Choose your Future!

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Enterprises of all sizes are facing data explosion and the

phenomenon will further grow exponentially owing to the need for using numerous

data intensive applications for enterprise business operations. Particularly

SMEs witness more data explosion as they are investing a lot on data storage and

management applications like ERP and business intelligence. Stiff competition in

the market and the global economic recession have forced enterprises to reduce

or optimize the cost of their operations by deploying more IT and communication

applications like email, VoIP, etc, leading to tremendous data explosion in

these enterprises. The deployment of IT applications such as ERP and CRM have

ensured that enterprises of all sizes have to continuously monitor and upscale

storage capacity to meet the continuously increasing storage requirements.

According to a recent NetApp-Nielsen study, IT applications cause 43% data

growth, and emails contribute to about 19% data growth.


The avalanche of data due to mass IT adoption by

enterprises is a threat to the enterprise IT infrastructure. This is why

enterprises need to recognize the importance of choosing the right cabling

solutions in tune with the kind of requirements they have for their information

transport system.

As predicted in the beginning of 2009, the economic

slowdown that started in the US affected structured cabling markets worldwide

leading to a reduction in the market size of every industry. Structured cabling

business in India also experienced a decline of 22-25%. The worst affected

market segment remained IT, ITeS and BPO segments, especially the multinational


Expert Panel

Dileep Kumar, director, product management, ADC KRONE

Gaurav Ahluwalia, managing director, India, Reichle & De-Massari

Milind Tamhane, vice president, ITS sales, DIGILINK

Mylaraiah JN, country technical manager, netconnect, Tyco Electronics

Rajesh Kumar, country manager, India & SAARC, 'n' SHOULD NOT BE BOLD

Sandip Chadha, managing director, India & SAARC, CommScope Enterprise
Solutions Division

Subhashini Prabhakar, CTM, Dax Networks


Technology Today & Tomorrow

The structured cabling market in India is rapidly growing every year and

similarly there will be shift in cabling media or technology for enterprises.

The current shift is on Cat5e to Cat6/Cat6A and on fiber OM3 and laser Grade SM

fibers for terabit connectivity. The copper medium has seen a definite shift

from 100 Mbs transmission to 1 Gbs and now 10 Gbs. The current market is

focusing more on Cat6 and Cat6A on copper and in fiber the focus is more on a

single mode with 10 Gbps capability on cabling.

The current applications require more bandwidth, secured

connectivity, and high speed data rate. The acceptance of fiber optic

connectivity is also increasing due to these applications and more bandwith

requirement. Now installers do not have the mental block on fiber termination

techniques, and most of them have proper tools and equipments to do the

termination accurately with minimal loss. Fear psychosis, a mental block for

sure, has definitely died down about complex fiber installations. The successful

pilot run of FTTH by service providers would enable huge speed in triple play

services. The fiber installation as well as ease of installation is increasing


There are few technological developments the structured

cabling industry has witnessed in copper medium. As TIA 568C.2 now stands

ratified, use of UTP medium and 8 Pin connecting hardware is here to stay, and

the industry needs to make efforts in improving hardware performance in this

area. CIOs now look for physical security on the cabling system in data centers.

They also look for pre-terminated cabling solutions, as this minimizes the

amount of time an installer requires, thus reduces the chances of errors. Fiber

optics is gaining increased acceptance due to pre-polished connectors and

pre-terminated fiber. MPO fiber plug-and-play connection systems also decreases

the complexity of installing fiber cabling and the risk of error.

Tips For CIOs

  • Cabling system should support minimum Gbpsabit

    throughput and future applications. Vendor should offer performance

  • Cabling system should be zero bit error free

  • Cabling system should be installed by a trained

  • Cabling should be done as per the EIA/TIA


To meet the growing requirements, standard companies have

introduced new cabling product/technology to support the growing new technology

active products. The main factor for the growth of structured cabling is to meet

the international standards and the business competition prevailing in the


While much of the trends continued as last year, one

significant change that is noticed in India now is the move toward converged

networks. We can see this trend in new township networks, where enterprises as

well as telecom networks are getting intertwined to offer the best converged

network solutions to end customers. FTTH will also play a significant role in

converged technologies.


The requirements of most enterprise customers are based on

global standards, with no significant difference between developed and emerging

countries. This is clear from requirements submitted by many multinational

customers, with presence in India. The mission critical processes of large

enterprises distributed globally require similar and standardized infrastructure

at all facilities across varied countries and cities.

