s Data Center Systems & Security. “Plus, we’ve experienced both operational and power efficiencies. It’s quite incredible!”

CyrusOne was recognized as a silver honoree by the CI&M judges.

The Innovators Awards were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative
  • Value to the User
  • Sustainability
  • Meeting a Defined Need
  • Collaboration
  • Impact

Alan Bergstein, publisher of Cabling Installation & Maintenance (http://www.cablinginstall.com) said “This prestigious program allows Cabling Installation & Maintenance to celebrate and recognize the most innovative products and services in the structured cabling industry. Our 2016 Honorees are an outstanding example of companies who are making an impact in the industry.”

Congratulations to all of these outstanding customers for their efforts. Panduit is proud to share these awards with all of you.

Top 6 Things to Know About the New Category 8 Cabling Standard

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has published ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1, which supports 25, 40 and possibly even 50GBASE-T over Category 8 copper cabling. As you consider high-bandwidth applications, here are some key things to keep in mind.

1) How far can you go?

Category 8 channel reach is 30 meters, much shorter than the 100-meter channel of traditional categories of copper cabling.

2) It’s a familiar face!

Category 8 has the familiar RJ45 interface, so jacks and plugs are compatible with the same patch panels, switches, and other equipment that users are familiar with today.

Category 8 products

Category 8 will be deployed as shielded twisted pair construction only.

3) Shields up!

While other category cabling uses unshielded or shielded twisted pair construction, Category 8 will only be shielded cable construction.

4) Where, oh where can it be?

Category 8 is designed for the data center. More specifically, it is designed to support 25G and 40GBASE-T switch-to-server links, a typical fiber-optic application. It will provide the most cost-effective and easiest-to-deploy 25G and 40G links within the data center. The 30-meter reach makes it challenging for Category 8 to be used to deliver higher bandwidth to the desktop or in other Enterprise applications in large-scale deployments.

5) Can Enterprise play, too?

Due to the reach limits of Category 8, Panduit recommends installing Category 6A today for all Enterprise applications. Category 6A supports up to 10GBASE-T at lengths up to 100 meters. Investing in a Category 6A infrastructure for your Enterprise space is the smartest and most cost-effective option for long-term optimal performance of your network. Panduit’s Advanced MaTriX Category 6A products have the additional advantage of allowing optimal heat dissipation and performance with next-generation Power over Ethernet (PoE++).

6) The next step …

Manufacturers are actively developing the next generation 25G and 40G products. Panduit expects to have its product offering – including cabling and connectivity – in 2017, to coincide with the launch of active equipment that will require the higher speeds.

Panduit has already received third-party approval on it’s upcoming Category 8 solution. Learn more here.

Category 8: Delivering 25 and 40GBASE-T

Category 8 is the new copper twisted-pair structured cabling standard being developed within both the TIA and ISO groups to support the new 25 and 40GBASE-T standards being developed by the IEEE. Category 8 is going to have a few differences over prior Category 5e, 6, or 6A cabling, but will still retain the familiarity and features that make RJ45 copper the most widely deployed Ethernet technology on the market.

Cat 8 product

What is new with Category 8?

There are a few differences between Category 8 and prior categories that should be understood.

  • Shielded offering only (no unshielded option)
  • 30 meter reach (versus 100 meter reach for Category 5e, 6, and 6A)
  • Only 2 connectors allowed per channel (versus 4 for Category 5e, 6, and 6A)
  • 4 times the bandwidth of Category 6A, going all the way up to 2000 MHz

    Cat 8 2000 MHz

What is the same with Category 8?

While there are differences, a lot stays the same, as well.

  • Category 8 uses the same RJ45 interface as Category 5e, 6, and 6A, which makes it backwards compatible with 100BASE-T, 1000BASE-T, and 10GBASE-T systems
  • Category 8 will be field terminable and field testable once available product comes to market

What do these differences mean?

Because of the limited reach of 30 meters and 2 connectors, Category 8 is focused on data centers, particularly End of Row or Top of Rack deployments.

