The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) recently approved TIA-942A, an updated version of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers.
Not only does the revised standard include new considerations towards energy efficiency, more cohesion with internationally-recognized standards and support for larger and more modular data centers, it touches upon a variety of important developments in structured cabling systems in particular.
According to Jonathan Jew, President of J&M Consultants and a primary contributor for TIA-942A, the top five changes noted in the newly revised standards are:
- Making Category 6 the minimum requirement for horizontal cabling in the data center (along with recommendations to use Cat6a when possible)
- For multi-mode fiber, OM3 optical fiber is now the minimum requirement (along with recommendations to use OM4 optical fiber when possible)
- For connectors, synchronizing with international and European standards to use the LC connector for 1 or 2 fibers and the MPO connector when terminating more than 2 fibers.
- Eliminated the 100 meter channel length restriction for horizontal cabling using optical fiber cable (now determined on a per-application basis)
- For more flexibility in data center design, added a new distribution and cross-connect space to the intermediate distribution area and the intermediate cross-connect, which allows support of large data centers much more easily.
With 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet also on the horizon, such changes indicate how structured cabling systems are dealing with big data - go high density or go home.