How do pre-terminated optical fiber and category-rated copper cabling stack up against field-terminated versions? Leviton shares five things to know about pre-terminated cabling and network deployment.
Pre-terminated cable provides a plug-and-play solution for links between switches, servers, patch panels, and zone distribution areas in the data center. These solutions include a variety of trunk cables, array cables, and plug-and-play cassettes that give data center managers options that suit specific needs. When compared to field-terminated cabling, there are many reasons to consider pre-terminated optical fiber and category-rated copper cabling:
- It increases speed of deployment.
Field termination is the most time-consuming, labor-intensive part of the cable installation process. Once pre-terminated cabling is delivered, it can be unpacked, readied for deployment, and connected quickly. In many cases pre-terminated cabling can cut installation time by up to 80% over field terminations.
- It removes the need for transmission-performance testing.
With pre-terminated cable assemblies, transmission testing of assemblies is performed by the manufacturer before shipment, and test reports are included with the assemblies. This leaves only continuity testing for copper and 10% insertion loss and continuity testing for fiber, which reduces the time spent testing on-site.
- It reduces downtime with faster, more flexible MACs.
With pre-terminated solutions, data center managers can make changes quickly based on network growth, business decisions, or shifting requirements. In disaster recovery situations that call for fast, temporary data communications set-up, pre-terminated cabling can minimize business downtime and establish communications quickly. It can also be disassembled quickly when the situation is resolved. The components are reusable for more efficient moves, adds, and changes (MACs).
- Users avoid time-consuming rework.
Increased network speeds have tighter link budget requirements that can be challenging to achieve with field terminations. Pre-terminated cabling provides more consistent channel transmission characteristics, as the experience level of the field technician no longer becomes a factor. Precision factory-termination processes take place in a clean, well-lit environment, unlike termination in uncontrolled field conditions. This increases the likelihood of clean and uncontaminated optical fiber ports, enables lower loss budgets, and provides overall better electrical transmission. Factory terminations are also guaranteed under warranty, which offer data center managers peace of mind.
- It cuts clean-up time.
Pre-terminated solutions allow for quick clean-up due to minimal leftover materials and scrap. Also, because there is less waste and material to clean up, pre-terminated solutions also help meet green design, waste reduction, and material reuse goals.
When selecting pre-terminated cable assemblies, be sure to use a reliable provider that can offer services such as guaranteed cabling performance, design assistance, certified contractor training, and the ability to support large quantities of assemblies in the required delivery window. Make sure the pre-terminated copper or optical fiber purchased through a manufacturer uses components that have been tested and verified by a third party to exceed TIA and IEEE standards. The manufacturer should also provide 100% testing in a quality-controlled environment before the cabling is shipped out to the worksite.
Visit Leviton Network Solutions online.
About the authors:
Kirk Krahn is a senior product manager for copper and Dave Mullen is a senior product manager for fiber and data center at Leviton Network Solutions.