|Home > Design & Facilities Management > News > ‘Just cables’ or mission-critical connectivity?||
DCS Europe Data storage and IT management: Energy efficiency, data centre power, data centre cooling, PUE, data centre security, cabling, UPS, data centre management, data centre, data centre facilities, modular data centres
DCS: In today’s competitive data centre landscape, how would you position ADC KRONE right now – in general terms?
MH: We feel that one of the key elements of the data centre build – the passive infrastructure – is often one of the most neglected areas. Viewed by many as ‘just cables’, we are convinced that this part of the infrastructure cannot be ignored – it’s absolutely critical to everything being connected and working together well and we’re positioned very clearly in this space as one of the world leading experts in passive infrastructure based on, and backed by, our experience and involvement in a great number of data centre installations globally.
DCS: More specifically, how do you see ADC KRONE’s working with the crowded landscape of the telco providers, the managed service providers, the networking vendors and the Channel?
MH: Our customers are the data centre owners and operators – be they telco providers, managed service providers, hosting companies, enterprises – it doesn’t matter to us. As the owners and operators, they are all our customers. In terms of the equipment vendors supplying this market, they are all potential partners for us in developing solutions for our customers in the areas where they have greatest concerns – for example: reduction of energy or managing density in the data centre. The channel to the customer is a critical part in getting those solutions to market – so we see ourselves working with channel partners to make sure that the end user doesn’t just have the right product, but gets it in a timely manner and delivered in the right way.
DCS: And what advantages does ADC KRONE bring to the data centre market, bearing in mind the company’s background to date?
MH: We see ourselves as being unmatched by anyone in terms of our knowledge and expertise in that passive infrastructure element of the data centre build, and we can back that up with our experience in multiple data centre deployments around the world with enterprises, carriers and other data centre service providers. Our global footprint also means that anyone working with ADC KRONE is able to get exactly the same design and support right across the globe.
DCS: And are there any ‘missing’ areas that the company plans to address to increase its presence in the data centre market, moving forward?
MH: ADC KRONE continually invests in product development and we believe that there are gaps in the market that can be filled to give data centre owners a better return on their active equipment investment and to help them with efficient management of their passive infrastructure. Look for ADC KRONE to introduce new solutions over the coming year that will address our customer’s most pressing needs in their data centres and across their entire networks.
DCS: Please could you provide a brief overview of the company’s business strategy/objectives moving forward?
MH: We believe that there will be a gradual migration of the physical infrastructure away from copper and towards fibre – our strategy is to help our customers manage this migration effectively. And, in the process, maintain our leadership in the passive infrastructure space.
DCS: Specifically, how can ADC KRONE help to address key customer pain points/ hop topics, such as Virtualisation, The Cloud, Convergence, Data Management, Tiering/Lifecycle management and energy efficiency?
MH: Convergence places greater data demands on the network and we feel that we can help customers through the cabling and infrastructure technology that we provide to support higher and higher bandwidth, as well as through intelligent design of the passive infrastructure.
Similarly, in terms of energy efficiency, careful deployment and design of the physical infrastructure can have a positive impact, particularly through consideration of how airflow is managed around the data centre.
For market developments such as virtualisation, the cloud, data management and tiering/lifecycle – our products are essentially neutral in regards to these applications. All these generally drive or are driven by the growth in data transmission and ADC KRONE’s philosophy is to design products that are capable of managing the anticipated increase in data transmission demands well into the future. A customer can expect that all our products installed today to outlast all the other active equipment installed at the same time in the data centre.
DCS: Is ADC KRONE ‘just’ a cabling company, or is it evolving into other technology areas that are key to the data centre?
MH: We obviously don’t like the term ‘just a cabling company’ as this can lead to the kind of thinking and risks that we are warning against in terms of the potential neglect of a critical element of the data centre build. A data centre owner needs to plan for a data centre’s cabling infrastructure to last for ten years or more and support several generations of changes in active technology. There is, therefore, a lot of investment dependent on cabling infrastructure - so it needs to be done intelligently.
DCS: The acquisition ‘season’ seems to be firmly upon us, can we expect to see ADC KRONE making any acquisitions – or will growth be organic from now on?
MH: At the time of writing, ADC itself is the subject of a planned acquisition by Tyco Electronics and, after the expected close in late 2010, we believe the combined strength of the two companies will enhance what we have to offer into the global data centre market.
DCS: Geographically, has ADC KRONE any plans for expansion, or is its reach all that could be hoped for?
MH: ADC KRONE already has significant global reach and much of our focus is on growing market share in fast growing geographies, as evidenced by our acquisition of Century Man Communication in China in 2007.
