Humankind has always been fascinated with the pursuit of speed, the desire to go higher, further, and faster.
If we narrow the focus to connectivity, the importance and impact of speed become even more significant. From hyperscale to colocation, planning to installation, speed is not only a key operational requirement but a driving force in the creation of a more connected world.
What does speed mean to us, our customers, and the industry as a whole? Let’s take a look at the importance of speed at each step of the data center network, from planning to installation, and beyond…
Network Planning and Design
The data center industry is experiencing exponential growth, further bolstered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, increased data consumption, and an ever-growing reliance on connectivity. New applications such as machine learning, virtual reality, and 5G mean there is a rapidly increasing need for higher bandwidth. These new applications are accelerating the transition to new types of fiber connectivity protocols and media. As such, data center operators are looking to rapidly scale their networks to not only meet this surge in demand but to also future-proof their infrastructure for years to come.
To do this, they have to work quickly – this means planning and design are crucial. Data center operators need fast, efficient, and reliable service from their suppliers – listening, collaborating, and delivering best-in-class, custom network infrastructure solutions to help them overcome complex challenges, realize large-scale network design, and achieve growth and scale.
In a data center, many types of applications co-exist at varying speeds, making it essential to understand various Ethernet standards and transceivers types, as well as identifying the correct fiber optic infrastructure needed. At AFL Hyperscale, our RCDD and CNIDP qualified engineers can assist with all manner of connectivity design requests including anything from product recommendations and creating ultra-high fiber count interconnectivity for data center clusters, all the way up to designing an automated physical layer for a ‘lights-out’ data center.
Custom Product Design
Large-scale data center networks often have unique requirements that call for custom product design. Such products need to be designed, manufactured, and delivered to meet tight deadlines.
Our globally deployed, in-house engineering team uses the latest design and rapid prototyping techniques to quickly bring customer-led products to life. We offer fast, quality-assured, custom product design to help you overcome infrastructure challenges of any size and scale.
Our market-leading design engineering team has expertise and experience across fiber assemblies, fiber cable, fiber management, frames, and enclosures.
Once the requirements of the project have been defined, it’s time to start production! Data center operators work to strict deadlines, meaning the same is expected of their connectivity suppliers.
We offer some of the best lead times in the market for high volume, high-performance, custom, pre-terminated assemblies, and high-density connectivity products.
With manufacturing locations across four continents, we have a fast, scalable, integrated supply chain that ensures consistency across all manufacturing sites.
Customers across the globe can get local assistance with critical projects, in some cases receiving next-day delivery on custom pre-terminated assemblies, cable, and connectivity products, as well as a quick turnaround for high-volume orders.
Time-Saving Products and Solutions
Speedy design, manufacturing, and delivery are not enough, the products themselves have to offer a time advantage – from preparation and installation to maintenance and future upgrades.
Pre-terminated, plug-and-play solutions offer a fast, easy, option for data center operators, saving them both time and money in relation to labor costs.
AFL Hyperscale pre-terminated solutions are designed to make on-site installation fast and easy, alleviating the need for field termination or splicing, and reducing installation time by up to 75%.
Across single and multi-fiber connector assemblies, we have a comprehensive range of pre-terminated assemblies that offer high-performance and reliability:
- Use multi-fiber pre-terminated solutions to speed up your deployment by configuring the right assembly for your environment or application
- Migrate network speed at the pace you require with a clear path from 10G, 40G, 100G to 400G, and alleviate concern for ever-growing bandwidth requirements with BASE-8 solutions
- Save space, ensure rapid installation, and harness the power of Fujikura ferrule technology with AFL Hyperscale MPO assemblies
Splicing can often be a lengthy process, slowing down the installation. Our groundbreaking SpiderWeb Ribbon® (SWR®) technology allows for highly efficient ribbon splicing.
