Currently, most cabling systems use interconnect design. But some people indicate the cross connect is preferred as it increases the reliability of the system. Choosing the right cabling system should be based on the needs of data center connectivity combining these two systems’ cost, security and management, as discussed below.
The cross connect design doubles the number of patch panels needed, which obviously requires more cabling and connectivity, and places more connectivity points (and therefore insertion loss) into a channel. Therefore, an interconnect design is quicker, easier and cheaper to deploy than a cross connect design and provides better transmission performance.
A cross connect cabling involves a dedicated patching area that isolates mission-critical active equipment away from the passive patch zone, thus preventing any tampering with sensitive equipment ports during routine maintenance. Therefore, the cross connect design can improve reliability as it reduces misoperations and ensures fast fault recovery.
Compared to interconnect systems, the cross connect design offers prominent advantages in management. In a cross connect system, the cables connected to switches and servers can be fixed and regarded as permanent connections. When moves, additions, and replacements are required, maintenance personnel only need to change the jumpers between patch panels, whereas it is inevitable to plug and remove the cables of the switch and server ports in interconnect systems. However, even though the interconnect system does not have a dedicated patching area to simplify management, it requires less rack space, which may be favored by communication rooms with limited space.
Cross connect design doubles patch panels and requires more cabling and connectivity than interconnect design, resulting in more rack space and significantly higher costs, but it simplifies management and improves reliability for data centers. Organizations can choose the right cabling system based on their actual situation and needs.