Getting a data centre’s cabling infrastructure right first time is vital, as not only does it need to meet the requirements of today, it must also be able to accommodate the active equipment advancements of tomorrow. For many data centre owners and operators the cost and disruption of having to rip and replace cabling that is no longer fit for purpose is enough to bring them out in a cold sweat, so should be avoided at all costs.    

Optical fibre cabling has become prevalent within this type of application and the specification process is now focused on whether singlemode or multimode is most suitable. Needless to say each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so deciding which one to use and where requires a great deal of consideration. To examine this issue in more depth, this month’s Question Time asks a panel of experts to offer their views.    

This issue also contains a feature on containment. Erwin Deeben of Leviton explains why it’s important not to overlook cable management when it comes to network infrastructure planning, while Lars Larsen of Legrand discusses the importance of rack and cable management design in protecting and maximising network performance. We also have a second feature dedicated to AIM, IIM and network management, where Carsten Ludwig of R&M explains why having the right infrastructure management system in place is essential when it comes to keeping data safe.    

In addition to all of this we take a look at the importance of good connectivity in audiovisual (AV) systems with Simon Jacobs of Mayflex. AV systems are an increasingly important part of an intelligent building services infrastructure and the cabling and accessories that connect components together can be the weakest link in the chain if not chosen and installed correctly. Simon explains the dos and don’ts.     

Rob Shepherd