City of Zurich chooses preterm cabling for data center connectivity

The Swiss city's two data centers rely on approximately 10,000 fiber and 4,200 copper links, most of which are preterminated and all of which were acceptance-tested.

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Structured cabling system provider Datwyler recently reported that the city of Zurich, Switzerland has made significant use of preterminated cabling systems - fiber and copper - in the conversion of one data center and the construction of another. Datwyler reports that approximately 10,000 fiber-optic and 4,200 copper-based links have been installed, and characterized the systems as "largely preassembled solutions."

The user is Zurich Organisation and Informatics (OIZ), the city's center of information-technology expertise that is responsible for provisioning basic IT services and interdepartmental IT projects. As part of the city's municipal IT strategy, OIZ has built a second data center in the metropolitan area of Hagenholz "for the redundant provision of key components in parallel to the data center in Albisrieden," Datwyler explains.

In August 2011, the city awarded the contract for communications cabling for both sites to Marechaux Elektro AG, which in turn commissioned TurnKey Communications AG to carry out the planning and cabling work. Turnkey worked with Datwyler to specify the cabling system.

"The fiber-optic system is a modularly expandable solution recently developed," Datwyler says, "allowing packing densities of up to 96 fibers per rack unit. It is based on sub-racks fitted with preassembled slide-in cassettes, or fiber-optic modules. On the back of each of these modules are two MTP couplers, and they are cabled with MTP mini-trunks. At the front they provide OIZ with 12 LC duplex or E2000 connections as required. The 10G-capable copper cabling installed in parallel consists of Category 7 type CU 7702 4P data cables and IEC standard-compliant Cat 6A RJ45 modules, preassembled to one end. The other end was terminated on-site."

The fiber-optic trunks used include 12-, 24-, 48-, 72- and 144-fiber systems preterminated with MTP, LCD or E2000 connectors. Most of the trunks have bend-optimized OM3 multimode, Datwyler notes. They are aligned with 1,500 fiber-optic modules in 270 sub-racks. In server racks, they are aligned with 210 fiber-optic panels.

For the copper terminations, Datwyler supplied 135, 3U sub-racks with 1160 modular 6-port front panels, and 285 1U panels with 24 ports apiece. Also installed during the project were 13,300 fiber-optic duplex patch cables and 9,100 copper patch cables for connection to active devices.

"Acceptance testing of more than 14,000 links was carried out on completion of each construction phase," Datwyler explains, "most recently in spring 2012. The cables and modules achieved excellent insertion and return loss values, which far exceeded the high quality standards set by OIZ."

OIZ's manager of data center new buildings and operation, Patrick Eggeler, lauded the efforts of those involved. "The cabling installed in our data centers is a really top quality and comparatively economical system solution, which will reliably transmit all our future applications," he said. "It was flawlessly implemented and handed over in time. We are also very satisfied with the planning support by TurnKey and Datwyler, and with the services rendered in relation to the installation."

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