Staying Ahead of the Curve with Cisco

Catalyst and Nexus switches upgraded for 40 – 100 gig, do you have the cabling for that?

At the Cisco Live event last week, Cisco announced that they are adding 40 Gigabit Ethernet support for the Catalyst 6500 switch series, and 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet capabilities to the Nexus 7000 series. This is really cool news for everyone out there running the 6500 and 7000 series in their data centers.

But what about cabling?

At CXtec, the company I work for, our CABLExpress division has been touting and preparing for 40 - 100 Gigabit Ethernet for years. We've seen how cloud computing, virtualization, video, mobility and a myriad of other factors have affected data center throughput rates in a huge way, and in a very short amount of time. In fact, it was with these factors in mind that we styled our Skinny-Trunk fiber optic cabling solution.

So when this news broke, I figured it would be the perfect time to pose the question:

"Is your data center cabling ready for the jump to 40 or 100 Gigabit Ethernet?"

Don't make it an afterthought.

We spend so much time thinking about the hardware that we sometimes overlook quality cabling. I can assure you, if you're an IT professional who did a little dance when you heard this news about Catalyst and Nexus 40 - 100 gig capabilities, your next thought should be to your cabling.

For example, the 40 and/or 100G Ethernet ports for multi-mode fiber require the use of an MPO-style (or MTP®) connector, according to the IEEE 802.3ba standard. Will this bring up some issues you'll need to address? There could be any number of "gotchas" just like this coming at you.

My point is, these breakneck speeds are fantastic when your equipment can handle them, but keep in mind every cable you run has to be ready for them as well. I'm not saying don't be excited. I am definitely excited myself! All I'm saying is don't blow your cabling off. Find a quality cabling partner that can make your Cisco investment worth every penny!

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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