Everything you ever wanted to know about Category 8

February 23, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Category 8 is coming and we’re not taking about a torrential hurricane. This new standard for twisted-pair cabling is under development with ratification expected this year that will bring many exciting advancements in wired communications. Here is everything you need to know to prepare yourself for Category 8.

 

  -  Primarily intended to support 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T

 

  -  Different from previous standards because it uses 2000 MHz frequency

 

  -  Limited to 30 meter distance and 2-connector channels

 

  -  Ideal for data centers and small LANs in commercial buildings

 

  -  Targeted for use at the data center “edge” where connections are made between the server and switch

 

  -  Will be backward compatible with previous standards

 

  -  Two classes of products offered - Class I: RJ45 and Class II: Non-RJ45

 

  -  Requires shielded cable, but not limited to specific type of shielding. Can use F/UTP (8.1) or S/FTP (8.2) and other shielded constructions

 

  -  Can provide up to four times faster speeds on the same cabling being used today

 

  -  Exceptional signal-to-noise margin while supporting transmission rates of 25Gb/s and higher

 

  -  Connectors will be designed for field termination and also pre-terminated for Panduit’s QuickNet line

 

  -  Will allow data center designers to organize their racks and cabinets to support 30-meter channel connections now and be positioned to transfer to 25G/40GBASE-T when the technology becomes available

 

  -  Installation methods will be similar to lower grades of cabling. Can be installed in existing pathways and conduit, though to support 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T the existing infrastructure must be upgraded

 

  -  No additional power required. In fact, Cat8 may better support remote powering applications such as PoE because of its lower dc resistance and insertion loss. It is likely that 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T equipment will use more power than 10GBASE-T, but that may be remedied as the technology evolves

 

Big Data and the Information Autobahn

November 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

By 2017 the amount of data transported globally through mobile networks is expected to reach a staggering 7.7 zettabytes (7.7 billion terabytes), and this will be only a portion of the total data being processed in and out of data centers around the world.

 

To handle the massive throughput required these trillions of bits of data will require high-speed-connection technology such as fiber optics and 40GBASE-T Ethernet.

 

The data centers of today often employ Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet as a backbone technology and in many cases utilize Gigabit to the desktop due to the lowering cost of Gigabit Ethernet switches and interface cards. Until now this was sufficient throughput for most SMB and Enterprise networks. But with the explosion of Big Data and IoT applications this will no longer be longer adequate.  Users will require access to huge global databases as well thousands of IP enabled devices in order to run their business.

 

10GBASE-T or 10-Gig Ethernet over copper twisted pair cabling was standardized in 2006 and can be used with both Category 6 cabling (max distance 55 meters) , Category 6a cabling (max distance 100 meters) and the newer Category 7 cabling (max distance 100 meters).

 

40GBASE-T or 40-Gig Ethernet is currently in development along with Category 8 cabling that will be required to run 40-Gig over copper twisted pair.

 

Another viable option for Big Data’s throughput requirements is fiber optic connectivity. Although usually more costly than a copper based solution, fiber can, right now, support Terabits of throughput on a solitary, Single mode fiber cable. The higher system cost is due to the expensive laser driven fiber transceivers that are required to transmit and receive voice, video and data packets at blazing fast speeds.

 

The future is clear, the demand for data by businesses and consumers will grow exponentially and using fiber optic and high speed Ethernet connectivity will make meeting this demand possible. 

 

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