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Global data centre cabling market overviewJanuary 2015

Data Infrastructure Speeds: Current 2014 vs Expected 2016

A recent BSRIA survey shows that the uptake of Top of Rack (ToR) is significantly higher in colocation data centres than in enterprise data centres.
- 61% of the colocation data centres have opted for ToR compared to 42% of the enterprise data centres.

Around 19% of the global market for structured cabling is installed in data centres with the remaining 81% being deployed in LAN applications. The structured cabling installed in data centres, based on BSRIA’s yearly research, is estimated at $1.2 billion in 2014. The data centre segment is expected to continue its increase with huge demand for back-up data, video storage, peer-to-peer file sharing, cloud computing and the uptake of the Internet of Things (IoT) with numerous devices being connected in future.

BSRIA’s new Global Data Centre report covers 5 countries (US, UK, Germany, China and Brazil), which combined account for approximately 68% of worldwide DC cabling.

Data centre architecture (enterprise data centres). Question: What percentage of all your servers are connected to Top-of-Rack, End of Row, Middle of Row and centralized switching?

The report is published in two parts:

  1. Data Centre Definitions and Trends
  2. End-user survey (103 enterprise data centre and 50 colocation data centres)

The increasing use of higher speed and the media used is one of the topics covered in the end-user survey.

The study highlighted quite significant levels of 1G and 10G both in switch-to-switch and switch-to-server links and expected progression to 40G and 100G planned for 2016.

The uptake of ToR is higher for the colocation segment at 61% than for the enterprise segment, with 42% opting for ToR. A third of the enterprise data centres use centralised switching.

The use of point to point links in data centres versus Structured cabling – 10G links, Installed

The end-users were asked about their use of media for future 10G links. The usage of non-structured cabling P-P link was significant higher for the colocation segment, which also has a higher usage of ToR architecture.

Of the end users who were planning to upgrade to 10G links, 33% of enterprise data centre end-users were planning to do so in 2014. Among the colocation data centres, this percentage was much higher, 67% of end-users had plans for a 10G upgrade in 2014.

The main reasons for the use of Point-to- Point links have remained largely unchanged from 2011. They are:

Copper and fibre replacement rates. Question: How often do you replace your copper and fibre cable & connectivity?
  • The ability to reduce the amount of cabling used
  • Higher density port count
  • The ability of SFP+ for fibre
  • Cisco’s recommendations
  • Ability to use cheaper cable than structured category cable

The typical replacement rates are very similar for copper and fibre cable and connectivity. Around a quarter replace the cabling every 4 – 5 years and around 15% every 8 – 10 years. A significant proportion do not replace the cabling.

Outsourcing is expected to increase globally and across all sectors. The survey suggested that outsourcing is considered in 50% of Data Centres which is in line with the forecast results of the BSRIA study completed in 2011. It is expected that outsourcing will grow further by up to 60% by the end of 2016.

For more information or to buy BSRIA's new Global Data Centre market report, contact Scott Taylor on or +44 (0) 1344 465642.

BICSI 2015 Winter Conference – Orlando Florida (23rd – 27th February 2015)

BSRIA will be exhibiting at the forthcoming BICSI conference/exhibition to be held in Orlando (Florida, USA). To discuss any of the details of the Global Data Centre Cabling Market or any of our other related IT market intelligence (see below), please feel free to visit us at booth 839 where a member of our sales team will be on hand to answer any of your questions.

We will also be holding a presentation on Tuesday 24th February at the Grand Cayman Meeting room in the North Tower meeting / conferencing area, agenda below:

  1. 2014 Preliminary numbers & trends
  2. Global Data Centre Study & Key Findings
  3. Convergence
  4. Planned Future Studies
  5. Q&A

Other BSRIA (WMI) IT & Cabling related Market Intelligence:

  • BIG Data and Convergence
  • Industrial Ethernet
  • Passive Optical LAN Study
  • Annual Global Structured Cabling Study

Contact Worldwide Market Intelligence

For more information contact our office:

t: +44 (0) 1344 465540


Find out more about the global WMI team