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fiber connectivity PAGE 17


Will NEC changes

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Group Publisher Alan Bergstein

Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin
(603) 891-9222;
Senior Editor Matt Vincent
(603) 891-9262;
Editorial Creative Director Meg Fuschetti
FEATURES Production Director Mari Rodriguez
Senior Illustrator Dan Rodd

Marketing Manager Joni Montemagno
Audience Development Manager Debbie Bouley
Ad Traffic Manager Glenda van Duyne
Proposed revisions to 2017 NEC Optical designs provide multiple
would impact PoE deployment ways to reach speeds, distances
Cabling Installation & Maintenance
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13 DATA CENTER 21 TECHNOLOGY Tel: (603) 891-0123, Fax: (603) 891-9245
Inching closer to final standards AIM and DCIM strive to provide CORPORATE OFFICERS
for high-speed twisted-pair tangible vallue to users Chairman Robert F. Biolchini
Vice Chairman Frank T. Lauinger
networking and cabling PATRICK McLAUGHLIN President and Chief Executive Officer
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27 WIRELESS Executive Vice President, Corporate Development
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Cabling Installation & Maintenance® (ISSN 1073-3108), Volume 25,
No. 1. Cabling Installation & Maintenance is published 12 times a year,
Is the past prologue for Cable-pulling lubricants monthly by PennWell® Corporation, 1421 S. Sheridan, Tulsa, OK 74112.
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Is the past prologue
for Code compliance?
Over the final two weeks of 2015, we here at
TESTING Cabling Installation & Maintenance, along with
Time-domain-based the staffs of several other titles published by our
cabling testing parent company PennWell, moved our corpo-
rate offices. The fact that our new office is about
a quarter mile down the road from our old office
is of little consequence. We experienced every-
thing that goes into an office move and, as you
PATRICK McLAUGHLIN probably know all too well, there's not enough room on this page to describe it all in detail.
INSTALLATION When we arrived at our new workplace on
Conduit wrench December 30, we took a tour of the place, admiring the freshness of every-
for cut-in boxes
thing. I even got to stick my head into the equipment room because even
though all the cabling was completed, some final network connectivity qual-
ity-control was underway. And while I didn't get the opportunity to chat with
the crew that installed the cabling systems in our new office, I knew exactly
where they were and what they were doing on December 30. They were about
a quarter-mile away, at our old facility, removing the cabling that had been
put in place 17 years earlier.
CONNECTIVITY As we have documented many times over the years, it is a violation of
Water-tight connectors
the National Electrical Code to abandon cabling when vacating a facility.
for conduit
Abandoned-cable removal became a requirement with the 2002 edition of the
NEC. In the years since then it has become a regular course of business for in-
stallers (removers) of cabling; it also has become a necessary budgetary line
item for companies, like ours, that leave a facility.
In the article that immediately follows this one, Chris DiMinico weighs in
on a proposed revision to the 2017 edition of the NEC that would, he opines,
Dividers for cable
add "complexity, cost, and confusion of the cabling requirements, safety, and
management Code enforcement." The specific proposed revisions DiMinico calls out are
those that would add the requirement to install cables rated "LP" for certain
circuits that will transmit Power over Ethernet.
Power management for We scratched the surface on this topic in our September 2015 issue, and
remote radio units something tells me that Chris DiMinico's article this month won't be the fi-
nal word we publish on it. The 2017 NEC revision process is in a fairly ad-
vanced stage. As always, we will keep you up to date as we know more
information. Based on the tone of DiMinico's article, this topic is likely to di-
rectly, and maybe dramatically, affect designers, installers and owners of ca-
bling systems. Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 3

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Proposed revisions to 2017

National Electrical Code would
impact PoE deployment
As currently proposed, revisions to the 2017 NEC will by developing Telecommunications
negatively affect PoE deployment, potentially reducing Systems Bulletins (TSBs) and Technical
Reports (TRs) for IEEE 802.3 applica-
achievable cabling distances and adding complexity,
tions such as 1000Base-T, 2.5/5GBase-T,
cost, and confusion. A reasonable recommendation is to 10GBase-T and remote powering (PoE).
defer the proposed revisions to the 2020 Code cycle. IEEE and TIA/ISO have established li-
aison officers, enabling tightly coupled
standards reflecting inputs from across
BY CHRISTOPHER T. DIMINICO, MC Communications, Cisco Systems the telecommunications industry.
IEEE 802.3 is in the process of devel-
In October 2015, the code-making pan- Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) oping an amendment to PoE in the IEEE
els of the National Fire Protection provide related standards regarding var- 802.3bt Task Group to increase the max-
Association (NFPA) met to consider re- ious aspects of telecommunications in- imum power available at a powered de-
visions to the National Electrical Code frastructure, including cabling, pathways vice by utilizing all four pairs in a twist-
(NEC) to take effect with the publishing and spaces, and labeling. BICSI supple- ed-pair cable. Coordination with TIA/
of the 2017 NEC. This article provides a ments these standards with manuals of ISO cabling committees on power deliv-
review of the proposed revisions to the best practices and methods by which re- ery continue, with the development of
NEC that impose new compliance re- quirements from TIA standards are im- ISO/IEC TR 29125 “Telecommunications
quirements on communications cables plemented. Additionally, BICSI provides Cabling Requirements for Remote
used to supply power to communica- training in the design, implementation, Powering of Terminal Equipment,”
tions equipment, considering the impact integration and project management and the TSB-184-A addendum to TSB-
of Power over Ethernet (PoE) deploy- of telecommunications and data com- 184 “Guidelines for Supporting Power
ment. The article will not review topics munications technology and related in- Delivery Over Balanced Twisted-
on the enforcement of the Code. frastructure through an industry-rec- Pair Cabling.”
Codes, standards and regulations have ognized designation of achievement
an enormous impact on the design and called the Registered Communications Proposed revisions to the 2017 NEC
installation of telecommunications in- Distribution Designer (RCDD). The second draft revision to the 2017
frastructure. The Telecommunications In addition to generic telecommu- NEC Article 840.160 and Article 725.144
Industry Association (TIA) and nications standards, TIA and ISO/ are given below under the cited Article,
the International Organization IEC support the Institute of Electrical without modifications to the source
for Standardization/International and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) content. The safety issues claimed in Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 7

support of the revisions were expressed connectors are typically rated at 1.3 am- suitable for carrying up to 0.5 A per con-
as concerns over operation of cable be- peres maximum. ductor, regardless of the number of cables
yond their temperature ratings. 1. The ampacity ratings in Table 725.144 in a bundle. If used in a 7 cable bundle, the
Article 840.160 Communications shall apply at an ambient temperature same cable could carry up to 1.2 amperes
Circuits – Communications cables, in of 30°C (86°F). per conductor.
addition to carrying the communica- 2. For ambient temperatures above 1. Cables with the “-LP” suffix shall
tions circuit, shall also be permitted to 30°C (86°F), the correction factors of be permitted to be installed in bun-
carry circuits for powering communica- 310.15(8)(2) shall apply. dles, raceways, cable trays, commu-
tions equipment. Where the power sup- Informational Note: One example of the nications raceways, and cable rout-
plied over a communications cable to use of Class 2 cables is a network of closed ing assemblies.
communications equipment is more than circuit TV cameras using 24 AWG 60°C 2. Cables with the suffix “-LP” and a
60 watts, communications cable and rated, Type CL2R, Category 5e LAN (local marked ampere level shall follow
the powering circuits shall comply with area network) cables. the substitution hierarchy of Table
725.144 where communications cables are (B) Use of Class 2-LP or Class 3-LP 725.154(A) and Figure 725.154(A) for
used as substitute to Class 2 and 3 cables. Cables to Transmit Power and Data. Types the cable type without the suffix “-LP”
Article 725.144 Transmission of Power CL3P-LP, CL2P-LP, CL3R-LP, CL2R-LP, and without the marked ampere level.
and Data – The requirements of 725.144(A) CL3-LP, or CL2-LP shall be permitted to 3. System design shall be permitted by
and (B) shall apply to Class 2 and 3 circuits supply power to equipment at a current qualified persons under engineering
that transmit power and data to a powered level up to the marked ampere limit lo- supervision.
device. The requirements of Parts I and III of cated immediately following the suffix LP
Article 725 and 300.11 shall apply to Class 2 and shall be permitted to transmit data to Impact on PoE deployment
and Class 3 circuits that transmit power and the equipment. The Class 2-LP and Class Power over Ethernet (PoE) is specified
data. The conductors that carry power for 3-LP cables shall comply with the follow- to provide power over the same generic
the data circuits shall be copper. The current ing: (B)(1) through (B)(3), as applicable. cabling that is used for data transmis-
in the power circuit shall not exceed the cur- Informational Note No. 1: The “(xxA)” sion. The success of Base-T technology
rent limitation of the connectors. following the suffix –LP indicates the am- and PoE is largely due to the cost-effec-
Informational Note No. 1: One example pacity of each conductor in a cable. tiveness and plug-and-play simplicity of
of the use of cables that transmit power Informational Note No. 2: An exam- copper structured cabling. The proposed
and data is the connection of closed cir- ple of a Limited Power (LP) cable is a ca- Code revisions will create a “new” class
cuit TV cameras (CCTV). ble marked Type CL2-LP(0.5A), 23 AWG. A of communication cables for operating
Informational Note No. 2: The 8P8C Type CL2-LP(0.5), 23 AWG could be used temperatures greater than 60°C with
connector is in widespread use with pow- in any location where a Type CL2 could designated ampacity limits for power-
ered communications systems. These be used, however the LP cable would be ing. The revisions will add confusion

