CABLExpress® has developed a new system that data center managers can easily use to handle multiple cabling light paths with very little disruption or added cost. The new multi-path™ system from CABLExpress simplifies the cabling migration process and reduces the need for multiple transition components.

“We believe that as data centers move toward speeds of 400GE and beyond they will deploy more singlemode fiber structured cabling systems,” said Dave Fredricks, CABLExpress data center infrastructure architect. “This makes simplicity for a data center manager’s migration between parallel and duplex connections that much more important. Our new multi-path system will greatly contribute to added simplicity for them.”

CABLExpress knows that one major challenge many data center managers face is dealing with polarity, also known as light path. Polarity is the position the fiber strands in the channel to ensure transmitted data is properly received.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has approved three MPO polarity methods as standards in the document named ANSI/TIA-568.3-D. These three MPO polarity methods are titled Method A, Method B and Method C. The methods show light path, transmit to receive, using two fibers as duplex and twelve fibers as parallel connections. While all three standard methods can support duplex links effectively, each method has several limitations.

The multi-path system features several of the advantages of TIA Methods A, B and C. The system uses flipped trunks to best serve parallel optic connections. Most large cabling vendors in the data center market recommend flipped polarity backbone or horizontal trunking. Multi-path also utilizes the same duplex and parallel jumpers on both ends of the link and the cassette modules are the same on both ends of the link as well.

The multi-path system also eliminates several of the disadvantages within the TIA A, B and C methods. The system removes the need for two different jumper types for duplex and parallel connections. Multi-path eliminates the MPO coupler positions of Key Down to Key Down and Key Up to Key Up, and it gets rid of the need for expensive conversion modules.

CABLExpress understands that port replication™ is another great way for data center managers to increase efficiency and reduce errors in their data center cabling infrastructure. Port replication™ is the act of mirroring the ports of active fiber optic hardware in a passive component within a fiber patch panel. This creates a direct, one-to-one relationship, between the active hardware ports and the passive structured cabling environment. Using port replication within a multi-path system allows for easy user interface as well as simpler migration.

“By combining a multi-path structured cabling system with port replication hardware, we’ve been able to provide a simple migration path from 10Mb to 400GE and beyond for data center managers,” said Rick Dallmann, CABLExpress senior data center infrastructure architect. “The multi-path system supports both current and next generation optics that will make their efforts easier and most cost-effective.”