Datacentre Managers Embrace Faster, Fully Shielded Copper Cabling

An independent survey has found that 8 in every 10 datacentre managers want 10Gb/sec-capable copper cabling for new datacentres, while half want fully shielded cable systems. The results highlight a broad shift in attitudes to cabling thanks to concerns over future proofing.

According to the survey of datacentre managers conducted at Data Centre Decisions, 81% of the 300 respondents indicated strong support for 10Gb/sec or better copper cabling systems when asked what cabling media they would specify for a new datacentre.

The survey also underlined a growing trend towards the adoption of shielded (S/FTP) copper systems in historically UTP markets. 50% of respondents preferred category 7/class F shielded copper cabling, such as Siemon’s TERA. Only 31% chose augmented category 6 UTP.

This shift in attitudes toward faster, shielded solutions is based on an increased need for future proofing. 93% of respondents expected their datacentres to last over 10 years, while 46% of the total planned for 20 years.

Datacentre managers are also focusing on installation issues. Traditionally easier and quicker to terminate, UTP solutions have been a favourite in many markets, but datacentre managers are becoming more familiar with S/FTP’s installation practices and time-saving termination features, which make them as easy to install as category 6A UTP cabling. These developments, coupled with the increased noise immunity and decreased emissions contribute to their popularity.

While screened (F/UTP) and S/FTP copper cabling systems are gaining market share, augmented category 6 UTP solutions still represent a significant percentage of future datacentre projects. Customers need a choice of cabling systems and must understand the strengths of each. Beyond data throughput, organisations must consider factors such as infrastructure security, pathway space, cable management, initial cost, life cycle cost, noise immunity and global market preferences.