Single fiber splicing 6,912 fibers would take roughly 308 hours. Fujikura’s 6,912f SWR cable reduces this to just 28 hours through the mass-fusion splicing 12 fibers at a time – a 90% time saving!
To put that into context, we are taking what would have been 40 8-hour working days down to less than 3.5 working days.
SWR consists of 12 fibers intermittently connected using a resin bond. The intermittent nature of the bond allows the ribbon to be bunched and collapsed similar to a bundle of loose fibers. It further lets the ribbon act as either a traditional ribbon for mass fusion splicing or be broken out into individual fibers for single fusion splicing.
Wrapping Tube Cable (WTC) with SWR technology provides the smallest cable diameter, lowest weight, and highest fiber count in the industry, meaning cable installations are faster and cable pathways and ducts are left with more available space. Cables are available in fiber counts from 12 to 6,912 in 200 μm and 250 μm buffered fiber options.
This feature of a collapsible ribbon allows for significant high-density fiber packages in outside plant and indoor listed fiber optic cable design. This means more fiber in smaller cable diameters that allows for significant cable diameter and weight reductions which drive faster installation times, lower cost for installation, and better utilization of pathways.
The flexibility of SWR means that a single cable type can cover a diverse set of applications. SWR can be used in a wide variety of high-density housings and cassettes for end-to-end data center deployment.
Rapid Cabling Infrastructure
AFL Hyperscale Rapid Cabling Infrastructure (RCI) is a comprehensive copper and optical fiber structured cabling solution developed to meet any network cabling deployment methodology. Whether cabling your data center, adding colocation cage space, or upgrading your horizontal infrastructure – RCI is your solution.
RCI consists of custom, high-performance assemblies, pre-packaged, and source/destination labeled for rapid installation. Rack-to-rack, cabinet-to-cabinet, building-to-building, port-to-port, and intra-cabinet, RCI has an engineered solution for your application.
Our solutions are engineered to perform in all customer environments that require optical fiber to support up to 400 Gbps and emerging Ethernet speeds, and other network protocols utilizing low-profile, high-density, structured cabling optical fiber solutions.
RCI delivers cost-effective, scalable, tested, ready-to-install infrastructure that reduces installation time.
Maintenance and Repair
Dirty connectors are one of the biggest causes of network outages, making speed and efficiency a must when it comes to inspecting, testing, and cleaning high-density data center networks. Our comprehensive product range simplifies and speeds up data center cleaning, inspection, and testing.
As data centers strive to support an ever-increasingly connected world, it is more important than ever that best practices are followed when cleaning and inspecting fiber end faces. From One-Click™ Cleaners and cassette cleaners to comprehensive cleaning kits, we offer industry-leading cleaning solutions to help ensure your data center operates at optimal performance levels with minimal service disruptions. Our Duplex LC One-Click Cleaner cuts cleaning time in half by simultaneously and effectively cleaning both LC connectors.
Carefully designed for those installing and maintaining high-density network cabling in data centers, our fiber scopes are engineered to provide accurate results every time. Ensure your network runs smoothly with our range of compact, lightweight, and user-friendly inspection products. Our FOCIS Lightning is an ultrafast MPO/MTP connector inspection system that uses twin 5M pixel CMOS sensors to image the entire MPO end face simultaneously and perform multi-fiber inspections 10 to 100 times faster than legacy systems, displaying the full view connector end face image in less than two seconds from power-on.
From VFIs to OTDRs, our test equipment range provides data center technicians with tools to assist with verification, fault-finding, and standards-based certification testing for in-depth analysis and report generation. Our FlexScan® FS200 pocket-sized OTDR offers fast, accurate, single-mode fiber characterization and fault location with Smart Auto® and FleXpress™ test modes, completing OTDR test in less than 5 seconds.
Do you have the need for speed? We can help!
This pursuit of speed is vital for data center networks, underpinning everything from network design, deployment, and beyond. With decades of experience and expertise, we understand the needs of data centers to deliver speed and efficiency, to build a more connected world.