Saving Time, Money, Labor and Space – This Mesh Assembly Does It All

The innovative design of a new mesh assembly from Nexans results in significant cost and labor savings compared with alternative methods. Providing massive interconnections with a minimum number of switches, Nexans’ unique approach to mesh can optimize your use of space and significantly improve cable management.

In mesh networks, now becoming more common in large data centers, optical fibers are “shuffled” to create a mesh interconnection between switching layers.  For example, each port at the spine level is connected to multiple switches at the leaf level (see illustration below). The mesh assembly takes a 100 Gb/s signal from parallel optics, breaks it out into individual 4×25 Gb/s lanes, shuffles and re-combines the signal to 100 Gb/s at the receiver end.

This fiber-shuffling solution provides cost savings compared to traditional structured cabling, reducing the need for additional patch cords by consolidating them into a single trunk cable and eliminating the dreaded “rat’s nest” effect.

Amy Hartfield, Product Manager for Pre-Terminated Cable Assemblies for Nexans Data Center Solutions, says the Nexans design eases the complexity of connecting switches into one assembly.

“Most large data center architectures employ a mesh between switching,” she explains. “Creating meshes via standard structured cabling methods can result in high cost and can consume a great deal of space in racks and pathways.

“Unlike other solutions, we’ve built our mesh interconnections right into the trunk cable. There’s no need to install cassettes or other equipment that take up more space. You need the trunk cable anyway – why not make the mesh happen right there?”

The Nexans mesh assembly offers several important advantages over other methods, including:

  • less complexity for greater ease of maintenance
  • cost savings due to the need for fewer cables and equipment
  • lower labor costs, because fewer connections are required.

The configurable solution can be used with base-8,  -16 or  -32 configurations, and between the same connector type (e.g., MPO to MPO) or between different connector types.

Amy says the Nexans solution is the lowest cost option for this type of architecture and connectivity. The cost of using standard LC-MPO cassettes is about twice the price of the Nexans solution, while the cost of using mesh cassettes is about 25 percent higher.

“Unlike other solutions, we’ve built our mesh interconnections right into the trunk cable. There’s no need to install cassettes or other equipment that take up more space. You need the trunk cable anyway – why not make the mesh happen right there?”

Amy Hartfield, Product Manager, Pre-terminated Cable Assemblies

Leave a Reply