Data Centre Physical Connectivity Innovation Of The Year
With growing data compute and storage requirements driving the construction of more and more data centre campuses and hyperscale data centres, it can be a real challenge for operators to keep up with demand and ensure these projects stay on schedule and on budget.
Pre-terminated solutions have long emerged as a means of simplifying and accelerating cabling installation. But, in the outside plant environment, it has also historically been difficult to use pre-terminated trunks as standard data centre interconnect ducts are typically four-inches wide. This is not a problem for pulling through unconnectorised cables, but for very high fibre count cables, such as 1,728 fibres and more, the subsequent splicing and testing is a painful, slow and, ultimately, costly process.
What are your product's/solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP?
To overcome this challenge, Corning developed EDGE™ Rapid Connect (EDGE RC). Designed with new Fast-Track MTP® Connectors and routable subunits, the rugged, high-density cabling solution is optimised to enable complete data centre interconnects faster than ever. It matches the density found in comparable data centre interconnect splicing solutions, but with no splicing necessary—saving up to 70% on installation time when installing trunk cables between data centre buildings.
Developed by Corning and US Conec, the Fast-Track MTP’s smaller 2-inch diameter pulling grip enables more pre-terminated fibre to be pulled through a single conduit, giving data centre operators a new path to extreme density.
Corning’s data centre interconnect portfolio is particularly targeted at the hyperscale and multi-tenant data centre/colocation market, and institutions such as large financial companies who have multiple data centre buildings on a single campus. Its key capabilities and features include:
• Speed to revenue by eliminating splicing: For a typical four-trunk deployment, EDGE™ RC can reduce project time from six weeks down to two weeks, allowing the data centre to be operational – and generating revenue – faster.
• Reduced pathway costs: Users can now pull three 3,456-fiber trunk cables through a single 4-inch conduit, reducing the amount of conduit that needs to be placed in the ground, increasing the ROI on pathway investment.
• Minimised risks: Splicing extremely high fibre count ribbon cable can be complex, requiring highly trained splice technicians. Using pre-terminated trunks mitigates the risk of not having access to splicing resources, and the risk of having staff work with sharp tools to prepare fibre for splicing.
• Rugged connector: The Fast-Track MTP connector can mate with a normal MTP connector (with a maximum insertion loss of 0.35dB), while the grip is waterproof and can withstand up to 600 pounds (270 kilos) of pulling tension.
What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?
When it comes to data centre projects, time is money – and operators know they can ill-afford to allow delays in network installation to stand in the way of meeting ever-increasing demands for bandwidth.
Even with a skilled labour force, lots of splicing can be challenging and it’s very easy to misalign a splice or to splice the wrong ribbon. EDGE RC removes lengthy troubleshooting and testing time and streamlines the entire process, slashing installation times by as much as 70% - this can see a six-week project cut down to as little as two.
One key issue that contractors can still face is accurate measurement of cable length, with the connectorised trunk cables made to order and measurements needing to be accurate. Corning offers services to contractors to ensure accuracy and provide complete peace of mind.
What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?
While there are other competitors offering the same level of high fibre count ribbon cable, critically there is currently no competitor that has released a solution with the Fast-Track MTP. Therefore, the current competitive environment for such high fibre counts is limited to the alternative solution which is splicing.
Splicing at this scale, for quality splices with low insertion loss to allow for optimal transmission signal quality, presents myriad challenges, from availability of skilled workers in the right locations, needing to navigate inadequate pathway space and meeting tight project timelines.
Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.
Anonymous customer feedback:
“The pulling grip makes [installation] so easy as it is so flexible – often when using 110mm ripped ducts, the cable gets stuck, but this wasn’t the case with the small size pulling grip.”
“Going from delivery to fully tested in less than 7 weeks for an 8x3456 fibre install was phenomenal.”
“The pulling grip was phenomenal – 2” OD, flexible, time to remove next to nothing. Couldn’t ask for a better pulling grip.”
“No splicing -- it is completely plug and play; this has meant drastic savings on labour.”