TABLE 725.144, Ampacities of Each Conductor (in Amperes) in a 4-Pair Class 2 or Class 3 Data Cable,
Based on Copper Conductors at Ambient Temperature of 30°C (86°F) with All Conductors in All Cables
Carrying Current, 60°C (140°F), 75°C (167°F) and 90°C (194°F) Rated Cables
AWG Numberof 4-Pair Cables in a Bundle
1 2-7 8-19 20-37 38-61 62-91 92-192
Temp Rating Temp Rating Temp Rating Temp Rating Temp Rating Temp Rating Temp Rating
60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C
26 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.7 0.8 1.0 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.6 NA NA NA
24 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 1.4 1.6 0.8 1.0 1.1 0.6 0.7 0.9 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.5
23 2.5 2.5 2.5 1.2 1.5 1.7 0.8 1.1 1.2 0.6 0.8 0.9 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.4 0.5 0.6
22 3.0 3.0 3.0 1.4 1.8 2.1 1.0 1.2 1.4 0.7 0.9 1.1 0.6 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.5 0.6 0.7
Note 1: For bundle sizes over 192 cables, or for conductor sizes smaller than 26 AWG, ampacities shall be permitted to be determined by qualified personnel under
engineering supervision. Note 2: Where only half of the conductors in each cable are carrying current, the values in the table shall be permitted to be increased by
a factor of 1.4. Informational Note: The conductor size in data cables in widespread use are typically 22-26 AWG.

8 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance

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and complexity to specifying generic Connectors, patch cords, crosscon- Code revision technical aspects
telecommunications cabling. This, com- nect wiring, patch panels, consolida- Proposed Table 725.144 is inconsistent
bined with the uncertainty of so-called tion points, etc. would require extended with TIA draft TSB-184-A and based
“safety issues” and Code enforcement operating temperature specifications. solely on a single test report without col-
will adversely affect the adoption and Channel transmission parameters such laboration by affected standards bodies.
cost of PoE deployment. as insertion loss and DC resistance in- Specifically:
Additionally, TIA and ISO/IEC ca- crease as a function of temperature, re- • Table 725.144 limits cable bun-
bling is functionally specified over the quiring considerations for adjusting dle sizes to <19 cables except for
temperature range from -10°C to +60°C. achievable lengths. 22 AWG (<37 cables) with 0.48 A
per conductor;
• TIA TSB-184-A allows for up to 74 ca-

Garage to Global
bles in a bundle with 0.5 A per con-
ductor (1 A per pair).

The TIA TSB-184-A findings are a re-

sult of cooperative analysis of tempera-
ture rise versus current measurements
from multiple cabling manufacturers, as
well as modeling between standards or-
ganizations (IEEE/TIA/ISO/IEC) during
the development of remote-power-
Snake Tray Innovates ing guidelines.
In accordance with the NFPA pub-
Cable Management Solutions lic comment process, the IEEE 802.3
It took one idea on a Saturday morning 20 years ago to start Ethernet Working Group secretary sub-
a revolution in cable management. Snake Tray started with a mitted the text below.
concept to build a better cable tray that would truly save on time,
Statement of Problem and
labor and materials. Twenty-ᣞve patents later, we manufacture a
full line of cable management and power distribution solutions all Substantiation: For the following reasons,
designed to help bring down the total cost of construction. the IEEE 802.3 Working Group believes
that this change to the Code is premature
and should be deferred to the 2020 Code
revision cycle. This delay should permit
sufficient time for all interested and af-
fected parties to review and comment.
1. Lack of LP Cable specification—At the
date of the written comment submis-
sion deadline, 21 August 2015, the spec-
ifications and availability of the refer-
enced LP cabling was not, to the best of
our knowledge, publicly available. This
fact alone makes it impossible to pro-
vide adequate technical review of this
new type of cabling, thus effectively
precluding public input.
Cable Management Solutions 2. Insufficient Technical Justification—At
Snake TrayÆ products are patent protected. Visit our website for speciᣞc patent information. the date of the written comment sub-
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10 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance

been provided detailing the testing TSB-184-A is being developed with broad- • January 4: Letter ballot; princi-
methodologies used as the basis for the based cabling and equipment manufac- pal members of CMP 3 and CMP 16
proposed changes. There is insufficient turer participation (IEEE/TIA/ISO/IEC). vote on proposals. A 2/3 majority
technical justification provided for the Consideration of the changes should is required.
change to require the use of LP cabling. be deferred to the 2020 Code revision • February: Technical Correlating
cycle, permitting sufficient time for all Committee reconciles drafts.
In addition, no technical data has been interested and affected parties to review • April: 2nd draft revisions published.
provided showing that when operating a and comment on the following. • Late April: Notice of Intent to Make a
communications circuit over a communi- • Review of Table 725.144 current lim- Motion (NITMAM) deadline.
cations type cable under the established its and operating temperatures • June: NFPA annual meeting.
guidelines that a safety condition is cre- • Review specifications and availability • Later in 2016: NFPA Standards
ated or exists. of the referenced LP cabling Council meets. u
The proposed NEC revisions will neg- • TIA TR-42.7 Task Group char-
atively impact PoE deployment, poten- tered to consider differences in TSB- Chris DiMinico is president of MC
Communications, a telecommunications con-
tially reducing achievable cabling dis- 184-A and proposed Table 725.144,
sulting firm with clients including Cisco Systems.
tances and adding complexity, cost, and to include test methodologies and He also is president and chief technical officer
confusion of the cabling requirements, configurations of PHY-SI, LLC, which produces high-speed test
safety, and Code enforcement. There are • Review of safety criteria and Code en- fixtures. He plays an active role in the develop-
significant differences between the pro- forcement before Code adoption. ment of a number of telecommunications indus-
posed NEC table revisions (Table 725.144) try standards. Diminico is an active participant in
and technical contributor to IEEE 802.3 and TIA.
and those in TSB-184-A. The NEC ta- The timeline for the 2017 NEC revision
He is the IEEE liaison officer to TIA TR-42.
ble was developed from a single report; process is as follows.

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Data Center

Inching closer to final standards

for high-speed twisted-pair
networking and cabling
The IEEE’s 25 and 40GBase-T specifications cabling specifications. Although first
defined for 40GBase-T, Category 8 is
move along, potentially joined by 50G, while also anticipated to be the target chan-
Category 8 is near the finish line. nel for 25GBase-T … Analysis to date
of 25GBase-T on Category 8 has shown
BY PATRICK McLAUGHLIN that it is generally an easier problem
to solve than running 10 Gbits/sec on
100 meters of Category 6A. This means
that the cost per bit, and power per
Specifications from multiple standards Largely based upon 10GBase-T sig- bit, of 25GBase-T products could de-
bodies are nearing their respective fin- naling whose data rate has been sped cline quickly to rather economic lev-
ish lines, suggesting that 2016 will be up four times, the 40GBase-T proj- els. Secondly, this is the first time
the year in which 25GBase-T, 40GBase-T, ect took a hard look at the 100-meter that IEEE 802.3 has specified two new
and Category 8 cabling all become stan- reach convention used for prior Base-T higher-speed Base-T PHYs that run
dardized. Each of the specifications has PHYs. With server-to-switch connec- on the same cabling system. This cre-
been in the works for multiple years, and tions as the target use for 40GBase-T, ates an inherently long life roadmap
if all goes well it may not be long before 30-meter reach was seen as sufficient for a Category 8 cabling system: Use
the specifications are completed. for installations using middle-of-row it for 1000Base-T or 10GBase-T today,
or end-of-row placement for switch- and the same infrastructure can be re-
25, 40, and 50? ing equipment.” used in the future for 25GBase-T or
In an article we published nearly a Because the addition of a 25-Gbit/ 40GBase-T operation.”
year ago (“IEEE to study new Base-T sec specification would be a modifica- Recently it came to light that it’s
data rates for data centers and enter- tion to the original project, incorpo- possible a third speed—50 Gbits/sec—
prise applications,” February 2015), rating 25G specs required approval of may someday also target Category 8 ca-
IEEE 802.3bq Task Force chair David a project authorization request (PAR) bling. When 25GBase-T was added to
Chalupsky explained that the scope of modification within the IEEE 802.3bq the 40GBase-T specification, the first of-
802.3bq could change to include spec- Task Force. That modification was ficial step in that process was a call for
ifications for 25-Gbit/sec transmission approved in September 2015. Based interest within the IEEE 802.3 Working
in addition to the document’s original on the timeline shared at 802.3bq’s Group (of which 802.3bq is a subset).
40-Gbit/sec specifications. Chalupsky November 2015 meeting, September That call for interest is a first step in
explained, “As bandwidth needs ex- 2016 is the target timeframe for stan- the development of any specification
ceed 10 Gbits/sec, 25/40GBase-T efforts dard finalization. that 802.3 produces. If the call for in-
will address enterprise server room As Chalupsky noted in early 2015, terest is approved 802.3 forms a study
and data center application require- the IEEE 802.3bq Task Force “has been group, which meets before developing a
ments, using similar modulation tech- collaborating with cabling standards PAR. The PAR takes a potentially wind-
niques for the respective specifications. organizations on defining Category 8 ing path through the study group and Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 13

