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Anixter’s recently produced Data Center Network Migration video details the complexities in data center cabling topology and design, and asks the question, “Is your physical cabling infrastructure designed to withstand constant change?”

Anixter asserts that the four best practices needed to achieve a high-performance, future-ready structured cabling solution for a data center include: creating network flexibility; using a future-ready cabling topology; making the right media selection; and anticipating and planning for density demands.

WHAT IS IT?
Multiple network cabling architectures are available to provide connectivity to the various spaces within the data center.
ER – ENTRANCE ROOM
The space where the carrier circuits and demarcation equipment are located. For security reasons it is typically in a separate room than data center computer room.
MDA – MAIN DISTRIBUTION AREA
The space where core layer equipment such as routers, LAN/SAN switches, PBXs and Muxes are located.
HDA – HORIZONTAL DISTRIBUTION AREA
The space where aggregation layer equipment such as LAN/SAN/KVM switches are located.
EDA – EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION AREA
The space where access layer equipment such as LAN/SAN/KVM switches and servers are located.
ZDA – ZONE DISTRIBUTION AREA
The space where a consolidation point or other intermediate connection point is located.

NETWORK CABLING ARCHITECTURES
Centralized
LAN/SAN switches are consolidated in a centralized MDA and HDA row.
ToR – Top of Rack
LAN/SAN switches are located within the
EDA cabinet or rack. HDA is not used in this configuration.
EoR – End of Row
LAN/SAN switches are located at the end of the network row within an
HDA cabinet or rack.
MoR – Middle of Row
LAN/SAN switches are located in the
middle of the network row within an
HDA cabinet or rack.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The selection of the network cabling architecture is driven by both the technical and financial factors of the data center design. In general, ToR architectures are better suited for data center environments requiring low latency and high-performance server connections where EoR and MoR architectures look to optimize cost and flexibility.

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