Friday 18 December 2009

High performance comms

Network cabling system provides high-performance communications at new data centre

An advanced network cabling system from the AMP NETCONNECT forms the heart of the internal communications system at a new data centre for Fidessa group plc, a major international supplier of financial markets trading solutions.

The system, designed and installed by Maxima, an approved Amp Netconnect partner, includes both Category 6 UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper and OM3 multimode 50/125 fibre-optic cabling, and is housed in a new purpose-built facility known as Sentrum IV on the outskirts of Woking, Surrey (GB).

Fidessa is a leading supplier of multi-asset trading, portfolio analysis, decision support, compliance, market data and connectivity solutions for firms involved in trading the world’s financial markets. Headquartered in London and with regional operations across Europe, North
America, Asia and the Middle East, Fidessa supports over 24,000 users across 730 clients, serving a broad spectrum of customers from major investment banks and asset managers through to specialist niche brokers and hedge funds.

The nature of the company’s business means that its data-centre capabilities and the associated communications infrastructure are of vital importance, and the Sentrum IV facility is the latest and most advanced of these centres. In selecting the main contractor for the new centre, it was natural that Fidessa should turn to Maxima, who have worked with Fidessa over a number of years – most recently on the company’s GS2 data centre in London.

“The Maxima team has detailed knowledge of our requirements and the design and installation practices that we expect from our suppliers”, comments Mark Brewer, Production Services Manager at Fidessa: “Not only do they ensure that project installations always run smoothly: they are also willing and able to offer innovative solutions that relate specifically to the needs of our industry.”

One of the specific requirements for the Sentrum IV data centre relates to the fact that Fidessa will use it as a showcase facility for existing and potential clients. This meant that the ‘public’ areas needed to be as clean and tidy as possible, with any cabling hidden away beneath floors or in purpose-designed cabinets. Maxima designed the sub-floor cable support system to ensure that cable capacity was not compromised.

The installation proposed and implemented by Maxima includes a total of 125 APC server, communications and switch cabinets incorporating 250 intelligent power units, along with sixteen AMP NETCONNECT cross-connect central patch frames. The fully ISO/IEC 11801 compliant Category 6 copper and OM3 fibre cabling system includes over 9500 Category 6 AMP SL connections and over 6300 OM3 LC AMP connections.

The system carries Tyco Electronics’ 25-year warranty, which will allow Fidessa to accommodate the growing bandwidth needs of IP convergence, reduce expenses associated with download, upload and backup time, and reduce costs associated with future upgrades.

An important feature of the installation is the use of the recently introduced AMP NETCONNECT Hi-D (high-density) network cabling system to provide a centralised high-density cross-connect patching system. The Hi-D network cabling system is positioned at the heart of the data-centre facility to allow for all the server, communications and switch cabinets to connect with the copper and fibre cabling through a centrally located cross-connect facility.

The Class E/Category 6 UTP copper cabling system uses low-smoke zero-halogen sheathing, along with 24-port Hi-D angled patch panels with SL jacks to provide full RJ45 connectivity. To provide a degree of resilience, copper cabling is routed from each panel in groups of 12 cables and follows diverse cable routes. The copper cabling is housed in a containment system under a
false floor. The use of pre-manufactured Tyco Electronics harness assemblies between the network switch cabinets and the Hi-D angled patch panels is an important factor in ensuring warranty compliance.

The OM3 fibre cabling system also uses low-smoke zero-halogen sheathing, and takes the form of individual 12- or 24-core cables linking 24- or 12-way duplex panels. As with the copper cabling, the fibre cables are diversely routed between cabinets.

Commenting on the successful completion of the Fidessa project, Barry Silverman, Maxima’s Cabling Business Unit Manager within Support & Enablement Services, said: “At Maxima, we pride ourselves on being an approved, experienced and responsive network integrator, and we are always seeking to achieve the most resilient and cost-effective solutions for our clients. By partnering with the AMP NETCONNECT business unit of Tyco Electronics, we have been able to offer Fidessa the optimum combination of a high-quality infrastructure backed by Tyco Electronics’ powerful warranty and our own high level of support.”

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