Inching closer to final standards for high-speed twisted-pair networking and cabling continued

the 802.3 Working Group before poten- principal with CommScope, pointed Category 8, or wait?
tially being approved. That long-wind- out in an article we recently published Via regular correspondence, members
ed-but-abbreviated description of the (“Category 8 questions answered,” of the TIA TR-42.7 Telecommunications
very beginning of the standards pro- October 2015), “IEEE 802.3bq Task Force Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee
cess serves as a disclaimer, because the is collaborating with TIA TR-42.7 and are aware of the potential call for in-
idea that a 50GBase-T specification may ISO/IEC/JTC 1/SC 25/WG3 to ensure terest for 50GBase-T. As such, at the
someday come to fruition is just that— consistency and compatibility of the ca- most recent meeting of the TR-42
an idea. There has not been a call for in- bling specifications with the ‘link seg- Telecommunications Cabling Systems
terest for 50GBase-T and, according to ment’ specifications in IEEE 802.3bq Committee meeting in October, TR-42
a member of the 802.3bq Task Force, applications. Liaison letters to clarify decided it would not immediately pub-
the 25/40GBase-T specification will be requirements or provide additional in- lish the Category 8 cabling standard
completed without a 50GBase-T compo- formation are generated at most meet- even if TR-42.7’s work on the standard
nent. If 50GBase-T ever becomes a real- ings and latest drafts of the TIA and ISO was complete.
ity, it will do so after the finalization of Category 8 specifications are sent to the The thinking is that if indeed the
25/40GBase-T. IEEE 802.3bq committee where they are IEEE moves forward with 50GBase-T
Nonetheless, in the current “idea” posted in a ‘private,’ password-protected and targets Category 8 as the support-
stage that precedes a call for interest, area for members to review and com- ing media, the TIA will hold open the
the intent would/will be for 50GBase-T ment. The relationship between IEEE possibility that Category 8’s electri-
to operate over Category 8 cabling. That 802.3bq and its companion cabling stan- cal performance requirements may
possibility has at least a couple impli- dards organizations has been very posi- need to be made more restrictive (i.e.
cations for the Category 8 standard. tive and constructive, with several com- better-performing) in order to sup-
As Masood Shariff, engineering senior mon members attending the meetings.” port 50GBase-T.
On one hand, waiting to publish Category 8 for this reason
would save TR-42/TR-42.7 from having to create a “Category
8A” standard (or something with similar nomenclature) to
support 50GBase-T. On the other hand, consumer behavior
patterns have shown time and again that official standardiza-
tion of a Category cabling performance level prompts an in-
crease in purchases of that technology. So for the few cabling
vendors that have developed systems intended to comply with
the forthcoming Category 8 specifications, the wait may con-
tinue for the market as a whole to gain a satisfactory comfort LaserWaveÆ FLEX WideBand Optical Fiber
level to invest in Category 8 cabling.
TR-42.7 meets on a more-frequent basis than TR-42’s
thrice-yearly schedule. Once TR-42.7 hammers out the fi-
nal details of the ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 Specifications for 100Ω Enabling low cost multimode solutions
Category 8 Cabling specification, TR-42 may choose to have for next generation data center networks
the standard published rather than to hold it up pending
IEEE’s action or inaction on 50GBase-T. To learn more, visit
Whenever ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 is complete, the Category
8 work will not be entirely over for TR-42.7. Valerie
Maguire, director of standards and technology for Siemon,
explained in our recent “Category 8 questions answered”
article: “TIA is developing requirements for Category 8 ca-
bling constructed from Category 8 components and is also
undertaking an initiative to develop Class II cabling re-
quirements that will harmonize with ISO/IEC. The Class
I and Category 8 cabling specifications support modular
RJ45-style connectors. The performance associated with
Class II cabling can only be realized when Category 8.2 ca-
bles are used in conjunction with non-RJ45 interfaces such
as the Siemon TERA connector.” In a Web-delivered sem-
inar held November 5, Maguire said, “Substantial compo-
nent-related work needs to be done” on the TIA’s Category 8
Class II specifications.
Also in that seminar, Maguire advised, “Until
25/40GBase-T processing capabilities are finalized, it’s too SPEAK WITH THE EXPERTS!
early to make a guarantee of 25/40GBase-T application sup-
port for any grade of cabling,” and that, “Performance to a
draft Category 8 cabling specification is not the same as a
25/40GBase-T application support claim.”
We will continue to follow and report on the development
of the IEEE 802.3bq specifications, as well as the possibility
2016 Winter Conference
that the IEEE may initiate a 50GBase-T project. We also will January 31 - February 4, 2016
follow and report on the TIA’s Category 8 specifications, in- OFS Fiber Booth #908
cluding what happens once those specifications are finalized.
When we learn of new information, we will post that informa- /ofsoptics /ofs_telecom

tion first at our website, u /company/ofs


Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor. Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 15


Optical designs provide

multiple ways to reach
speeds, distances
Serial, parallel and wave-division multiplexing will enable 50-Gigabit Ethernet SFP56
modules, and 200-GbE QSFP56 modules
technologies provide more than one path and other corresponding technologies
to high-speed optical communication. … The launch of these new study groups
will help deliver the next generation of
BY PATRICK McLAUGHLIN cost-optimized, higher-speed solutions
demanded by hyperscale data centers,
enterprises, cloud service providers and
more. It’s proof that Ethernet will con-
Several recent examples show that study groups will define objectives for tinue to be optimized for new markets.”
when the Institute of Electrical and the Ethernet specifications leverag-
Electronics Engineers (IEEE; ing 50-Gbit/sec signaling technology, From MMF to SMF
org) 802.3 Working Group develops a based on market needs. The 25-Gbit/ During the 802.3 meeting at which the
specification for Ethernet, even when sec Ethernet PMD(s) for Single Mode group gave the go-ahead to form these
the specification is complete it is not the Fiber Study Group is tasked with ex- study groups, a presentation advocat-
proverbial “be-all, end-all” for a given ploring the development of new 25-Gbit/ ing the 25-GbE Over Single Mode effort
speed. On the contrary, such a specifica- sec singlemode fiber links, as well as elaborated somewhat on Kipp’s notion
tion often is just the beginning for optics evaluating market requirements sup- of Ethernet being optimized for differ-
developers, system designers, network- porting longer-reach 25-Gbit/sec inter- ent markets. Among the motivations
ing professionals and ultimate end-us- faces up to 10 kilometers or more. The for forging ahead were to allow mar-
ers; it signals the kickoff of what is likely group’s work will complement the fast- kets including enterprise and metro net-
to be a number of specifications that en- tracked efforts of the 802.3by 25-Gbit/ works to adopt 25-GbE. David Lewis of
able Ethernet transmission at a specific sec Ethernet Task Force to develop a 25- Lumentum, David Malicoat of HPE and
speed to some distance. GbE specification. Kohichi Tamura of Oclaro delivered the
For example, among the recent ini- While publicizing and commending presentation, assisted by Paul Kolesar of
tiatives within 802.3 was the forma- these initiatives, the Ethernet Alliance CommScope and Peter Jones of Cisco.
tion of study groups for 25-, 50- and (, commented The group explained that, as was the
100/200-Gbit/sec Ethernet transmission, that in making these moves IEEE 802.3 case with 1- and 10-GbE, adoption of 25-
in November. The IEEE 802.3 50-Gbit/ is “demonstrating Ethernet’s capacity GbE over multimode fiber started ear-
sec Ethernet Over a Single Lane Study for dynamically addressing the chang- lier and ramped faster than 25-GbE over
Group, and the 802.3 Next Generation ing needs of its rapidly expanding mar- singlemode fiber. Citing market research
100-Gbit/sec Ethernet Study Group will ketplace.” Ethernet Alliance president from LightCounting, the presenters
jointly investigate the market require- Scott Kipp added, “Ethernet is begin- noted that 2014 was the year in which
ments for 50-, 100- and 200-Gigabit ning the standardization of a new era shipments of singlemode-based 1-GbE
Ethernet, including server-to-switch of speeds based on 50-Gbit/sec signal- optics surpassed shipments of multi-
and switch-to-switch applications. The ing technology. The 50-Gbit/sec lanes mode 1-GbE optics in all form factors. Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 17

Likewise, LightCounting projects 2018 to be the crossover year
for 10-GbE optics, when singlemode shipments outpace mul-
timode. In its infancy, 25-GbE is expected to follow the same
early path; multimode far outpacing singlemode. However, the
group pointed out that over multimode fiber, 10-GbE’s reach is
400 meters while 25-GbE maxes out at 100 meters over multi-
mode. Therefore, the transition from multimode to singlemode
One Plug. for 25-GbE could be faster than what it will be for 10-GbE.
“The 25-GbE ecosystem is missing a story for >100 meters,”
Three Types. the presentation said. The group added that metro networks and
many enterprise networks require more than 100 meters, and “le-
More Flexibility. veraging 25G lane rates with 25-GbE/100-GbE just makes sense.”
The presentation referenced 25- and 100-GbE because the
current 25-GbE initiative is for a “single lane,” and by provid-
ing four such parallel lanes, users can achieve 100-GbE trans-
NEW mission rates. In spring 2015 the IEEE finalized the 802.3bm
specification, which enabled a lane-count reduction for mul-
timode-based 100-GbE by specifying 4, 25-GbE lanes whereas
the original 100-GbE (IEEE standard specified 10, 10-
Gbit/sec multimode lanes.
This approach of using fewer, higher-speed lanes to achieve
a given data rate is common within IEEE 802.3. The multi-
MFP8 ple-lane, parallel optic approach gives rise to the use of ar-
ray-style, MPO connectors that facilitate multiple paths of
light in each direction. As we reported recently (“Standard for
16- and 32-fiber connector interface taking shape,” September
2015), the IEEE’s 400GBase-SR16 specification will use 16 lanes
MFP8-4x90 of 25-Gbit/sec transmission and 16 lanes of 25-Gbit/sec re-
ception over OM4 fiber. The Telecommunications Industry
Association’s Subcommittee TR-42.13, Passive Optical Devices
500 PoE+
Cat.6A 10 GBE
MHz and Fiber Optic Metrology, is developing specifications for 16-
oth No. 124
Visit Our Bo and 32-fiber connector interfaces that will accommodate this
32-lane iteration of 400-GbE.