A general trend not only among multinational corporations,

but also with others, is visibly towards achieving four important goals: to

enhance their infrastructure for greater performance and reliability; reduce

costs while getting better return on investment; drive the green initiative

through virtualization and consolidation; and invest in intelligence that

provides vision and knowledge to control the infrastructure.

Increasingly, businesses in India are realizing that the

competition for global customers require them to implement the best-in-class

infrastructure. The vision for infrastructure is changing, and companies are

asking not what the neighbor across the street is doing, but what can be done to

ensure global customers do not see another part of the world that is providing

competitive offers.


Control and agility within data infrastructure are terms

that are often difficult to reconcile. As businesses seeks to gain control of

their IT environments they move to institute process and restrictions on changes

and upgrades to the infrastructure. Control is necessary to ensure high

standards of reliability and compliance to security and governance requirements.

These objectives can squarely oppose the business needs to be agile and

responsive to changes in customer requirements or market opportunities. IT tools

such as help desk software are used to provide automated control capabilities.

Automation enables the control side and reduces costs associated with these

controls. The physical infrastructure has often not been included in the scope

of the help desk, and therefore still lacks the necessary degree of control.

Many customers are deploying intelligent infrastructure

solutions to bring the physical infrastructure into compliance with their

business objectives. IIS extend control and security systems to cover the

physical voice, data, and security networks. Automation capabilities provide

compliance, audit, and security services for physical network elements. The

expert system also guides service deployment and maintains the CDB

automatically. Designing and provisioning the physical network can be done by

members of the regular support system. The result is lower operational costs,

increased control and agility. It is not a surprise that there is a growing

trend to implement intelligent network management for cabling systems. Data

center managers are adopting this approach. IIS can be a key differentiator for

DC operations.

Betting Big on 10Gig

The current status of 10 Gbps cabling market is that of a maturing market

compared to what it was a few years back. What's driving the growth is the need

to manage the ever increasing information. Companies are investing in SANs and

fiber channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and these in turn are driving the growth for

10 Gbps. However, 10 Gbps isn't a new technology; it has been around for

sometime. If earlier we were seeing applications for data center connectivity

and backbone cabling; today after standards ratification, we are seeing

applications in the horizontal cabling also. Today, 10 Gbps is becoming a major

requirement in enterprises, disaster recovery centers, R&D institutes, server

farms and data centers. This indicates that the market is maturing. With regards

to the market size, approximately 2% of the market is for 10 Gbps cabling out of

the total structured cabling market.


With regard to the technologies, what's clear is that the

current Cat 6 cables will not be able to handle these speeds and as such there

will be a shift towards Cat6A and fiber channel cabling solutions. Fiber will be

a great driver for 10 Gbps and the accent will be on single mode fiber with

'Zero Water Peak'.

10 Gbps can be a good option for affordable broadband for

high bandwidth requirements. Media, entertainment, banking and insurance will be

some of the key sectors looking at 10 Gbps. 10 Gbps over copper will also find

acceptance in server farms. ADC KRONE was one of the earliest vendors to deploy

10 Gbps over copper cabling.


The 10 Gbps market in India is still primarily limited to

backbone especially in data center environments. There is no significant change

on this front since last year. Fiber and Cat6A (FTP & STP) take about 50-50

share in the data center installations in the country. It is especially so in

segments like data centers, test labs, etc. Mainly fiber is in use, Cat6A

according to EIA/TIA is used. Cat6As which as per ISO/IEC is better than EIA/TIA

and is yet to catch the market. This is due to the fact that there are very few

manufacturers in the market with this product.

10 Gbps installations have now become more available and

affordable. Enterprises with both copper as well as fiber opt for 10 Gbps,

depending upon exact applications. Within copper, due to ease of installation as

well as lower costs, UTP still remains the first choice.

With the advent of 10GBASE-T for 100 meter links of

twisted pair copper cabling, 10 Gigabit Ethernet is moving into the market to

provide simple, cost-effective, standards based products for enterprise and data

center networks. 10 Gbps Ethernet on copper enables higher port density.

10GBASE-T will also support the plug-and-play simplicity of RJ-45 interconnects

and twisted pair copper cabling. A primary goal of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet

standards process is to enable robust, cost-effective technologies that can be

used to build real economic solutions for today's data center and enterprise

networks. 10GBASE-T was developed to support a standard reach of 100 meters on

Category 6A cabling and 55-100 meters on Category 6 cabling. In fact, the IEEE

802.3an 10GBASE-T Standard mandates that all 10GBASE-T PHYs reach 100 meters in

order to be compliant.

