R&M, the global Swiss developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, is pleased to be reporting on the successful beta test of the FO platform Netscale. The test partner is Cloud&Heat Technologies GmbH, an operator of cloud data centers in Dresden, Germany. Cloud&Heat specializes in the setup and operation of efficient edge data centers that provide computer capacity decentrally and at the same time heat buildings. Cloud&Heat is aiming to realize the most efficient distributed data center in the world in terms of energy and costs as well as the first real-time-optimized edge cloud in Germany.
Because the edge locations in the basements of residential and non-residential buildings are usually limited in terms of space, Cloud&Heat is looking for innovative infrastructure concepts. The company is experimenting with compressed, centralized and automated architectures. This is why the cabling system Netscale was examined in practice in the spring of 2016. The FO platform offers the highest port density of all patch panels available on the market with up to 120 ports per height unit in a 19’’ rack. The Ultra High Density (UHD) system is setting a new benchmark for data centers. More than 5000 ports can now be accommodated in one cabinet.
Netscale fulfilled three important criteria for Cloud&Heat: The platform is compact, and both easy to scale and install. "As an innovative company with challenging data center projects, we are dependent on scalable fiber solutions that can be deployed in confined spaces," says Dr. Marius Feldmann, COO at Cloud&Heat Technologies. Netscale fit into the Cloud&Heat architecture concept. Top of Rack (ToR) switches can be consolidated in the network cabinet and servers patched directly into the network cabinet. The switches can each be reconfigured at a central point. This is a sensible way of planning Software Defined Network (SDN) architectures. The result is maximum reduction of switches and routers at every location. "Netscale makes it possible to consolidate all servers of the point of presence (PoP) into a 1U housing," confirms Dr. Thomas Wellinger, Market Manager Data Centers at R&M. This leaves more space for switches and routers.
The modular construction and the sliding tray technique make it possible to retrofit the cabling fast and adapt it to suit new requirements – for example in the migration of LC connectors for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10G) to MPO connectors for 40G. The Rear Cabling Manager allows pre-installation of the FO connectors outside the cabinet. This solution also takes the specific requirements of Cloud&Heat into consideration because cabinets in edge data centers are difficult to access from the back because of their location.
The Netscale solution comprises patch panels in sliding tray technique with a translucent front cover, smallest diameter Uniboot patch cords with LC ports operable from the back, distribution modules in tray form with MTP® ports, fan-out boxes and guides for cable management on the front and back. RFID components for port monitoring with the network monitoring system R&MinteliPhy are also available. It is the first UHD platform with integrated functions for intelligent, automated infrastructure management. "Netscale can support us in fully automated operation of our cloud," says Dr. Marius Feldmann, COO at Cloud&Heat Technologies, of the results of the beta test.