A Space-Saving Way to Manage Lots of Fiber
When the largest Canadian-owned, carrier-neutral data center operator decided to convert a former printing press into a 30MW data center, it also needed cabling and connectivity that could help bring the site to life.
eStruxture was looking for an innovative, high-density fiber solution for this 185,000-square-foot facility in Montreal, Canada: a way to manage the fiber that would support uninterrupted network, power, cooling and security services for its retail and hyperscale customers.
Although the data center operator explored traditional fiber options, the team quickly realized they needed a solution that would not only allow them to manage fiber effectively, but also offer specific benefits so they could meet their goals and give their customers what they needed.
As they began their search for an innovative way to manage fiber connections, eStruxture was looking for:
1. Easy Management of High Densities
Because fiber cabling is the only network infrastructure solution that can support data rates of 50G and beyond, data centers are relying on fiber.
Working with more than 900 clients to support their mission-critical data center initiatives, eStruxture has lots of fiber to manage. As more data center fiber is deployed, the number of fiber connections will also increase. Many of today’s large data centers now support tens of thousands of fiber links.
As fiber connections grow, effective fiber management becomes vital to ensure uptime and efficient maintenance. Otherwise, things can become overwhelming very quickly (and also get very messy). eStruxture’s team wanted a way to handle this high density while also being able to efficiently manage connectivity: have access to each port, maintain well-organized cables, easily view interconnections, etc.
2. A Way to Conserve Square Footage
Even though their new building spans 185,000+ square feet, eStruxture still had limited space to work with when it came to managing fiber. (The less space that’s taken up by infrastructure, the more space that can be offered to customers.) The operator was looking for a fiber system designed to maximize space in small rooms – while still leaving room to grow.
3. A Way to Prevent Human Error
Because of eStruxture’s sheer size, there could be up to 20 different people operating or working on fiber frames at any given time. To prevent human error or miscommunication with that many hands involved, it was crucial to have a system that was easy to understand, intuitive to use and simple for staff members to determine which fiber connects to what.
4. The Option to Customize When Necessary
Although some of their fiber infrastructure requirements were straightforward, eStruxture also knew they would likely need to make adjustments to their fiber solution in order to meet specific requirements. For this reason, they were looking for an option that would allow for some customization – as well as provide access to an engineering team to do some fine-tuning.
5. A Repeatable Process
For scalability, streamlined maintenance and faster deployment, eStruxture wanted to find a trusted system, process and solution that could be standardized and repeated across all of its data centers in the future. In order to do this, they wanted a fiber solution that:
- Could be deployed quickly
- The team already knew how to operate
- Occupied a predetermined amount of space
- Offered proven performance
6. Fast Efficient Deployment
Because the company served several high-profile clients, adhering to uncompromising expectations and timelines wasn’t just a goal – it was the only option. To ensure that the site’s first customers would be fully operational by a certain date, eStruxture’s team of installers needed a system that was easy to deploy, leaving plenty of time for testing before going live.
How Belden Made It Happen
Belden’s new DCX System (not available in the USA) ended up being the perfect fit for fiber management in the company's newest facility.
The DCX Optical Distribution Frame lets the team manage high numbers of fiber connections and high-density fiber without compromising on ease of use: It offers the highest per-square-foot fiber connection density available. One-of-a-kind innovations include easy patch cord access, cable and patch cord protection, front-access design and flippable modular cassettes.
DCX Cabinets protect fiber connections with a lockable front door and side panels that can be unclipped from the inside. They can be assembled side by side and/or back to back for scalability and custom layouts. In this specific case, the cabinets were stacked back to back to conserve square footage in tight spaces.