TIA publishes cabling guidelines for data center switch fabrics

TIA-942-A addendum provides guidelines for data center switch fabric implementation.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has officially released its ANSI/TIA-942-A-1 Cabling Guidelines for Data Center Fabrics Addendum. The addendum to the TIA-942-A data center standard specifies telecommunications cabling guidelines for data center switch fabrics and topologies.

ANSI/TIA-942-A-1 was created by TIA Engineering Subcommittee TR-42.1 in response to switch manufacturers’ concerns about the structured cabling described in TIA-942-A. The subcommittee decided that the traditional three-tier switch architecture needed additional content to fully enable the newer switch fabric architectures for data centers that support cloud computing to provide the low-latency, high bandwidth, any-to-any device network that cloud computing requires.

“The standard describes the traditional three-tier switch architecture and several implementations of data center switch fabrics,” explains Jonathan Jew, president of J&M consultants and vice-chair of TR-42.1. “For each of the implementations, it describes how structured cabling, as described in TIA-942-A, can be used to support the data center switch fabric implementation.”

In developing the standard, TR-42.1 involved not only users and cabling experts, but also experts involved in developing switch protocols and architectures. The subcommittee also surveyed the data center switch fabric architectures implemented by many manufacturers.

“As more businesses turn to cloud services to increase efficiency and cut costs, data centers will face increasing demand to provide 24/7 connectivity and maintain data security,” points out TIA president Grant Seiffert. “TIA’s new industry standard is essential for data centers to support the exponential growth of cloud computing and meet the future cabling needs for data center switch fabric architectures.”

TIA’s 2013 ICT Market Review and Forecast predicts that spending on cloud services will increase at a combined average rate of 16.3 percent over the next four years -- putting more demand on data centers. For more information about TR-42.1 and how to participate in standards development with TIA, contact Germaine Palangdao at standards@tiaonline.org.

Related: Certification-training courses for TIA-942 data center standard under development

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