The hidden costs of top-of-rack in the data center

New video from Siemon outlines in-row patching configurations for 10GBase-T switches.

Apr 24th, 2014

In a recent Youtube clip (see below), Siemon Company's global director of data center solutions and services Carrie Higbie outlines various data center layout options while explaining the hidden costs of top-of-rack (ToR) connectivity. The discussion gives subjective attention to the topic of in-row patching for 10GBase-T switches.

Related story: Top-of-rack considerations for today's fat-tree switch fabric configurations

"We want to manage that distribution area with our cable plant, so that we have access to all of those switch ports via that cable," explains Higbie. "If we do direct-attach copper in top-of-rack, we're limited to 1, 3 or 5 meters. With 10GBase-T, we have 100 meters we can use -- but under 30 meters, we have power savings; so we want to try to keep it under that 30 meter [range]. We can either do a chassis-based switch there, or we can do a stack of top-of-row switches."

She adds, "Just because they're sold as 'top-of-rack' switches, doesn't mean they physically have to sit in the top of a rack. If we use 10GBase-T [switches], we now have that 30 meters to be able to reach multiple server cabinets."

Related product: Device delivers cool air directly to top-of-rack switches

See also: Paper compares top-of-rack and structured-cabling architectures

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