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40GBASE-T Data Center Cabling Standardization to be introduced in 2016; R&M Cautions Businesses against Premature Investment

posted Jul 16, 2013, 4:31 PM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated Jul 16, 2013, 4:33 PM ]
    
Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) Middle East, Turkey and Africa, the Swiss structured cabling specialist, today announced its active contribution to the research and development of the 40GBASE-T data center cabling standard through its involvement with international standardization bodies and measuring equipment manufacturers. While R&M is convinced that the advantages 40GBASE-T offers in terms of speed and data volume will outclass the entire performance of previous copper cabling in data centers, the cabling specialist has warned Middle East organizations against premature investments as long as standards are not defined and appropriate components are not fully developed.

    "The data center market is now a top priority for R&M because of the large investments that regional organizations are making in this segment. In all data center implementations, future-proofing is a key requisite and network managers are right to invest in technologies that will yield strong ROI. But they must also be wary of vendors who promise 'future solutions' which are out of line with industry standards. The longest service life for cabling will be attained with the best solutions currently available," said Jean-Pierre Labry, Executive Vice-President of R&M Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

    While 10GBASE-T was defined for general applications, 40GBASE-T is intended for use directly in data centers. Jean-Pierre Labry added that the market cannot ignore 40GBASE-T. "Its economic potential is simply too significant judging from current R&M market observations and experience with millions of installations for its own high-end Cat. 6A and fiber optic solutions," he said.

    
With a range of 30 meters, the future standard closes the gap between direct-attach cables 7 or 15 meters long for intra-rack cabling and structured fiber cabling with a range of up to 150 meters. An inexpensive copper alternative capable of carrying greater data volumes more quickly than before is therefore needed for structured cabling over medium distances, e.g. between cabinets in an aisle in a computer room.

Current state of standardization process
    Many questions remain unanswered in the standardization process: Will S/FTP be the cable of choice? Which frequency range will be adopted? etc. IEEE has not yet even specified many parameters such as Transverse Conversion Loss (TCL). TCL describes the ground symmetry loss of symmetrical wire pairs. It measures sensitivity to noise coupling. R&M emphasizes that the specification of TCL will greatly influence the design of cables for 40GBASE-T.

    The company is leading the way within important standardization bodies in the development of connectivity for 40GBASE-T, including the following among others, IEC-TC46 (cables), IEC-TC48 (connectors) and ISO/IEC JTC1 SC25 (infrastructure). R&M supports the activities of these organizations with its own research and development work.

What lies ahead? 
    Work on the implementation of 40GBASE-T has only just begun. IEEE has set an ambitious goal of publishing the standard in 2016 because of the tremendous commercial interest involved. The advantage 40GBASE-T offers in terms of speed and data volume plus the cost advantages of twisted-pair cables for medium link lengths will outclass the entire previous performance of copper cabling in data centers. "That is why R&M is so convinced that 40GBASE-T has to be developed," Jean-Pierre explains.

    However, R&M warns against premature expectations and hasty decisions. The connection and cabling technology for 40GBASE-T / Cat. 8 is extremely complex. Only solutions that are truly technically mature and inherently consistent and compatible should be marketed.

About Reichle & De-Massari (R&M)
    Reichle & De-Massari AG (R&M, www.rdm.com) develops and manufactures passive cabling solutions for communication networks. With high-quality copper and fiber optic cable products, R&M has gained the reputation of a leader in quality. The company has established its own marketing organizations in 30 countries, grouped into eight sales regions. R&M achieves around two thirds of its sales abroad. Sales in 2012 totaled CHF 183.6 million; EBIT was 0.2% of sales. Every year the company invests 5% of sales in research and development. R&M is one of the 500 largest companies in Switzerland and currently has a workforce of over 700 employees. The company is wholly owned by the Reichle family and is run as an independent family-owned company.

More information is available at http://www.rdm.com

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