This year marked the first year that Belden’s Enterprise Blog published twice each week: Thursdays are dedicated to data center topics, and Fridays are reserved for local area network (LAN) topics.

When we first launched Belden’s blog in 2012 – and then began adding posts about data centers and LANs in mid-2013 – our team of data center and LAN experts never dreamed that the Belden blog would be as well-read as it is today.

In 2016, we published 104 Belden blog posts on topics ranging from Open Compute, thermal management and universal truths about networks to CFD modeling, data center energy efficiency, the cloud and IoT. As a result, Belden blog traffic has grown by 140% this year; the number of blog subscribers has increased by 75%.

We took a look at the most popular Belden blogs of 2016; we’re sharing them here in case you missed them the first time around.

Download our 10 Steps to Holistic Data Center Design white paperMost-Read Belden Blogs Published in 2016

1. Fusion vs. Mechanical Splicing

Comparing fusion splicing (using a machine to precisely align two fiber ends before “fusing” them) and mechanical splicing (precisely “holding” fibers together), this blog examines their differences in terms of performance, cost and deployment considerations.

2. 11 Types of Networks Explained: VPN, LAN & More

This handy reference guide simply explains different types of networks in use today, and how/where they’re used. Brief, straightforward definitions of PANs, LANs, WLANs, CANs, MANs, WANs, SANs, POLANs, EPNs and VPNs can be found here!

3. An Introduction to OM5: Wideband Multimode Fiber

This blog wasn’t published until late October, so the fact that it made our “most-read Belden blogs of 2016” list means the topic is important to many readers. After the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) decided on the nomenclature for wideband multimode fiber cable – OM5 – we created this post to explain its most recent developments.

4. Ladder Racks: The Cable Management Factor

Cable management and safe cable pathways from point A to point B is a subject that resonates with many data center managers – as indicated by this blog’s place on our list. Here, we explain the important elements of a ladder rack runway, including proper cable routing, fast deployment and color options.

5. 3 Reasons Why Power over Ethernet Demands CAT 6A Cable

When it comes to Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications, Category 6A cabling offers several benefits over Category 5e and Category 6 cabling. The reasons for Category 6A cable deployment for PoE applications are outlined here, including a larger-gauge diameter, less power loss and the ability to tightly pack cables.

More Most-Read Belden Blogs

Although these blogs weren’t published in 2016 (they were published in 2013, 2014 and 2015), they make up our current list of top five most-read Belden blogs to date.

STP, UTP, FTP Cable & More: 7 Types & When to Use Them!

Many acronyms are used to describe shielded cables, and most of them have different meanings – so it’s important not to mix them up. Here, we clear up misconceptions and provide basic information about each style of shielded cable.

3-Phase Power—Wye It Matters

There are compelling reasons to use 3-phase power in data centers – specifically 3-phase Wye power. This blog explains what 3-phase power is, and why Wye vs. Delta configurations should be considered.


There are some notable differences between ultra physical contact (UPC) and angled physical contact (APC) singlemode fiber connectors. Here, we explain their variances and which applications call for which connectors.

Not in My Network! Copper Clad Aluminum is a Recipe for Failure

Copper clad aluminum cables have become cheap replacements for category twisted-pair communications cables – but these cables can cause major concerns, which are outlined in this post.

Deciphering RJ45 Color Codes

Category 3 through Category 8 cabling, both UTP and shielded, contains four twisted pairs of insulated copper conductors. Each solid-colored conductor is paired with a “white” conductor, which is a striped combination of white and the solid color. This blog explains what those colors mean.

As 2016 draws to a close, we want to thank you for reading the Belden blog. Are there data center or LAN topics you’d like us to cover in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below so we can address them in future posts. Or if you’d rather speak to one of our experts, contact our data center team here or our LAN team here.