Base12 connectivity has had its place in the data center for a while now, but that may soon be changing as SR4-based protocols become predominant. Making use of cables based on increments of eight instead of 12, Base8 technology features eight-fiber trunk cables, 16-fiber trunk cables, 24-fiber trunk cables – you get the idea.
Thanks to quickly-changing technology associated with transceivers, switches and servers, data centers that want to keep up may need to start considering Base8 technology now.
Base8 provides added flexibility for 40GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-SR4, offering a cleaner option if you plan to migrate soon to 40G and 100G network speeds.
With eight fibers, Base8 technology is optimized for QSFP+/QSFP28 transceivers, which also use eight fibers. It allows for 100% fiber utilization in these situations.
Well-known 12-fiber MPO connectors are common in data centers, but they pose a problem when installed in a parallel path system: Four unused fibers remain per connection. When a 40G/100G SR4 solution is implemented in a 12-fiber infrastructure, this leads to a significant and costly loss in fiber network utilization. Base8 can be a more cost-effective option for end-to-end MPO to MPO channels and architectures.
Data center managers can expect to save 4% to 5% when deploying Base8 connectivity in duplex architectures for 10GBASE-SR and 25GBASE-SR, unless you’re running groups of 6-ports, where Base8 may result in a significant cost increase. Slightly higher savings of 5% to 8% can be expected in SR4-based architectures, unless you’re utilizing long (near 150m) channels, in which case Optimizer cassettes with Base12 trunks may provide a more cost-effective solution
In most cases, Base8 connectivity doesn’t offer a density benefit. But it may offer density benefits in middle of row (MoR) or end of row (EoR) architectures with duplex ports: Base8 can save 1U for switches with port counts of 288, 576 and 768.
Base8 connectivity isn’t a universal solution; in fact, in some cases Base12 may still be more cost effective. It is possible to have both Base8 and Base12 connectivity in the same data center through careful management and labeling practices.
Belden has the solutions you need for end-to-end Base8 or Base12 connectivity. Contact us to learn whether Base8 technology is right for your data center.
Dwayne Crawford has more than 20 years of experience in the datacomm industry. He has served on several international standards committees to advance high-performance/low-latency protocols (such as IEEE-1394, GigE Vision and CameraLink) used in real-time image processing and utilizing high-performance computing platforms.