DataVoice Multiplexing options

MFP8 Also covered in that same issue (“On the fast track: WBMMF
standardization,” September 2015) was the emergence of mul-
Field-Assembly RJ45 Plugs Cat.6A / CAT6A
timode-based wave-division multiplexing (WDM)—a poten-
Whether using the straight type (MFP8), the angled type (MFP8-4x90)
or with an innovative cable gland (MFP8 IE): All MFP8 types allow for tial alternative to serial and parallel optics designs to accom-
on-site assembly to solid or stranded conductor cables with a range of modate high speeds. Cisco brought multimode WDM to the
5 – 10 mm (0.2 – 0.4 in.), and are suitable for networks with transfer
rates of up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Saving time and cost with market with its introduction of its QSFP 40G BiDi (bidirec-
installation, repairs and maintenance, means more flexibility for the tional) transceiver in early 2014. BiDi uses duplex LC ports to
installer in structured building cabling.
enable 100 meters of 40G transmission over OM3 fiber and 125
For further information, videos and technical data refer to:
meters over OM4 fiber. Later in 2014 the concept of wideband multimode fiber
Telegärtner Inc. Tel: (630) 616-7600 (WBMMF) was introduced, followed shortly thereafter by the
411 Domenic Court Fax: (630) 616-8322
Franklin Park, IL 60131 Email: introduction of such a fiber and the initiation of a standards
effort to formally specify it.
Optical designs provide multiple ways to reach speeds, distances continued

A joint task group (JTG) within TIA “Optical shortwave technology is en- “By contrast, SWDM technology
TR-42 has decided it will use the 32G abled by vertical cavity surface emit- allows users to leverage their installed
Fibre Channel and 100GBase-SR4 link ting lasers [VCSELs], which are the most duplex multimode fiber at 40 or
models to determine fiber parameters cost-effective lasers used in data cen- 100 Gbits/sec, using four VCSELs
for the WBMMF standard. By satisfying ter interconnections. VCSELS have been operating at different wavelengths
both models, the WBMMF standard will widely deployed at data rates up to 10 multiplexed into a single strand of
support at least 28 Gbits/sec/wavelength Gbits/sec, and these deployments have multimode fiber, thereby requiring
to at least 100 meters, and it also will driven large-scale installations of duplex only one transmit fiber and one
support at least 100 Gbits/sec/fiber to at multimode fiber in enterprise and cloud receive fiber. This provides the ability
least 100 meters. data centers. A common technique to in- to migrate from 10 to 40 or 100
Multimode-based WDM technology crease the data rate beyond 10 Gbits/sec Gbits/sec, while minimizing overall
is an ecosystem, requiring optical fiber is the use of four parallel VCSELs, each power dissipation and maximizing
cabling capable of handling transmis- running at 10 or 25 Gbits/sec, transmit- transmission distance.”
sion over multiple wavelengths but also ted over ribbons of parallel fiber. This The existence of serial and paral-
requiring the development of transceiver technique requires eight fibers instead lel transmission lanes, as well as short-
technology that facilitates the gener- of two—four to transmit and four to re- wave wave division multiplexing, will
ation, transmission and reception of ceive. Installing such a parallel fiber can provide system designers with multiple
those signals. represent an expensive overhaul to the architectures upon which they can build
In that vein, the Short-wave Wave fiber plant in the data center due to the high-speed transmission systems for a
Division Multiplexing Alliance (SWDM need for increased fiber capacity in the number of environments. u
Alliance) formed in fall 2015. Upon trunk and also new patch cables to the
its founding, the group commented, optical modules. Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.



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More than alphabet soup,

AIM and DCIM strive to
provide tangible value to users
Standardization efforts and recent analyst scrutiny between AIM system providers and us-
ers. Specifically, the ISO/IEC drafted
put the software-enabled capabilities in the spotlight. an amendment to its 14763-2 Cabling
System Administration standard “with
BY PATRICK McLAUGHLIN an Annexe now containing a specifica-
tion of the minimum requirements of an
AIM system …” CENELEC’s EN 50174-1
specification included similar language.
Automated infrastructure management providers to oversell AIM’s capabilities, Nexans commented, “This is a huge step
(AIM) may be a relatively new term to but also identified as a key barrier “dif- forward as it at least allows an end user/
professionals in the structured cabling ficulty in specifying or scoping an AIM consultant to request a quote for an
industry, but the technology at the core system … this situation has multiple fac- AIM in accordance with these Annexes,
of AIM has been commercially available ets. The scope of any AIM deployment which levels the playing field.”
for about two decades. Before the term needs careful thought and clear docu- The company then credits ISO/IEC
AIM was settled on and bona fide stan- mentation; there is a requirement for the for advancing the cause further with the
dards-development efforts were under- end user or consultant to clearly set out drafting of ISO/IEC 18598 Automated
way to specify the technology, industry what is wanted and for the integrator Infrastructure Management—
personnel heard and used terms includ- to understand these requirements and Requirements, Data Exchange and
ing “intelligent patching,” “intelligent in- quote accurately for their delivery.” Applications. The standard is not yet
frastructure management,” and “intelli- The company uses the term “expec- completed but could be in early 2016.
gent physical layer management.” tation gap” several times as it lays out Nexans explained, “This new AIM stan-
As terminology evolved, so did sys- typical examples of each side of the dard contains—in addition to the usual
tems’ capabilities and market penetra- business arrangement having different scope, definitions and abbreviations—
tion. In late 2014 Nexans (www.nexans. visions of the outcome. “To get it right three important sections. Clause 5 de-
com) authored a document titled “AIM takes time and commitment,” Nexans tails the requirements and recommen-
Systems Explained,” in which it dis- said. “It is easy to get stuck in a vicious dations for a ‘standard’ AIM system;
cussed the dichotomy of user attitudes cycle of, ‘What can it do?’ ‘What do you Clause 6 details the applications and
toward the technology. “The range of want it to do?’” benefits of standalone AIM systems and
opinions is extreme,” the company ex- goes on to describe some potential ben-
plained. “At one end are those who will Getting standardized efits of AIM systems when connected to
pay almost any premium to have what The paper points to the stan- other management systems; and finally
they see as a ‘must-have’ technology, and dard-development initiatives taken Clause 7 addresses the interface neces-
at the other, end users and IT consul- by the International Organization sary to allow information exchange with
tants who wouldn’t have an AIM system for Standardization/International other systems.”
if it was free.” Nexans said hindrances to Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/ The company describes Clause 6 as
adoption included the tendency by some IEC) as an effort to break down barriers “unusual for an ISO/IEC standard in that Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 21

More than alphabet soup, AIM and DCIM strive to provide tangible value to users continued

it deliberately contains no requirements Exactly which type of technology suite—questions [about locations and
and is entirely tutorial, which is usually does what can be challenging to sort connectivity of network assets] are easy
to be avoided. It is, however, the clause out. Belden’s Poulos explained that to answer. AIM is an emerging ISO/IEC
that provides the ‘Why’ for AIM and DCIM solutions “can range from soft- standard that defines the management
links the requirements of Clause 5 to ap- ware solutions to full-scale hardware, of structured cabling, patching, and net-
plications and benefits, and discusses software and sensor solutions,” while work connectivity. An intelligent con-
such aspects as: managing and utilizing AIM “includes both the hardware that nectivity management solution lever-
assets, automatic infrastructure docu- automatically detects insertion or re- aging the AIM standard is an ideal tool
mentation and monitoring, event man- moval of patch cords, such as an intelli- to automatically track patching activi-
agement and alerting, and the deploy-
ment of new services. It also discusses Magic Quadrant for DCIM tools
process management, infrastructure se-
Challengers Leaders
curity management and discovery, and
configuration of attached equipment.”
The Telecommunications Industry
Association (TIA) will publish AIM
specifications as Addendum 1 to its Emerson Network Power
ANSI/TIA-606-B standard. The TIA
has followed the ISO/IEC’s progress on Schneider Electric

its 18598 standard and essentially has

taken that standard organization’s lead.
Nlyte Software
AIM is sometimes used in the same con- Sunbird Software Panduit
text with—and in fact, is sometimes (formerly Raritan)
CommScope (iTRACS)
confused with—data center infrastruc-
ture management (DCIM), though the Cormant
two technologies are not the same. As FieldView Solutions
Belden’s ( product
Device42 Optimum Path
Ability to execute

line manager Kristen Poulos recently

Geist ABB
pointed out in a blog post, “Data cen-
ter managers now have a number of
options for turning a once-very-man-
ual error-prone process into one that Niche players Visionaries
is efficient and intelligently managed. Completeness of vision As of September 2015
Whether it’s a DCIM, AIM, IIMS [intel-
ligent infrastructure management sys- In Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for DCIM Tools, vendors analyzed were spread
tem], IPLMS [intelligent physical layer among the Leaders, Visionaries, and Niche Players categories.
management system] or intelligent
patching solution, these solutions all gent patch panel, and the software that ties and report all changes to the physi-
strive for one goal: to provide a real-time collects, stores and communicates this cal layer. Network devices can communi-
view of the network to quickly identify information.” cate with switches and routers to update
incidents, automate routine tasks and Similarly, CommScope ( location-based moves, adds and changes
help managers better understand capac- product manager Blake Van as well as IP or server names based on the
ity. They can also help managers better Scoy blogged, “If your organization is us- physical layer information. This offers de-
monitor network security and reduce ing an AIM-based intelligent connec- cision makers real-time visibility into the
energy consumption through optimum tivity management solution—either on status and disposition of connectivity
density mapping.” its own or as an integral part of a DCIM changes as they occur.

