The boundaries between networks are disappearing. “Local data networks in companies, data center networks, cellular phone networks, wide-area networks, and access networks will barely be considered as separate units in future,” says Andreas Rüsseler, Head of Marketing for the cabling specialist R&M. In a current market outlook, Andreas Rüsseler says: “Data traffic between all areas is assuming such huge proportions that we need to develop an entirely new and holistic understanding of networking. We need to ensure there are no longer any bottlenecks between workstations, smartphones, cellular phone antennae, data centers, the Cloud, the Internet of Things, WLAN, intelligent houses, networked cars and machines. This is the only way for smart cities to function successfully."
R&M, the globally active Swiss developer and provider of cabling systems for high-end network infrastructures, therefore expects the significant rise in demand for broadband solutions to continue. “The trend is towards a gigabit society. Leading agglomerations and countries will take this path in the medium term and carry out corresponding network installations,” predicts R&M CMO Andreas Rüsseler.
R&M is seeing this confirmed in market studies and forecasts. Experts at the cloud service provider NetApp already fear that it may soon no longer be possible to transport the data volumes required. Edge data centers can be used to avoid latency and ensure on-site local data availability. Financial companies also need decentralized solutions so that protocols for secure transactions are available more quickly.
According to Cisco, mobile data traffic will reach a magnitude of around 50 exabytes per month by 2021. Billions of mobile end devices are already permanently connected to the Internet. “It’s mainly videos that are being transferred. Users expect uninterrupted streaming of HD images wherever possible. This trend places high demands on the transfer capacity of even the remotest of cellular phone antennas. Higher-performance fiber optic cables to base stations are required in backhaul. With the introduction of the 5G standard, demand for highly reliable connectivity is set to rise over the next few years,” explains Rüsseler. Data centers and service providers will have to scale their resources at the same time, in order for dynamic data traffic to continue to flow smoothly.
“This example shows how everything is interconnected. Bandwidth and connectivity demand must be considered in depth right now – from terminals via POPs to the data center, and from the fiber optic infrastructure out in the field to the connectors in the racks of a hyperscale data center,” says Andreas Rüsseler. As a full-service provider in the LAN, data center, and public networks sectors, R&M develops and assembles the necessary cabling solutions. “We design solutions to be modular, scalable, and easy to assemble and maintain. This means providers can react to market requirements quickly and flexibly as needed,” says the R&M CMO.
Further examples of trends with similar connectivity needs to mobile data and video streaming include:
- Internet of Things (IoT): Billions of sensors, cameras, computers, control systems, etc. will be constantly exchanging data. This requires the mass availability of ambient, cost-effective, and robust network connections.
- Digitalization and the Cloud: According to the IDC, half of global value creation will be digitized by 2021. If more business and production processes run on a digital, decentralized basis, this will also result in vast data volumes. Any machine that is to be incorporated requires an Internet or LAN connection.
- Mobility: Traffic in megacities with autonomous vehicles, car sharing, and networked public transport systems can be controlled using fast data networks with blanket availability. This means that high-performance network connections need to be in place on a huge scale along the traffic routes.
The trend towards higher-performance connectivity was confirmed in the R&M 2017 financial year:
- New local data networks are currently being planned primarily for the use of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Slower solutions are gradually dying out. Copper cabling with Cat. 6A/Class EA or Passive Optical LAN (POLAN) is bringing the transmission capacity required for the future into today’s offices. More and more functions for smart buildings are also being incorporated into data networks. These include Power over Ethernet to supply end devices with power and LED lighting, for intelligent building demands, surveillance and much more. R&M provides high-end and mid-range solutions here.
- The data center market is breaking record after record. The hyperscale data center sector is experiencing particularly colossal growth. Hyperscale providers are already working with transmission capacities of over 100 Gbit/s and are aiming for 200 or 400 Gbit/s. Data centers of this magnitude require automated monitoring, using systems such as R&MinteliPhy.
- Carriers are increasingly investing in the FTTX rollout. They are looking for compact, flexible, scalable, and cost-effective cabling solutions for public networks, in order to achieve their aim of blanket fiber optic networks in manageable steps. The R&M range meets these customer requirements.