The market for 10 Gbpsabit cabling got off to a slow

start, but now corporate customers are looking for more speed on their networks,

the technology seems to be hitting its stride. Few applications currently

require the full bandwidth provided by 10 Gigabit Ethernet. But demand is

picking up amid sharp price cuts fueled by new designs and higher density

products. In addition, a new standard to run 10 Gigabit Ethernet over copper

cable could help reduce costs and spur adoption

Despite the recession, there has been considerable

increase in demand for 10G, especially across data centers. The adoption has

gained momentum with the availability of several equipments supporting 10G, and

the ratification of standards for 10G over UTP. According to the new Global Data

Center Survey commissioned by CommScope, with contributing sponsors Brocade,

Eaton and Intel, almost a third (32%) of all organizations surveyed worldwide

are planning or building new data centers, while more than four out of five

(83%) existing data centers continue to receive investments for infrastructure

and technology projects. Globally, more than half (54%) of the organizations

installing new copper cabling would invest in Category 6A 10 Gbps solutions.

10 Gig Adoption

As of now 10 Gbps is still priced on the higher side and most customers are

bidding their time. However, things are bound to change and soon the industry

will see more aggressive price points being put forward. Undoubtedly this will

lead to investment in 10 Gbps.

If we look at adoption in enterprises, the Indian market

is clearly lagging behind the US and European markets. However, interestingly,

most Indian customers, though being a bit late on 10 Gbps, are actually

demanding the most advanced features in 10 Gbps! 10G installations have become

common in India for backbone installation in campus networks and also in the DC,

especially in telecom, B&F, and ISP. Currently 15% adoption has happened for 10

Gbps, and the expected increase is 12-15% in FY 2009-10 (Jan-Dec 2010).

While with few verticals like IT/ITeS, data centers 10G is

a de facto requirement, others are also opening up. Last year we must have had

about 15% of the entire copper installation base catering to 10G services while

amongst fiber physical layer, it can be over 70% 10G ready.

The growth of wireline over the last decade or so has not

only been stagnant but also negative, completely shrouded under the resounding

growth of wireless. Rapid growth of India's economy in the recent years and the

dependence of key industries on fast connections and high bandwidth has given

rise to an emerging nascent market for broadband equipments which may achieve

higher growth rates within a couple of years.

The other scenario for wireline expansion is where

operators run fiber to a kerb or a building, and runs copper in the last few

hundred meters for subscribers. In either scenario, reliable connectivity

infrastructure is an important component of performance and customer experience.

Some infrastructure companies operate both in copper and fiber connectivity,

including advanced technologies like FTTx.

With increased data sizes and IP convergence, enterprises

will witness a sustained demand for bandwidth. As enterprises rely on technology

for business transactions, we will see 10 Gbps being an integral part of

backbone and server farm requirements besides forming an integral part of high

performance networks. As mentioned before, the price points have to be more

aggressive to usher in investments.

Moving forward the 10G installation would become a default

for backbone and DC connectivity. 10 Gbps adoption is expected to reach 50% of

all installations in India by end of 2014. This roughly translates into a growth

of approximately 80% y-o-y. The keyword here is the ITS industry which will

remain future proof; hence while end use may still be gasping at 1,000 Mbps at

the most, it is expected that 30-40% of ITS investments in next four years,

asking for 10Gpbas ready solutions.

A large portion of the broadband subscriber growth that

has happened in recent times has been primarily on copper. But the issue with

copper is that it is limited, and the quality of the best existing copper is not

adequate to handle subscribers. With a huge untapped market to be addressed,

operators are looking at deploying broadband wireless access technologies like

WiMax. Not only are these technologies quick to roll out, but are also ideal to

cater to the Indian market since they are end-to-end, based on IP and are

spectral efficient supporting features like SOFDMA, Multiple Input Multiple

Output (MIMO), beam forming using smart antenna technologies, etc.

The Next Level

While most data center backbones are being designed on 10G solutions, talks

are already on for evolution of this technology to 40G or even 100G. The

guidelines for migrating data centers from 10-Gbpsabit Ethernet to 40G and 100G

Ethernet data rates will be developed by standard bodies. These guidelines are

required as the data center environment requires solutions that enable a smooth

migration to 40/100-GbE. There are many ways of achieving this. One way would be

to use laser-optimized 50 µm multimode fiber (OM3), multi-fiber optical (MPO/MTP)

connectivity and parallel optic transmission. The areas of implementation

include all Ethernet spaces within data center, including network interfaces

between core routers and distribution switches, from the distribution switches

to the edge switches, then from the edge switches into the server.

The 40g/100G standard was expected to be published by mid

of 2010, but this is now delayed and expected only by the beginning of 2011.

