Facing the Challenges of Today’s Modern Data Center: Know Your Site – From Hyperscale to Edge

How Rising Fiber Consumption Affects Infrastructure

We are entering a new era, enabled by technologies such as 5G and the modern data center at a hyper-scalable and edge level. Source: AFL

In this edition of Voices of the Industry, Manja Thessin, AFL’s Enterprise Market Manager, and Seán Adam, Vice President of Market Strategy and Innovation, explore the impact of increased data rates and fiber consumption on data center infrastructure.

Manja Thessin, Business Market Manager for the AFL


Seán Adam, Vice President of Market Strategy and Innovation at AFL.

Our world is full of buzzwords: 5G, WiFi6, Densification, Datafication, IoT. At the heart of it all is the modern data center, which relies on a dense fiber optic network, high-density cabling, a hyper-scalable level of connectivity, and low-loss interconnect. All of this is essential to transforming our world into a data-centric world.

It is said that “humans are on a quest to digitize the world”, and data has become the cornerstone of our society and our lives. Data consumption is growing at an exponential rate. Cellular data usage is estimated to exceed 77 exabytes per month by 2022, and by 2025 the number of connected devices will exceed 150 billion. Additionally, the explosion in fiber consumption has further demonstrated the need for modern data centers. Driven by the deployment of gigabit symmetric broadband, the demand for fiber network deployment is increasing globally as it is the only medium capable of delivering equal download and upload speeds, which is essential to enable the 5G wireless technology (and beyond). Annual U.S. fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) investment is expected to exceed $12 billion by 2025, and in the past year alone, North American fiber-optic cable consumption is estimated to have increased by more than 15%.

The past two years have changed the way we approach life, work and day-to-day activities. As more and more aspects of our lives move online, new applications are beginning to emerge. These emerging applications not only include work from home, e-learning and telehealth – all of which are enabled by fiber optics – but also include more advanced applications such as self-driving cars, remote surgeries and courier deliveries. drone of medicines, groceries or parcels. The Federal Communications Commission recently granted Amazon three regional licenses to begin flying, no pun intended, 5G mmWave-enabled drone deliveries. All of these applications require both high data rates and ultra-low latency, meaning data centers are needed closer and closer to the edge.

To put into perspective, the latency at the central cloud data center is over 100ms and the latency is around 20ms at the network edge data center. These measurements are not sufficient for tomorrow’s transformational applications where a fraction of a second can mean the difference between life and death. However, moving data centers and computing to the edge, where latency is less than 10ms, allows us to achieve reasonable latency for these mission-critical applications.

We are entering a new era, enabled by technologies such as 5G and the modern data center at a hyper-scalable and edge level. As data rates and fiber consumption continue to increase, a vast infrastructure, comprised of both wireless mobility and fixed wireless access, is needed to provide traditional and monumental opportunities for those who install the networks and the society that uses them. Modern data centers are at the heart of this emerging reality. The keys to success in building a modern data center lie not only in the optical infrastructure you choose, but also in the processes and tools you use to ensure successful deployments. Knowing your space is the first step to meeting the challenges of today’s modern data center.

With increasing data rates and fiber consumption, network operators must build their data centers to accommodate this exponential growth. It’s about making the most of every square inch of floor space, which requires focusing on density. In other words, how many connections can you fit in a square centimeter of space, how much bandwidth can you enable, and how much revenue can you make in a square centimeter of space? The use of products and solutions that allow a high level of density is essential. Today’s flexible flat cables provide a transformational level of density. Their small size allows operators to maximize their space, enabling the massive data center growth that is needed.

Data center operators must also install specialized connectivity to handle this fiber influx. After all, connectivity is where it all comes together (or it all falls apart). The installation of hyperscale level junction and splice boxes and the use of field installable connectors are necessary to successfully integrate the massive amount of cables into the architecture.

It is also important that operators design for the future. Building scalability, flexibility, and accessibility into data centers helps prepare for future technology demands. As technology advances, the underlying data center infrastructure must also adapt. Build your site with these three characteristics in mind: the infrastructure must have the scalability to meet increasing traffic and bandwidth needs, the flexibility to handle this expansion, and the accessibility to implement these changes on the ground, now and in the future.

Manja Thessin is head of corporate market at AFL. Seán Adam is Vice President of Market Strategy and Innovation at AFL, a global manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise, hyperscale and consumer markets. industry. Contact AFL to learn more about their solutions.

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