22 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance

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More than alphabet soup, AIM and DCIM strive to provide tangible value to users continued

“An AIM-based intelligent connec- increase in DCIM investments, although completeness of vision on one axis (the
tivity management solution should be DCIM adoption patterns do vary by or- X axis) and according to its ability to
considered an integral part of any best- ganization size and geography.” The an- execute on the other axis (the Y axis).
in-class DCIM suite to strengthen the alyst later added, “Price, ease of deploy- Each axis is divided in the middle, so
intelligent, real-time management of ment, and overall ease of use continue the entire plot is divided into quadrants.
the physical infrastructure,” Van Scoy to be some of the biggest concerns cus- Offerings that climb more than halfway
continued. “With a true DCIM solu- tomers have when selecting a DCIM ven- up each axis land in the Leaders quad-
tion, users have comprehensive com- dor and product. They are also among rant. Those more than halfway up the
mand-and-control over both IT and fa- the top reasons why some organiza- vision axis but less than halfway up the
cilities resources. Any data point can be tions are choosing not to deploy DCIM, execution axis are in the Visionaries
fed into the suite or from the suite using yet or at all.” quadrant. Those on the lower half of
open, industry-standard interfaces and
protocols. Data can be collected, aggre-
gated, managed and visualized in real IDC MarketScape DCIM
time from virtually any source. It is a Leaders
software suite, unrestrained by hard-
Emerson Network Power
ware legacies or point products that
Schneider Electric
constrain data exchange.”
Deep analysis Sunbird software
Analyst firms Gartner and IDC both re- Siemens
cently examined DCIM and issued re- CommScope iTRACs
Cormant FNT command
ports on the space’s market as well as ABB
technology advancements. Device42
RF code

In its report “Magic Quadrant CA Technologies Major players

for Data Center Infrastructure FieldView
Management Tools,” Gartner explained,
“DCIM tools monitor, measure, manage Modius

and/or control data center resources

and energy consumption of both IT-
related equipment (such as servers, stor- Contenders
age and network switches) and facili-
ties infrastructure components (such as
power distribution units and computer
room air conditioners). DCIM tools are
data-center-specific (they are designed Participants
for data center use), rather than general Source: IDC, 2015 Strategies
building management system tools, and
are used to optimize data center power, When IDC analyzed DCIM vendors in its recent MarketScape report, all but one
cooling and physical space.” ranked as either a Leader or a Major Player.
The report goes into significant de-
tail on market conditions as well as Bragging rights each axis are in the Niche Players quad-
strengths and cautions of DCIM sys- Appearance in Gartner’s Magic rant. In its most recent report, issued
tems offered by 15 providers. As part Quadrant has become a notable brag- in October, Gartner did not place any
of its analysis, Gartner stated that ging right among vendors in any IT DCIM vendor in the Challengers quad-
DCIM benefits “are better-understood sphere. In analyzing technologies— rant, which comprises the top half of the
than they were a year ago, and as a re- DCIM in this case—Gartner rates execute axis and the bottom half of the
sult, there has been a gradual, overall each vendor’s offering according to its vision axis. A graph within this article

24 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance

More than alphabet soup, AIM and DCIM strive to provide tangible value to users continued

shows where Gartner placed each of the to encompass very large sets of data the providers’ offerings and their strate-
15 vendors it analyzed. from many data center types (on-prem- gies for enabling data center resources to
ises, edge, and colocated); 3) Investment be viewed as pools of resources to enable
Naming the leaders in predictive analytics and automation greater agility and flexibility.”
Similarly and also in October, IDC issued technologies to enable the lights-out Automated infrastructure manage-
its report “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide data center. ment and data center infrastructure
Data Center Infrastructure Management Jennifer Koppy, IDC’s research di- management are distinct technologies
2015 Vendor Assessment.” Its ratings qual- rector for data center trends and strate- and, as the detail in this article shows,
ify the 15 vendors’ strategies and capabil- gies, commented, “DCIM is a collection perform quite different functions. Yet
ities and characterizes analyzed vendors, of tools to increase the visibility into and they are similar in that, like just about
in descending order, as Leaders, Major control over data center resources from any technology, they require careful
Players, Contenders and Participants. Its the critical facilities layer up through to consideration to determine their appro-
2015 assessment included one Contender the IT management layer. The provid- priateness for a given situation before
and no Participants. ers in this space approach these man- they are implemented.
An excerpt from the document states, agement challenges in different ways. As When implementing either type of
“The ultimate goal of a data center is organizations investigate a software-de- solution, a user organization may ex-
to deliver IT services to end customers, fined approach to IT architecture, the in- pect its vendor to play a hands-on role in
and data center managers are under in- clusion of solutions such as DCIM that setup and launch. The soft cost of a us-
creasing pressure to deliver this service enable visibility through the critical facil- er’s effort to get the system working eas-
quickly, wherever and whenever needed, ities layer should be considered. This re- ily could be underestimated. u
without compromising uptime and re- search uncovers the breadth and scope of
liability. DCIM, when implemented well Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

and supported across the enterprise, can

be a critical step in delivering data cen-
ter resources ‘as a service’ to customers
… Selecting the most appropriate DCIM TLC’S NEWEST DATA CENTER OFFERING
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Emerging 2.5- and 5-Gbit/

sec wired connectivity aims to
support high-speed wireless
The NBase-T Alliance spent 2015 building consensus for
its cause, and now focuses on deploying its technology.


In late 2014 the NBase-T Alliance officially deployment of multigigabit products.

unveiled, with founding member compa- We expect 2016 will be a year of wide-
nies Aquantia, Cisco, Freescale and Xilinx spread product adoption and intend to
combining to carry out the group’s stated deliver the supporting specifications
mission “to promote the development of and certification programs needed to
2.5- and 5-Gigabit Ethernet technology for develop a strong ecosystem around 2.5G
enterprise infrastructure.” A little more and 5GBase-T.”
than a year later the alliance—now boast- 802.11ac wireless networks are the
ing approximately four dozen member primary application that prompted the Ideal Networks, manufacturer of the
companies including several manufactur- alliance’s formation and technology de- LanXplorer Pro, recently joined the
ers of cabling technologies—can look back velopment. Its efforts aim to enable the NBase-T Alliance, at which time Dan
on a successful 2015. In fact, it did just transmission of data at 2.5 and/or 5 Payerle commented, “It is strongly
that last month. Gbits/sec over the existing, installed base advisable that key metrics in the
On December 9 the NBase-T Alliance of Category 5e and Category 6 cabling. cabling be retested before committing
released a new MAC-PHY specification “Existing gigabit infrastructure is insuf- to the equipment upgrades to ensure
and announced the addition of 14 mem- ficient to handle 802.11ac deployment,” seamless, robust operation.”
bers, which brought its total member- Jones explained recently on the occasion
ship past 45. Peter Jones, the alliance’s of the alliance marking its first anniver- that 2.5G and 5G access points are ex-
chair and a principal engineer with sary. “Gigabit Ethernet has been around pected in the first quarter of 2016, along
Cisco, commented, “We have spent the since 1999 and has now become the bot- with the first network interface cards
last year building consensus with key in- tleneck. The market needs technology and test equipment.
dustry leaders and individuals involved to support greater-than-1-gig over ex-
in the IEEE standards process, and pro- isting cables.” Cabling participants
viding the industry with specifications Such technology, of course, needs to In its first year the alliance gained a
in order to begin real product develop- exist in order to be deployed. The first number of cabling vendors as mem-
ment. We believe our work has acceler- 2.5- and 5-Gbit/sec switch ports began bers, including CommScope, Fluke
ated the definition of the 802.3bz stan- shipping in the second quarter of 2015, Networks, Ideal Networks, Molex and
dard, and is facilitating the widespread the NBase-T Alliance explained, adding Panduit Corporation, all of whom Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 27

