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April 2009 – Siemon has published a new white paper and video that compare the cost and performance of copper and fibre optic cabling in the data centre. The paper is authored by respected data centre infrastructure expert Carrie Higbie and, together with an accompanying video, is available for free download.

According to Siemon, the paper ‘Comparing Copper and Fibre Options in the Data Centre’ has been developed to help network professionals select future-proof and cost effective network cabling for mission-critical data center infrastructure.
Based on the well-known fact that most data centre designs encompass a mixture of both copper and fibre cabling infrastructure, this Siemon paper discusses the common options and configurations available to data centre professionals. Higbie details the merits of each solution on the basis of initial and lifecycle costs, including such subjects as power consumption and system performance. These factors are combined with application-specific needs such as channel length and system latency to provide actionable advice on data centre cabling choices.


"Power consumption for 10 Gb/s switches is currently a major factor in the cost analysis of balanced twisted-pair vs. optical fibre cabling in the data centre. With first generation 10GBASE-T chips operating at 10-17 Watts per port, lower power consumption is a goal and a challenge for 10GBASE-T PHY manufacturers. This is certainly something to watch as next generation 10Gb/s chips are expected to have much lower power demands - roughly one half of the first iterations. The same was seen in gigabit Ethernet, which from first generation chips to current technologies, saw a 94% decrease in power from 6 Watts per port to the 0.4 Watts per port figure we see today".

Download an electronic copy of Siemon's "Comparing Copper and Fibre Options in the Data Centre", including end-to end cost models for the most common Gigabit and 10Gb/s copper and fiber performance applications at


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Notes to editors:

About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon™ is an industry leader specialising in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. With global offices and partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) and fibre cabling systems available and is one of only three network cabling infrastructure companies worldwide with true global partnership capabilities. With over 400 active patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.

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