A one-page brief written by Siemon highlights three potential risks of deploying twisted-pair cabling systems with 26-AWG conductors in data center environments. The brief acknowledges that increasing numbers of ports in data centers present the following, and other, challenges for data center managers: managing air flow for optimum thermal performance; maintaining proper pathway-fill requirements; and supporting advanced applications such as 10GBase-T and PoE Plus.
"Unfortunately," it then reads, "a recent trend in the industry is to respond to these challenges by deploying twisted-pair cables constructed from 26-AWG conductors over a restricted-length channel topology. The trend is based on the idea that these cables' reduced outside jacket diameter will help alleviate thermal and pathway-fill issues." Siemon then points out that cables with 26-AWG conductors do not comply with any TIA or ISO/IEC standard for horizontal cable.
The brief then names and describes the following risks associated with the use of this cabling-system setup in data centers.
- Support of future applications is unknown.
- Power delivery applications generate excess heat (and 26-AWG cables are at risk of too much temperature rise).
- Reduced flexibility for future growth.
There are other and better ways, the company says, to manage airflow and maintain proper pathway fill in data centers. Siemon's message is clear: There are long-term risks associated with this type of short-run cabling.