Emerging 2.5- and 5-Gbit/sec wired connectivity aims to support high-speed wireless continued

are contributor-level members. Ideal to support 2.5- and 5-Gbit/sec transmis- progress, and indications are the IEEE
Networks’ membership is recent; the sion. In a project authorization request standard is on something of a fast track.
company announced it joined the alli- (PAR) approved in early 2015, the TIA’s The alliance said, “By fostering collab-
ance on December 11. TR-42.7 Subcommittee said the TSB it oration among its many members, the
At the time of that announcement, intends to publish (which will be num- alliance provided an industry forum
Ideal Networks business unit manager bered TSB-5021) will include test re- for discussing and resolving techni-
Dan Payerle stated, “NBase-T technol- quirements needed to qualify installed cal issues in order to streamline discus-
ogy extends the life of existing cabling cabling to support those speeds. The sions at IEEE meetings. 802.3bz tech-
plants by taking a partial step between TSB may also recommend mitigation nical baselines were adopted in May
1G network speeds and 10G, and there- procedures that could be used on in- 2015, all of which were compatible with
fore creating a low-cost path to multi- stalled systems. the NBase-T specification. The 802.3bz
gigabit speeds. Simply by changing to draft is already substantially com-
network equipment based on NBase Focused on 11ac plete and at its last meeting, the Task
technology, network owners can in- While the NBase-T Alliance intends to Force agreed to accelerate its schedule,
crease speeds of their existing Category broaden the applications for which 2.5G aiming for approval of the standard in
5e and Category 6 cables up to 5 Gbits/ and 5G connectivity is deployed—the September 2016.”
sec at lengths up to 100 meters, saving group mentioned small cells, service
recabling costs, installation time, and provider gateways, security cameras Another perspective
invasive disruption to the physical infra- and Carrier Ethernet among others—it Despite emphasis on the use of in-
structure of any enterprise building.” clearly is aiming squarely at the 802.11ac stalled Category 5e and Category 6 ca-
He also noted that it is critical that market, and in particular that wireless bling for 2.5G and 5G, sentiment, par-
end users or network equipment re- technology’s “Wave 2.” ticularly in the cabling industry, is that
sellers test the existing cabling plant’s “The transition to next-generation it is advisable for users to install new,
ability to support higher speeds be- 802.11ac Wave 2 access points will drive Category 6A cabling if they plan to de-
fore NBase-T equipment is installed. significant demand for 2.5G ports in the ploy these speeds.
“Because material quality and instal- coming years, as this technology will al- In its Standards Informant blog post
lation workmanship varies greatly, it low enterprises to cost-effectively deliver describing IEEE 802.3bz, Siemon stated
is strongly advised that key metrics in more bandwidth while reusing parts that the company “recommends that
the cabling be retested before commit- of their existing infrastructure,” said Class EA/Category 6A or higher grade of
ting to the equipment upgrades to en- Matthias Machowinski, research direc- cabling be used for support of new IEEE
sure seamless, robust operation. Ideal tor for enterprise networks and video 802.11ac-2013-based enterprise wireless
Networks and the NBase-T Alliance with IHS. “2.5G ports will be one of the access point uplink connections, even
are collaborating to establish recom- bright spots in the switching market, if it is anticipated that 2.5GBase-T or
mended test methods for installed growing at a 175-percent CAGR through 5GBase-T equipment will be deployed.”
cable infrastructure in enterprises calendar year 19,” he added. Additionally, in the Quarter 2,
around the world.” Chris DePuy, vice president of re- 2015 issue of The Standards Advisor,
The alliance plans to formalize a cer- search on the enterprise edge for CommScope updated the progress of
tification program, through which it in- Dell’Oro Group, observed in mid-2015, TIA’s TSB-5021: “A draft document is be-
tends to work with a third party to de- “We saw the very first 2.5/5 GE port ing developed, with the recommenda-
fine test suites, facilitating testing and shipments begin to ramp at the end of tion that Category 6A is used for new
labeling of compliant products. June, and expect volumes to begin rising projects that will deploy 2.5G/5GBase-T.”
Meanwhile, a formal work significantly ... The benefit of increased While this official recommendation
project is underway within the throughput without replacing cable ... is months away from being published,
Telecommunications Industry could push port counts over 1 million in the NBase-T Alliance specifications aim
Association (TIA) to develop a telecom- only a year.” to squeeze more throughput out of in-
munications systems bulletin (TSB) The alliance’s efforts over a year plus stalled Category 5e and 6. u
for the purpose of evaluating twist- have indeed been productive; IEEE and
ed-pair cabling systems for their ability TIA standard-development efforts are in Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

28 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance



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Look for these products at the BICSI Winter Exhibition, February 1-3

Infrastructure for data Category 8 certifier

centers and beyond With a test frequency range of 2.5 GHz, the WireXpert
Belden describes itself as a single-source is a Category 8-ready certifier. Optional test adapters
supplier for data center infrastructure include encircled flux (EF)-compliant multimode
solutions—from the demarcation point in adapters, MPO/MTP adapters, and test kits for
the entrance room to the crossconnect and Category 5e, 6 and 6A patch cords. The 6A kit can
the equipment rack—including the cable in perform a bidirectional Category 6A patch cord test
between. Its data center infrastructure solutions in less than 10 seconds. Also on display will be options
seamlessly integrate functional areas while for testing coaxial cable, as well as M12 D-coded and
improving cooling, power and density efficiency, the X-coded industrial Ethernet cables. WireXpert’s dual-
company adds. “Our copper and fiber connectivity solutions control system allows one technician to perform tasks
provide for maximum performance, availability and uptime while preterminated that usually require two.
solutions speed up deployment time and make upgrades easier,” Belden adds. Softing notes, “The powerful measurement engine
In addition to its data center systems, Belden will also display copper, fiber of WireXpert performs the most complex cable certifi-
and wireless networking solutions that deliver voice and data to the office, meet- cation tests accurately in seconds.”
ing space or cafeteria. “Our high-definition video and speaker cables deliver SOFTING BOOTH 813
the best picture and sound to network operation centers,” the company notes.
“Specialty cables for CCTV, access control, building automation and fire-alarm sys-
tems ensure safety, security and comfort throughout any facility.”
The company also emphasizes it serves customers well with its in-house cus-
tom capabilities. It “has over 20 years of experience in delivering support for
high-end technology needs,” the company says. “With in-house manufacturing
capabilities, Belden can offer engineering support during the design phase; unpar-
alleled customization of enclosures and racks; short delivery lead times; integra-
tion of data-center-ready solutions, racks and enclosures, cabling, connectivity,
power and thermal management systems.”

MaxCell and MaxSpace

MaxCell describes its namesake product as “the only flexible fabric innerduct system designed specifically for the
network construction industry. The unique fabric construction allows MaxCell to conform to the shape of the cables
placed within, greatly reducing the wasted space associated with rigid innerduct. Network operators who use
MaxCell can increase their cable density by as much as 300 percent.”
At the BICSI Winter Exhibition, the company also will feature a new, patent-pending no-dig technology and
construction method called MaxSpace. It explains the MaxSpace method “safely removes existing innerduct from
around active fiber-optic cables with virtually no load on the cables and no interruption of service. As the innerd-
ucts are removed, cables migrate to the bottom of the outer conduit. Once all innerducts are removed, up to 90-per-
cent conduit space is recovered, allowing up to 9 more cables to be placed in the reclaimed space of a conduit that
was once considered full.”

30 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance

Category 6 indoor/
outdoor cable
Comtran’s Category 6 indoor/outdoor cable is flame-
Rack-mounted AC unit retardant and fully water-blocked, and is designed
for use in wet locations both indoors and outdoors,
Tripp Lite’s new SRCOOL7KRM Rack-Mounted AC Unit helps keep rack
the company says. “It is UL Listed CM-LS and will
equipment cool—not the room around it, the company emphasizes.
continue to perform where standard plenum, riser,
The Rack-Mounted AC Unit is EIA-compliant and provides 7,000 BTU of
and outside-plant cable will fail due to moisture
cooling capacity.
exposure,” Comtran adds. “The indoor/outdoor
“The unit restarts automatically after power failures and the built-in
rating allows the cable to run beyond 50 feet into a
timer allows scheduled unattended shutdowns and startups,” Tripp Lite
building, where outside-plant cable is restricted—
adds. “It’s also self-contained—no need for a water-collection tank or
which eliminates the need to transition cables
floor drain. It plugs into a standard outlet for quick and easy installation.”
between buildings.”
According to Comtran, applications for its
Category 6 indoor/outdoor cable include security
cameras, single-floor outlet applications, below-
grade ductwork, slab-on-grade construction, cam-
pus-style environments and flood-prone areas.

Loose-tube adapter Single-fiber fusion splicer

The Fujikura 62S single-fiber fusion splicer incorporates core-
The Greenlee Communications branded proprietary design of the LT-900
to-core alignment and “splices in 6 seconds and 15 seconds
loose-tube fiber adapter “is the only tool to use to splice loose-tube fiber
with the tube heater,” AFL says. “Using profile alignment
to other fiber and splice-on connectors,” the company proclaims. “In
system for consistent low splice loss and accurate loss
the past, splicing loose-tube fiber to splice-on connectors wasn’t really
estimation, the 62S features a calibration-free arc discharge
possible. This patent-pending product securely holds the fiber, and
not the loose-tube buffer, allowing the precise alignment of fibers for
accurate splicing.”

system (with auto splice mode), automatic fiber identification,

auto-start tube heater, auto-start fiber splice upon closing
The adapter prevents any “pistoning” when the fibers are being of wind-protector cover, power Li-ion battery for longer
aligned, Greenlee Communications explains. “Pistoning is the action of operation, high-resolution LCD monitor, and greater fiber
the 900-micron loose-tube buffer being moved during fiber alignment, but view magnification after splicing,” the company adds.
the actual fiber slips inside of the loose-tube buffer. The LT-900 is another The 62S single-fiber fusion splicer is suitable for back-
example of innovation and Greenlee Communications’ goal to support bone network installation to optical electronics component
successful process.” production, AFL says.

GREENLEE COMMUNICATIONS BOOTH 901 AFL BOOTH 1019 Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 31




Polymer-based, quick-cleaning lubricant

Greenlee offers a full line of cable-pulling lubricants “to lower friction and pulling tension during a cable pull,” the
company explains. “The lubricants allow the cable to run smoothly over the conduit surface, preventing damage
to the cable jacket or any other problems that may result from excessive tension.”
The company says all its lubricants are compatible with rubber, neoprene, nylon, PVC,
high-density or cross-linked polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, semiconducting jacket, and
Hypalon cable types. They have an application range of 20°F to 190°F (-6°C to 88°C), a mini-
mum storage temperature of 30°F (-1°C), and, Greenlee says, “offer an environmentally safe and
non-hazardous product that cleans up easily and is non-staining.”
The company advises that knowing the application for which the lubricant will be used, will
help determine which one is right for the job. “For electrical and datacom, use Clear Lube—a
clear and colorless polymer-based lube,” the company says. “For electrical, use the Cable-
Cream—a wax-based heavy-duty lubricant that adheres to the cable without messy dripping. For electrical or
datacom use that cleans up quickly and can be applied by hand or pump, Greenlee offers two polymer-based
lubricants, Cable-Gel or Winter-Gel.” All four of the company’s cable-pulling lubricants are available in a 1-quart
squeeze bottle and 1- or 5-gallon buckets.