Draft 2.0 is technically complete, where technical specifications could still be

modified as the discussion goes on. Now the concentration is more on fiber

solution for the 40/100G and the current situation indicates interface to be MPO,

because of the parallel transmission needed.

The Daft Specs for 40G as well as 100G have been

available. The specs when ratified would make a huge difference in the available

speeds. All the major ITS players are gearing up for their offerings. In case of

10G, initially there would be a much less demand, however everyone will wait and

watch. The standards are recommending both copper as well as fiber media.

40/100 Gbps standard is necessary to support increased

transmission rates as enterprises manage ever-increasing amounts of information.

Any environment which requires high bandwidth and the need to support high

transmission rates can benefit from 40/100 Gbps standards.

The market drivers for 40/100G have been Internet

exchanges, ISP backbones, content providers, data centers, high performance

computing and video-on-demand delivery. Internet and data center users always

demand higher bandwidth to carry voice, data, and especially video. Because of

that demand, today's 10 Gbps optical and electrical links are running out of

capacity. Data centers and core networks need faster links. Hence, in order to

meet the growing demand of bandwidth 40/100 Gbps standard is required. With

bandwidth hogging applications on the rise, such as cloud computing, IPTV,

video-on-demand, etc, most telcos around the world are starting to upgrade their

backbone to 40G and some have even begun testing 100G.

There are already companies that are using 40 Gbps or

100Gb/s, however the Ethernet equivalent covered by this standard will start

being adopted rather rapidly for certain applications. Widespread adoption of

the Ethernet transmission at those speeds will depend on customer needs and

product availability. As companies move to 10GbE in their horizontal data center

applications (for instance switch to server), 40 and 100GbE will be used for

backbone (switch to core switch, and storage to storage) applications first.

Some companies will move to 40GbE for switch to server more rapidly than others.

This could include cloud computing providers, video distribution, research

facilities, and in some cases finance, where algorithmic trading and modeling

applications are used.

40/100G is sure to be adopted very quickly once network

switches supporting these speeds become available going by the ever increasing

demand for bandwidth. However, going by the past trends, we will see a lot of

customers looking at making sure that their network infrastructure is capable of

supporting these speeds. We will probably see a lot of alert customers looking

at single mode fiber and other physical media that can support 40/100G as their

preferred solution.

Passive components installation should start picking up in

the 2011-2012 once the ratification of the standard happens. Today, products are

available from Tyco Electronics which can support 40/100G on fiber (OM4 & OS2)

including the pre-terminated fiber option called as 'MPOptimate' in both MM/SM

which is capable of supporting today's and tomorrow's any kind of DC design.

Copper on 40G will be available only on shielded solution, and Tyco has launched

Cat7A which are capable of supporting 40G systems. Connection to the active

device might take a bit longer time.

Choosing it Right

As structured cabling solution is the backbone of any enterprise network,

choosing the right solution, and planning and designing their networks are

crucial for CIOs to build a healthy network system in the first stage itself.

The planning should be in such a way that enterprises should be able to support

three generations of active network infrastructure in the future. Because once

they install the cabling solution it cannot be replaced at will as the entire

infrastructure system would be disturbed.

Choosing the right cabling solution means choosing the

right future for enterprise businesses. Enterprise CIOs/CTOs should carefully

consider many factors while choosing, installing, and maintaining the right

cabling solutions. The three basic guiding rules for enterprise CIOs are future

proof investment, scalability, and security. The SCS installation should support

speed needs for at least the next six years. Moreover, installation architecture

has to support scalability and data needs to travel secured and relatively

unaffected, due to increasing EMI noises.

In today's scenario where enterprises are still price

sensitive, it is important to keep in mind that, while constituting only 5% of

the total network cost, structured cabling is the basic requirement of the

network. Once installed the cabling infrastructure is expected to last for many

years and unlike the active components this can not be changed at will.

The most important consideration of course would be the

application that would run on the network. For high speed and bandwidth

intensive applications, 10G solutions on copper or fiber are recommended. If the

requirement is for 7x24x365 availability, failsafe reliability and continuous

monitoring and fast installation etc, then data center solutions with

plug-and-play factory pre-terminated and pre-tested structured cabling products

like MPOs and MRJ21 are best options. The environment that requires constant

monitoring of MACs, failsafe security, etc, intelligent infrastructure

management solution is the key for success. Industrial environments require

special cabling based on industrial Ethernet standards. Etherseal products are

available for these applications.

While going for a solution depending upon their

requirements, CIOs need to keep in mind ISO/IEC standard compliant products,

source of manufacturing, trained and certified system integrators, flexibility,

innovation and planning of the design, good documentation, and proper labeling


Kannan K