New Issues in Data Center (DC) Installation and Maintenance

September 28, 2022 Megan Stamy

Efficient Data Center Interconnect (DCI) Installation and Maintenance

The spread of cloud services, SNS, and video streaming is increasing the number of businesses using metropolitan data centers (Metro DC) as interconnects. As Metro DC and data center interconnects (DCI) continue to grow, network installation and maintenance (I&M) is becoming increasingly complex due to the diversifying communications standards, while faster speeds and increased security administration demand more efficient work practices.

With the following features, Anritsu's Network Master Pro MT1040A/MT1000A offers smooth all-in-one support for the increasingly demanding levels of Metro DC and DCI I&M.

  • Full all-in-one support for communications interfaces with speeds from 10M to 400G (MT1040A)
  • Full all-in-one support for communications interfaces with speeds from 10M to 100G (MT1000A)
  • Efficient automated on-site testing at DC I&M
  • All-in-one support from network circuit quality tests to optical fiber evaluations

In addition, the OTDR functions of the Access Master MT9085 series and Fiber Maintenance Master MT9090A are ideal for evaluating DCI optical fibers.

Issues in DC Installation and Maintenance

Previously, to leverage the merits of reduced power costs and disaster prevention countermeasures, data centers (DC) have been co-location spaces in large-scale suburban buildings. However, more recently, smaller-scale DC in city buildings (Metro DC) are more commonly using mesh network connections configured to operate as one virtual DC. This type of Metro DC costs relatively less to install even in a city building and does not require a large installation space.

The interconnects between the Metro DC parts (data center interconnects: DCI) form one virtual DC but require large-capacity mesh connections between each DC office to assure optimum performance.

The I&M work when configuring this type of Metro DCI faces the following issues:

(1) Requires evaluation of various communications standards and interface circuits

Due to different applications and cost advantages, Metro DC installations are adopting different standards such as fibre channel (FC), 100GbE, 400GbE, etc., for WDM.
At Metro DC I&M, various interfaces and communications standards must be tested; providing a separate tester for each standard not only increases work costs but also reduces work efficiency. An all-in-one network tester supporting each communication standard has been urgently needed.

(2) Requires efficient I&M under severe security administration

Data center sites are subject to severe security administration requiring I&M work to be performed during restricted time periods. Performing tests of the various communications standards for Metro DCI requires trained and experienced operators with good knowledge about communications and network I&M.

(3) Requires optical fiber maintenance

Metro DCI network configurations use fast high-capacity optical fibers. In addition to conventional optical loss measurements, fast DCI optical fibers must be evaluated for optical reflections. The IEEE802.3 100GBASE-LR4 and 10GBASE-LR standards specify an optical fiber connector reflection loss of not more than 26 dB. Generally, SPC and UPC fiber connectors have a reflection loss of about 40 dB and 50 dB, respectively, but if the connector end face is contaminated with oil, dust, etc., the optical loss increases due to the increased optical reflections caused by the contamination, resulting in degraded communications quality. Appropriate maintenance at optical fiber I&M is key to preventing communications problems.


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