TIA updates data centre cabling standard

TIA updates data centre cabling standard

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The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has announced the implementation of the new TIA-942-B Data Center Cabling Standard - a move designed to address current and future needs for data centre operators across the globe.

Approved by the TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems Engineering Committee, the new TIA-942-B standard brings a number of changes for operators to consider, which include:

  • Additional 16- and 32-fibre MPO-style array connectors included as an additional connector type for termination of more than two fibres
  • Category 8 included as an allowed type of balanced twisted-pair cable
  • OM5 (wideband multimode fibre) now an allowed fibre type
  • Incorporation of TIA-942-A Addendum 1 - relating specifically to data centre fabrics

Responding to the announcement, TIA vice president for technology & standards Stephanie Montgomery commented: "With the exponential growth in the data centre market, TIA-942 is one of our most essential standards.

"Our TR-42.1 Engineering Committee brought its considerable expertise to reviewing and updating this standard. The resulting update will help network designers, architects and data centre owners and managers design infrastructure that will support both current and future needs."

The TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems Engineering Committee comprises of one parent committee and 11 sub-committees, of which the TR-42.1 Engineering Committee is one. Combined, these bodies provide an overview of the requirements for copper and optical fibre cabling components - such as cables, connectors and cable assemblies - for more than 90 businesses in 13 countries around the world, including the UK.

An explanation of the new TIA-942-B Data Center Cabling Standard is expected to be one of the hot topics at the upcoming TIA workshop in Arlington, TX on October 16th and 17th. The event is to be entitled 'Optimizing Data Center Performance' and is aimed at network architects/engineers, IT managers and directors, data centre and co-location providers, as well as internet service providers, carriers and operators.

Updating TIA-942 is an important milestone for the TIA, as this was the first standard developed by an accredited standards organisation relating specifically to physical data centre infrastructure. It outlined the minimum requirements for data centre operators in a scalable manner to ensure its applicability to data centres of any size.

Now, TIA-942-B will replace this standard as part of its ongoing five-year cycle of regulatory review. First published in 2012, the TIA began work on revising TIA-942 in 2015, with the reworked standard now coming into effect for all data centre operators.

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