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Recommended cable bandwidth in a small data center

Data center design and standards expert Carrie Higbie answers a user's question about cable bandwidth in a small data center.

What is the minimum cable bandwidth required for a small server room which consists of 10 servers? Is 100mbps line is enough for a shared hosting server?
This is a rather loaded question. To answer this, I would suggest first that if it is in a building that you will be keeping for 10 years or more that you go ahead and plan for a 10 gigabit cabling system. The reason being is that 10GBASE T is already out there. For storage area networks, and even server mirroring, it is a great possibility that you will install this technology in that period of time. If you are planning on only being there a short time, then category 6 is the minimum recommended in the TIA 942 data center standard. I never recommend people plan on staying with 10/100 due to the fact that our applications and data stores grow constantly. Ideally you want your cabling to support two to three iterations of active electronics. It is expensive to rip out and reinstall cable as many companies that are in that situation have learned today.
This was last published in March 2007

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