32 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance




News, products and trends for the communications systems industry

Matt Vincent
ci m @ pen n well . com

switching unit, and the receivers con-

nect end-user stations to the central
switching unit.
Video frames are delivered with
zero compression and zero latency,
ensuring the most graphically demand-
ing applications operate with no reduc-
tion in image quality and no perfor-
AUDIO VIDEO INFR ASTRUC TURE mance degradation. Up to 23 ports can
be configured to connect to comput-
Digital KVM matrix switch from ers, and up to 29 ports may be used
for connecting users for secure com-
Black Box enables HD video, puting, resource sharing and content
audio, USB sharing among 30 collaboration. User stations can be

control-room users located up to 50 meters from the cen-

tral switching unit.
Black Box recently announced the release of its DCX3000, a The company says the small form
high-performance digital KVM matrix switch. The DCX3000 deliv- factor (less than 1U) system lowers
ers fast switching of HD video, audio and USB across a combina- cost by up to 50 percent compared
tion of 30 sources and end users. Broadcast applications include to existing digital KVM matrix solu-
live production studios, outside broadcast vehicles (OBV) and tions. In addition, Black Box says the
post-production. Additional applications include control rooms for switch’s “paradigm-changing” graphical
public safety, transportation, military, process control and manu- user interface enables easy selection
facturing, utilities and air traffic control. and switching between video and com-
The DCX3000 system contains three components: the cen- puting sources through the use of auto-
tral switching unit (DCX3000), the receiver unit (DCX3000- refreshing thumbnail images. The unit’s
DVR), and server access modules (DVI, DCX3000-DVT; Display- thumbnail selection window design
Port, DCX3000-DPT). The remote-powered Server Access Mod- provides an intuitive multi-viewer user
ules (SAMs) extend DVI or DisplayPort signals and USB over experience and enables an “at a glance”
standard category cabling from individual servers to the central view of the matrix sources. Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 33


Siemon adds 24-port zone cabling enclosure

Siemon recently introduced its for improved access to connections,
24-port MAX Zone Unit Enclosure, while integrated labeling facilitates
designed to support cost-effective port identification.
zone cabling in a variety of enterprise Part of Siemon’s line of ConvergeIT
workspaces by enabling shorter, easy- Cabling Solutions for Intelligent Build-
to-manage connections to work area ings, the company says its 24-Port
or equipment outlets. The enclosure MAX Zone Unit Enclosure is intended
accepts up to 24 ports using Siemon for use with Siemon plenum-rated
copper or fiber MAX outlets, Z-MAX cables, cords and connecting hard-
Category 6A outlets or TERA Cat- ware to provide connections in the
egory 7A outlets to support a wide plenum space for voice, data, wireless
range of horizontal copper and fiber access points, LED lighting, security,
applications. building automation systems, digital installation time when performing
The enclosure features foam gas- signage and other low-voltage devices moves, adds and changes,” comments
keting to minimize vibration and pre- that require network connectivity. Brian McCaffrey, product manager for
vent dust ingress, and includes easy- “The use of zone cabling that pro- Siemon. “Our new 24-port enclosure
to-remove knockouts to facilitate rout- vides an intermediate connection not only supports zone cabling con-
ing cables in and out of the enclosure. point between the telecommunica- nections to work area outlets, but it
Designed to meet UL’s plenum rating tions room and the work area outlet also provides shorter, easy-to-manage
requirements, the unit can be easily has been proven to provide an over- connections for a wide range of low-
mounted under a raised floor, in the all lower total cost of ownership in voltage intelligent building devices that
ceiling, or on a wall, Siemon says. The today’s enterprise environments, sig- are converging onto a single unified
enclosure’s cover is fully removable nificantly reducing disruption and physical infrastructure.”


TIA cabling standards development subcommittees elect leadership

At the Telecommunications Industry Association’s TR-42 Engi- TR-42.1 Generic and Premises Cabling: Chair: Henry
neering Committee meeting in October, several of the group’s Franc, Belden; Vice Chair: Joe Cody, Corning. TR-42.3
cabling standards development subcommittees elected leader- Pathways and Spaces: Chair: Cindy Montstream,
ship to serve two-year terms from 2015 to 2017. Legrand; Vice Chair: Jonathan Jew, J&M Consultants.
Specifically, the TIA TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling TR-42.5 Infrastructure Terms: Chair: Diane Forbes,
Systems Engineering Committee’s odd-numbered subcommit- Northwest Information Services; Vice Chair: Ron Tellas,
tees (TR-42.1, 42.3, 42.5, 42.7, 42.9, 42.11 and 42.13) each Panduit. TR-42.7 Copper Cabling: Chair: Wayne Larson,
elected a chair and vice chair. Chairs and vice chairs of the CommScope; Vice Chair: Sterling Vaden, Surtec. TR-42.9
even-numbered subcommittees (TR-42.6, 42.10, 42.12 and Industrial Cabling: Chair: Brad Woodman, Molex; Vice
42.16) are serving 2014-2016 terms. Chair: Bob Lounsbury, ODVA. TR-42.11 Optical Systems:
Those elected in October officially assumed their leadership Chair: Paul Kolesar, CommScope; Vice Chair: David
positions when the TR-42 meeting adjourned on October 16. Mazzarese, OFS. TR-42.13 Passive Optical Devices and
Listed here are the odd-numbered subcommittees and Fiber Optic Metrology: Chair: Greg Sandals, OFS; Vice
their newly elected chairs and vice chairs. Chair: Dan Morris, Kitco.

34 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance


Leviton joins HDBaseT Alliance, highlights benefits to AV installers

Leviton announced that it has joined HD digital video, audio, Ethernet, ensures customers that its HD video
the HDBaseT Alliance, providing power and control signals over a and audio products meet the demand-
HDBaseT certification to its end-to- single category cable,” said Bill Lauby, ing performance standards estab-
end IT/AV systems. The company senior product manager at Leviton lished by the alliance.
notes that, as demand increases Network Solutions. “Certified HDBa- Benefits of HDBaseT technology, as
for ultra-HD and 4K video displays, seT extension, coupled with certified noted by the company, include: trans-
HDBaseT network technology has IT category cable links, creates a fully mission of uncompressed audio and
emerged as an attractive solution, qualified standards-based end-to-end video up to 10.2 Gbits/sec, supporting
due to its flexibility, simplicity and solution that is guaranteed to work. In Ultra HD, 2K, 4K and 3D video; use of
standards-based performance assur- addition, HDBaseT-certified Leviton category-rated cabling and standard
ance. The HDBaseT Alliance helps solutions give low-voltage contractors RJ-45 connectors as part of a test-
manufacturers, low-voltage contrac- the audiovisual connectivity they need able permanent link; support for 100-
tors, installers and end users take for commercial, education, healthcare Mbit/sec Ethernet; Power-over-HDBa-
advantage of time-tested IT infra- and government installations.” seT (PoH) capability to allow power
structure to transmit uncompressed A product or system with an HDBa- from either end of the HDBaseT link;
high definition multimedia in commer- seT logo indicates that it complies with support for HDCP (High-bandwidth Dig-
cial applications. HDBaseT standards and is interop- ital Content Protection); RS-232 and
“The HDBaseT Alliance provides a erable with other certified products. IR remote control signal channels for
much-needed standard for delivering As a member of the alliance, Leviton communication between devices.

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the BICSI Show. Or visit us online at



LPWAN radio module enables

large-scale IoT deployments for
smart cities networks
Libelium has released a new radio bands operating in Europe, on the
module designed to bring LoRa 900-MHz band for the U.S., and for
Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) wire- the 433-MHz band connectivity used M300P
less connectivity to Waspmote Inter- in China, Japan and Korea. Professional VDV Cable Mapper
net of Things (IoT) sensors “Waspmote sensor nodes are The NEW M300P quickly tests voice, data
for applications that require extremely energy efficient, intended and video cabling for common wiring faults
including split pairs. The rugged double
low-energy, long-range for massive deployments in cities and molded impact-resistant housing features
data transmission on a the industrial IoT,” said David Gascón, silicone covers for the RJ45 and RJ11 ports.
large scale. Libelium’s CTO and co-founder. “Our
Libelium’s LoRaWAN sensor platform is a perfect fit for pur- BICS
radio module is fully inte- pose-built LoRaWAN,
grated with the Waspmote designed to carry
sensor platform and is also complex data
available as an upgrade that charac-
for all existing Waspmote terizes smart Built-in
sensor devices. The Wasp- cities applica- Tone Generator
mote Plug & Sense devices offer tions, thereby
easy network configuration for enabling con-
smart cities applications to moni- nectivity for the
Backlit LCD
tor environmental factors, noise pollu- billions of devices
tion, and water quality, as well as park- and sensors predicted
ing and smart lighting applications, the for the IoT.”
company says. Paired with Libelium’s Many smart cities
LoRaWAN module, the Waspmote Plug and industrial IoT appli-
& Sense Line received its CE marking cations require low
in November 2015, making it the first bandwidth data trans-
horizontal sensor platform certified for mission over distances,
use in Europe. both indoors and outdoors,
Maps multiple cable runs
The companies note that protocols often in areas of high electromag-
known as Low Power Wide Area Net- netic interference. The Waspmote Plug
works (LPWAN) are accelerating smart & Sense sensors and the Libelium
city and IoT deployments in Europe, LoRaWAN radio module received CE
Asia, and North America. Semtech’s marking on the 868-MHz band. Certi-
open LoRaWAN standard is the back- fications for the U.S. version are cur-
built for durability.
bone for many IoT uses that require rently in progress. An embedded radio built for reliability.
built for work.ô
bidirectional data communication and module in Waspmote sensor nodes
geolocation information. The Libelium sends information directly to base 1-855-SWTOOLS
LoRaWAN sensors send information stations. The module enables a fast (855-798-6657)
to base stations in the field, and have response, and simple, immediate net- ©2014 Southwire Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
™Trademark of Southwire Company, LLC.
successfully completed tests on Ker- work setup to connect devices to the

link LoRa base stations for 868-MHz LoRaWAN IoT network. Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 37


