If connectivity wasn’t already increasing at a rapid pace, then the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred even faster growth. The examples below are just a few of the seismic shifts occurring in communication, interaction and collaboration over the past few weeks:
- Healthcare is quickly moving toward telehealth vs. in-person visits when possible
- K-12 schools and universities are now conducting coursework online so students can continue to learn at home
- Many companies are now supporting hundreds or thousands of newly remote employees
- Dorms and hotels are being transformed into makeshift isolation or patient areas that require new types of connectivity
We’re ordering groceries online, streaming more HD content as we self-isolate, and even celebrating birthdays and anniversaries from afar. Without physical and face-to-face contact, connectivity naturally accelerates – more by force than by pleasure. In the span of a few weeks, social distancing has led us to rethink – and change – how we live day by day.
Once things begin to return to “normal,” it’s likely that some of the new habits we created out of necessity during this pandemic will lead to changes moving forward, too. This global emergency has given us the opportunity to discover – and re-discover – the advantages of the digital world.
In order to take full advantage of this connectivity, however, you need a network and cabling infrastructure in place to support it. Your layer 0 must be reliable, able to maximize throughput and able to ensure uptime.
Today, this requires singlemode fiber (OS2) and multimode fiber (OM4) cable, as well as Category 6A solutions, to increase information capacity and bandwidth. The organizations that have this infrastructure in place can rest easy knowing that technology, systems and applications will work as they should – regardless of how many people or devices need to connect. Those with outdated cabling infrastructure are likely noticing network slowdowns, dropped connections, bottlenecks and even certain times of day when applications aren’t usable at all.
This sudden increase in demand is undoubtedly stressing data centers the most. Whether you think about data centers that support essential infrastructure such as financial institutions or convenience stores – or the data centers that host the streaming content we’re watching every night at home – none of this connectivity would be possible without a reliable, dependable, high-performing data center. Data centers that could previously handle the influx of inbound and outbound network traffic being received every day now have to manage increasing numbers of requests.
More than ever, it’s clear that a robust, reliable and high-performance infrastructure is needed to keep people connected to data – and to each other. It’s vital to remote work, online learning, emergency communications, healthcare and much more.
Data centers are intensive users of fiber optic cable – and that usage is growing. As data center speeds increase, cable performance becomes increasingly critical to ensure link quality – which is why fiber is becoming crucial.
Belden has developed new fiber solutions in recent months that allow data centers to create the robust, reliable and high-performance infrastructure we’re talking about – without compromising on performance or ease of use.
Here are a few examples …
DCX Optical Distribution Frame
Belden’s new DCX Optical Distribution Frame lets you manage high numbers of fiber connections and high-density data center fiber without compromising on ease of use.
It supports nearly unlimited numbers of fiber connections for unrestricted growth potential. In fact, it offers the highest density available in the marketplace: 55% higher than other systems if you compare the number of terminations per square foot (4,608 fiber terminations in three square feet).
FiberExpress Flexible Ribbon Cable
Relative to cable size, FiberExpress Flexible Ribbon Cable provides the highest connectivity density available to make every square foot inside your data center count. Its small OD and superb flexibility make it easier and faster to handle than traditional ribbon cable, creating installation possibilities in narrow pathways and small conduit.
Sorting and ribbonization are already completed (the fibers are already bonded) to reduce labor resources and costs. It also offers the ability to terminate multiple fibers at once through mass fusion splicing, reducing installation time even further.
1.6 mm Multi-Fiber Trunks
Manage cable density and allow for airflow with Belden’s 1.6 mm Multi-Fiber Trunks. They’re quick and easy to pull and install, offering simple polarity management with easy-to-use LC Duplex clips.
Superior consistent craftsmanship culminating in near instantaneous installation. Highly configurable multi-fiber pre-terminated cable assemblies are engineered for maximum performance and crafted ensuring superior quality.
They also offer absolute customizability and enhanced quality – thanks to exhaustive design validation against TIA and ISO standards.
Fiber MPO Trunks
Industry-leading low-loss MPO trunks are revolutionizing the data center as pre-terminated fiber connectivity solutions with 40% smaller LPM transitions. They also offer easy upgradability to 40G and 100G (and higher) when you’re ready to migrate.
What else are you noticing in terms of how COVID-19 is impacting our networks and data centers? Let us know in the comments below! As we come across other ways our industry is shifting amid this pandemic, we’ll continue to keep you informed.
Joining Belden in 2015, Jorge de la Fuente has more than 30 years of experience in providing network and data center solutions to end-users across a variety of markets. In this role, he oversees functionality of our enterprise/data center connectivity solutions, sharing his extensive knowledge with customers and Belden employees to help assess needs, troubleshoot and determine system requirements.