DCS: Similarly, is ADC competing, and succeeding, in all the significant industry sectors, or are there areas that can be grown?
MH: We do compete across all sectors as our products are neutral to the verticals involved. There’s always room for growth, but ADC KRONE’s reach is broad across industry segments.
DCS: Can you provide details of the various alliances ADC KRONE has right now – and what each of these bring to the data centre market?
MH: ADC KRONE is a Cisco technology partner for 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper technology, which provides customers with a level of assurance with regards to interoperability between our products and Cisco products in the data centre.
We also have a relationship with APC, which allows us to develop solutions for both the cabling infrastructure and the mounting hardware that work in synergy with each other to deliver, what we refer to as, ‘managed density’ solutions.
DCS: Could you provide brief details of a couple of recent customer successes that illustrate how ADC KRONE is helping end users in the ‘real’ world?!
MH: ADC KRONE recently assisted in the roll out of a data centre for a leading car manufacturer- specifically for their Formula 1 team activities. Due to FIA regulations Formula 1 teams are now no longer allowed to have unlimited practice laps to fine tune their race cars. Consequently they now have to rely heavily on simulation to achieve a competitive edge. This simulation involves the storage and movement of significant amounts of data. ADC KRONE connectivity ensures that this data flows at the speed they need.
ADC Krone Infrastructure at Heathrow Terminal 5: “Enough optical fibre to go right round the equator, 4,000 kilometres of copper data cabling, 4,000 patch panels and 55,000 outlets spread over a site the size of more than 280 football pitches; Heathrow Terminal 5 is one of the largest airport building projects of our time – doubling the size and capacity of Heathrow and due to make it the world’s busiest airport by 2011. ADC KRONE’s total networking solution, based on its TrueNet® structured cabling system, combines copper and fibre connectivity with best of breed cable management products. It facilitates a range of data and voice applications, covering everything from supplying the data for passenger information displays, check-in desk computer systems and baggage handling security, through to point-of-sale units at the terminal’s planned extensive retail and hospitality outlets.
DCS: What cabling developments should end users be looking out for right now – ie OM4 etc.?
MH: The OM4 standard is indeed an important development, in addition to OS2 specified fibre, single mode fibre, reduced bend radius fibre is coming into the market as well and also, generally, end users should be looking for higher density managed solutions, but we would strongly recommend that those solutions are manageable in a real life environment..
DCS: And do you think end users have sufficient understanding of cabling in terms of what the various types (copper, single mode and multimode fibre etc.) can do?
MH: No, as I’ve already mentioned, cabling doesn’t always get the attention it should do as a critical part of the infrastructure. As such, this is where ADC KRONE brings value to the customer in being able to offer advice on this aspect of the data centre build.
Because we have such a broad portfolio of solutions across copper, fibre, shielded and unshielded, we have no vested interest in any one product line in particular, so we’re able to give customers good, strong, independent, technology advice on the passive infrastructure.
DCS: Similarly, is the subject of cable management well understood, or do you still come across a depressing amount of bad installations?!
MH: Yes, absolutely we do. Bad practice is often driven by the premium that’s put on space in the data centre – where the trend has been to pack more and more connections, into a smaller and smaller space, which has really raised the profile of managed density – something that we as a company have put a lot of design and research effort into. Put simply, this is a design and installation approach where doesn’t just deliver density for density’s sake, but implements solutions that manage that density in such a way that, delivers the optimum balance between density and the ability to efficiently manage the inevitable moves, adds and changes once the data centre is up and running..
DCS: What does convergence mean for the cabling industry?
MH: Basically, more and more data is being sent across networks converging at high speed over individual cabling links. In the past there would have been less data spread across independent systems and media This does increase the risks of bottlenecks if the cabling infrastructure is not designed properly from the outset, putting the emphasis on standards compliant products, capable of handling large amounts of data. It’s important we get involved with customers at the early stage of a project to help them avoid putting bottle necks in their infrastructure at the initial design stage that will affect efficiency for the life of the data centre.
DCS: And what does convergence mean for end users?
MH: Having a single network will lead to ease of maintenance and operation, improve interoperability and increase cost efficiency, which is why everyone is going for it. But, as a downside, it really means that end users need to put more time and investment upfront in terms of considering the needs for the passive infrastructure so that it will actually last and be capable of managing those converged requirements long into the future.ShareThis
|Related White Papers|
|Read more News »|
|Related DCS TV|
|Related Web Exclusives|
|Related Magazine Articles|
|White Paper Downloads|
Keep up to date with the latest industry products, services and technologies from the world's leading IT companies.