Corning tops ABI Research’s DAS

vendor competitor assessment
Corning took the top spot in ABI Research’s latest refresh of
its “DAS Vendor Competitive Assessment” report, followed
by CommScope and Cobham Wireless in the vendor rank-
ings. These companies, along with JMA Wireless and Dali
Wireless, represent the top five DAS vendors as tabulated by
the analyst, accounting for almost two-thirds of the market,
according to ABI Research’s estimates.
“The DAS equipment vendor market continues to be
hyper-competitive, and since we last published a competitive
assessment in 2014, there have been several mergers and
acquisitions that changed the competitive landscape,” says
Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research. “TE Con-
nectivity’s DAS business was acquired by CommScope, Axell
was acquired by Cobham, Zinwave was acquired by McWane,
and CSI sold its DAS equipment business to Westell. Since
we expect the North American market for DAS to grow rap-
idly, this region becomes the battleground for market share
and innovation for modern DAS systems.”
In the report’s “Innovation” category, Dali Wireless beat out
its competitors due to its Matrix and RF Router digital DAS
technology, which ABI said offers DAS owners and operators
significant capex savings. Corning was ranked second for its
Corning ONE platform, and scored best-in-class points for its
scalability and support of multiple technologies. Third in the
category is Cobham Wireless for its idDAS system.
In the assessment’s “Implementation” category, Corning
took the top spot, thanks in large part to its growing busi-
ness in North America and a significant European footprint,
said ABI. The company also scored highly for its system inte-
gration abilities. CommScope ranked second in this cate-
gory; the company is now the largest DAS vendor by market
share, largely due to its acquisition of TE Connectivity’s DAS
business, noted the analyst. Also contributing to Comm-
Scope’s ranking are its geographical penetration and system
integration abilities. Cobham Wireless rounded out the top
three vendors as a global leader in DAS for public safety and
transportation systems.
The full list of companies included in the report is as fol-
lows: Advanced RF Technologies (ADRF), Bird/DeltaNode,
Cobham Wireless, Comba Telecom, CommScope, Corn-
ing, Dali Wireless, Fiber-Span, JMA Wireless, Kathrein, SOLiD
Technologies, Westell and Zinwave. The report is part of ABI
Research’s In-Building Wireless Research Service.

38 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance


JDSU spinoff appoints new head of datacom products

JDSU spinoff company and future Lumentum and PLM positions with Terawave, AFC
Lumentum Holdings Inc. products deliver a com- and Pirelli. Pfistner earned his PhD in
announced that Chris pelling value proposition.” Applied Physics (Lasers) as well as his
Pfistner was appointed In the newly created posi- MSEE, and BSEE degrees from the
as the company’s vice tion, Pfistner reports to University of Berne, Switzerland.
president, product line Alan Lowe, Lumentum’s “I am excited to join Lumentum,”
management, datacom president and chief exec- said Pfistner. “I share Alan’s vision for
products. Pfistner brings utive officer. “Chris brings Lumentum, and I welcome the oppor-
more than 20 years of exceptional experience tunity to work with strong internal
marketing, product def- and additional depth to teams to define winning products and
inition, and senior lead- my staff as we implement to capitalize on the rapidly expand-
ership experience to the Lumentum initiatives to fully realize our datacom ing datacom transceiver market. We
team. Most recently, he was senior revenue and marketing goals,” said have a deep portfolio of proven tech-
director of marketing at Finisar. Lowe. “I look forward to working with nologies, strong relationships with
Before that, he was vice president of Chris, and the rest of the executive top-tier customers, and a proven
product marketing at NeoPhotonics. team, to move the company to the worldwide sales team. I am enthusi-
As stated by a Lumentum press next level.” astic about leveraging our strengths
release, “Pfistner will focus on the Prior to NeoPhotonics, Pfistner to deliver differentiated, customer-
datacom market, and ensure current held various senior marketing, sales focused solutions.”

Arlington Industries.................................... 29
Brother Mobile Solutions Inc. .................. CV4 ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES
Chatsworth Products ....................................2
Corning Optical Communications LLC..... CV2 MAIN OFFICE INTERNATIONAL
Diamond Ground Products Inc................... 38 Suite 401, Nashua, NH 03060 NORTHERN SWITZERLAND
Dymo Corp.....................................................6 (603) 891-0123 Holger Gerisch
fax: (603) 891-9245 +49-(0)8801-9153791
Fluke Corporation ....................................... 11
Fax: +49-(0)8801-9153792
General Cable Company .............................12 GROUP PUBLISHER
Alan Bergstein
HJ3.W Inc. .................................................. 36 (603)-891-9447 ISRAEL
Hsing Chau Industrial Co. Ltd. ....................32 Dan Aronovic
+972 9 899 5813
Hyperline Systems Canada Ltd. ..................16 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/
ICC Premise Wiring ............................... 9, 23 Ed Murphy ASIA
Ideal Industries Inc. ................................... 20 (603) 891-9260 Adonis Mak
Light Connection, The.................................25 fax: (603) 891-9245 +852 2 838 6298; Fax: +852 2 838 2766
Milliken....................................................... 35
Oberon Inc.................................................. 38 Ed Murphy Masaki Mori
OFS..............................................................15 (603) 891-9260 +81 3 3219 3561
Siemon Company.........................................19 fax: (603) 891-9245
Snake Tray...................................................10 TAIWAN
Softing Inc...................................................14 Kelli Berry +886 2 23965128 ext.203
Southwire Company ....................................37 (918) 831-9782 Fax: 886 2 23967816
Telegartner Karl Gartner GmbH .................18
Universal Electric Corp.............................. 26
The index of advertisers is published as a service, and the 240.595.2352;
publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions. Cabling Installation & Maintenance JANUARY 2016 39

INSIGHTS Looking at the leaders in individual SDN categories, the IHS Infonetics
study also reveals that: white box switch vendors, as a group, are ranked
#1 in bare metal switch revenue; Dell owns 100 percent of branded bare
metal switch revenue; and that HP has the largest share of SDN-capable
Analyst: Data center (in-use and not-in-use) branded Ethernet switch ports. (“Bare metal” refers
to switches for which the software and hardware are sold separately, i.e., a
and enterprise SDN customer can buy just the “bare metal.” With such switches, the end-user is

technology headed free to load an operating system of their choice.)

The research tracks and forecasts SDN controllers and Ethernet
into mainstream switches in-use for SDN separately from not-in-use SDN-capable Ethernet
switches. SDN in-use physical Ethernet switches are forecast by IHS to
In its latest “IHS Infonetics Data Center and make up 15 percent of Ethernet switch market revenue in 2017, up from 4
Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software” percent today. Meanwhile, in-use virtual switch (vSwitch) ports are expected
report, IHS reveals that data center and to make up 11 percent of SDN (in-use and not-in-use) ports shipped by the
enterprise LAN software-defined networking end of 2015.
(SDN) deployments began to ramp in the first “The data center and enterprise LAN SDN market will be solidified by the
half of 2015 (1H15). IHS forecast the market end of 2016, as lab trials give way to live production deployments,” con-
for ‘in-use’ SDN Ethernet switches and cludes Grossner. “And in 2017, SDN will move from early adopters into the
controllers to top $1.4 billion in 2015, nearly hands of mainstream buyers.”
doubling from the year prior.
The semiannual report provides
worldwide and regional vendor mar- 1.5
ket share, market size, and fore-
casts through 2019, plus analysis SDN Ethernet switches
and a discussion of trends for SDN and controllers (US$B)
controllers, bare metal Ethernet
switches, and branded Ethernet 1.0
switches in use for SDN. Accord-
ing to the study, in the first half of
2015 (1H15), bare metal switches
accounted for 45 percent of global
in-use SDN-capable Ethernet 0.5

switch revenue.
Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research
SDN Ethernet switches
director for data center, cloud and and controllers
SDN at IHS, adds, “New SDN use to top $1.4 billion
cases continue to emerge, and the 2014 2015
first half of 2015 was no exception,
with the establishment of the soft-
ware-defined enterprise WAN (SD-WAN) mar- Vendors tracked by the report include Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, Big
ket. The SD-WAN market is still small, but Switch, Brocade, Centec, Cisco, Cumulus, Dell, Extreme, HP, Huawei, Juni-
many startups and traditional WAN optimiza- per, Lenovo, Midokura, NEC, Pica8, Plexxi, PLUMgrid, VMware, White
tion appliance vendors and network vendors Box. The report is part of IHS Infonetics’ “Data Center Networks Intelli-
have jumped in.” gence Service.” u

40 JANUARY 2016 Cabling Installation & Maintenance

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