This means that as a data center manager, you should plan for:

  • A maximum jack-to-jack reach of 24 meters
  • Grounding the connectivity
  • A maximum of 6 meters of patch total

Latest Industry Developments

Panduit is the latest company to announce that our Category 8 system has been tested by Intertek (3rd party) and confirmed to meet the latest Category 8 TIA draft standard.

The Panduit system we tested was a 30-meter channel, with a 24-meter link and 6 meters of patch cords (3 meters on each end).

It is expected that the standard will be ratified by mid-2016, which is the earliest point where product will be available.

What should I do today?

Panduit strongly recommends against installing any Category 7 or 7A systems. These systems do not have the bandwidth (Category 7 is 600MHz, 7A is 1000MHz) to handle 25 or 40GBASE-T (need bandwidth over 1600MHz). Additionally, Category 7 and 7A do not use RJ45 connectors, so a hybrid patch cord would be required to interface to the equipment.

If you are deploying a cabling system now, Panduit recommends that you install and deploy Category 6A systems. They have the same RJ45 interface as the equipment and can run all current applications up to 10GBASE-T. If you are planning a layout to eventually accommodate Category 8, stick to a permanent link length of 24 meters or below with up to 6 meters of patch total.

Why Is My Cable Pathway Upside Down?

Upside Down Design Can Keep Your Installation Costs Right Side Up

 

One of the most common questions asked about the Wyr-Grid Overhead Cable Pathway System is “why is it upside down?”

WG30BL

The Wyr-Grid tray is “upside down” because the design is based on a strong wire mesh platform reinforced with 1-1/2” high wire mesh walls that are oriented downward giving the appearance of an up-side down wire mesh tray. While appearing unconventional, this design combines the best attributes of cable runway with the flexibility and utility of wire mesh pathways.

Continue reading

What Is Driving Adoption of High Density Fiber Enclosures?

Real estate is one of the primary reasons that high density fiber enclosures are deployed in the data center. In some parts of the world, real estate is very expensive. One way to save cap ex is to try to use the smallest data center possible. The smaller the data center, the less square area required, and therefore, lower cap ex. This would certainly be the case if one is using a co-lo facility. Of course, a smaller data center also means lower op ex, e.g., less cooling, etc.

Another reason, also driven by real estate, is that the data center’s size is fixed. The data center cannot be enlarged. This might be the situation in dense urban areas where a larger space does not exist. The only way to add more functionality to the data center is to try and find a way to cram in more equipment. Hence, using a high density fiber enclosure.

Another less obvious reason for using a high density fiber enclosure is the trend towards data centers becoming profit centers. Historically, data centers were perceived as a cost of doing business. Depending on the business you are in, that may no longer be the case.

Continue reading

Cabinets Are More Than Big Metal Boxes

How do cabinets impact operational costs?

This question is not asked enough by data center designers, owners or managers as they build-out new whitespace. Cabinets are the foundation of the data center’s physical infrastructure, used throughout the life cycle of the facility. IT equipment that runs the applications are contained within them, the cabling that connects the equipment to the users and the LAN/SANs are terminated and managed in them, power is distributed within them, and cooling is channeled through them. They are also the most visible infrastructure element, and how they look and fit together is often an indicator of how a data center is run and managed.

Why then are they frequently taken for granted, simply considered “big metal boxes”? Why isn’t there more emphasis on cabinets being considered an asset that helps reduce operational costs?

Continue reading

Adding New Physical Infrastructure: Part 2

Integrated Infrastructure: A New Approach

In Part 1 of “Adding New Physical Infrastructure” I reviewed three typical approaches taken by managers of small and mid-sized data centers to add new physical infrastructure: (1) build-it-yourself using in-house resources to design and integrate all elements of the infrastructure, (2) rely on a single supplier for design and integration, or (3) entrust multiple best-of-breed vendors to get it done.

We have a different take. As discussed in Part 1, you are likely to face significant risks and expense as you attempt to manage a wide range of technical details, complex project management issues, and multiple vendor relationships. Leveraging physical infrastructure expertise and partnerships with best of breed power and cooling suppliers, Panduit offers an Integrated Infrastructure approach that combines the benefits of both the single-source and best-of-breed approaches with the ease of managing a single supplier.

Continue reading