An Overview of Data Center Cabling Standards

The high performance and high capacity of fiber-optic cables have made them the leader in data center cabling these days. Though you may understand the importance of data center cabling, you probably don’t understand that there are data center cable standards that cabling companies and their clients should be aware of.

Several American organizations monitor data center wiring to ensure safety, to provide a basis for building integrated infrastructure and to offer guidelines for maintaining cable performance. These are the three main groups to know about:

  • The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA): Standards set forth by the TIA cover telecom, broadband, cable, satellite, unified communications, emergency communications and several other types of cabling. Its standards allow guidance and interoperability for all sorts of industries.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): The IEEE plays a large role in advancing cabling technologies. Without evolving IEEE standards, cabling companies’ technologies wouldn’t advance as quickly as they do.
  • The Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI): The BICSI educates and provides information for companies in the information technology (IT) systems industry. Like IEEE standards, the BICSI helps grow the cabling industry.

Tips for proper data center cabling design

Choosing a wiring partner that adheres to data center cable standards is essential—but you also want a team that follows some best practices. Here are a few things each electrical wiring company should do:

  • Use structured cabling: The structured cabling approach ensures better data center cable management by streamlining cable runs and connections. With structured cabling, your data center will have a main distribution area (MDA), at least one horizontal distribution area (HDA) and two-post racks for optimal cable management and access.
  • Choose the correct cabling solution: As we touched on earlier, fiber-optic is the new standard in data center cabling. If your organization still utilizes UTC copper cabling, speak to a cabling installation company about upgrading to fiber-optic cabling.
  • Plan the best route: Restricted airflow can result in overheating and serious data center hiccups. Your installation team should plan out a cable route that optimizes airflow and cabling efficiency. Remember, a good plan can make or break your data center’s efficiency.

Don’t forget maintenance

Proper installation is just one component of efficient data center wiring—you’ll also need to hire a professional for routine maintenance. A professional inspection will guarantee your system continues to perform its best, so your daily operations will run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

A few things you can do for maintenance include keeping cabling clean and ensuring loose cables aren’t left on the floor. Additionally, avoid bending cables, as this can slow down your speeds.

Talk to Box Electric Company today

Whether you need a company to perform new data center wiring or maintain your current system, be sure to call our pros at Box Electric Company. No matter if your data center is large or small, we offer fair pricing and fast responses for all our customers. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.