The evolving story for data center owners and consumers over the past few years has become a familiar one at this point - more devices, requiring faster connection speeds and higher bandwidth have been continually released, and industry data centers are now scrambling to keep up with the pace of digital expansion. While Category 6A twisted-pair copper cabling received much attention when first launched in 2005, the slow adoption to 10 Gb/s capacities that exceeded minimum requirements has contributed to these LAN bottlenecks and demand for higher performance. The following considerations are trends that haven't escaped notice of industry standards bodies, and leading manufacturers like Belden:
Next-Generation Wi-Fi: Next-generation Wave 2 Wi-Fi devices will require data rates close to 2 Gb/s in the immediate future, and 4 Gb/s in the next few years. Nearly all enterprise businesses plan to deploy next-generation Wi-Fi over that timeframe, and the best (and possibly only) viable solution to supporting it is Category 6A.
4-Pair PoE: The next-generation power over Ethernet standard (4PPoE) delivers power more efficiently using all four pairs in a cable. Spreading the load lowers the overall resistance, reducing the heat generated within the cable. Since higher temperatures adversely impact transmission performance, the workaround so far has been to de-rate the cable to shorter length, or seek out a cable with suitable insertion-loss performance.
HDBaseT: This emerging networking technology transmits uncompressed full high-definition video, audio, Ethernet, control and power up to 100m over balanced twisted-pair cabling. A newer specification also calls for up to 100 watts of power delivered over 4-pair cables for powering HDTVs and displays at distances up to 100m. Only Category 6A can handle both the power and distance requirements.
IP Convergence: Convergence continues to take hold in the enterprise, with everything from security and life-safety systems to lighting and building-automation systems connecting to the network. Category 6A has the performance to handle the increased data loads demanded by these systems.
While these are general trends, even in specific industries we are starting to see bandwidth-intensive applications that require speeds beyond 100 and 1000 Mb/s. Large file transfers in healthcare, for example, such as medical images, high definition streaming video, high-end graphics and surveillance video are taxing Category 5e and Category 6 networks. Consider that a set of medical images for a single patient totaling 9000 MB takes about a minute to download over a 1000 Mb/s network, but only seven seconds over a 10 Gb/s network. Now think of the difference this could make in an emergency.
To learn about Belden's next generation cabling, for more information about how the 10GXS could help in your next project, or for a free sample, visit their 10GXS resource page here.