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Minneapolis Data Center Explains Cross Connect for Business Operations Wednesday, July 10th, 5:00 PM
Importance of Cross Connect For Business Operations Explained by Minneapolis Data Center Provider

Minneapolis, United States - July 10, 2024 / Vaultas - Minneapolis Data Center /

Minneapolis Data Center

Importance of Cross Connect For Business Operations Explained by Minneapolis Data Center Provider

What is a cross connect in a data center? Simply put, cross connect refers to the physical, direct cable connections between different devices, networks or services within a data center. 

An example of this is connecting a cable from a server to a network provider’s switch, enabling the server direct access to the internet and other data network services. Or connecting the server to a backup storage provider. These all require a network connection from one point to another point.

Although cross connect involves the simple act of connecting two pieces of equipment together with a cable, the value of these in a business’s infrastructure should never be underestimated. 

As John Unger, President of Vaultas, states, “Cross connects serve as the backbone of efficient data center operations, enabling rapid and secure data exchanges that are absolutely essential for the needs of modern, evolving businesses’ applications and solutions.”

As the need for data centers continues to grow, so does the cross connect market. Valued at $2.5 billion in 2021, this market is expected to be worth over $7 billion by 2031.

Moreover, businesses need to understand how strategic, well-planned cross connections can impact business operations. In this article, we’ll explain what cross connects are and why the proper implementation and management of these connections is vital to an organization’s operations.

What is a Cross Connect?

A cross connect is a cabling method used in data centers to create direct, physical connections between two separate hardware entities. It enables the formation of a private network among selected connected assets, such as a colocation rack and a cloud on-ramp, or between multiple servers or data equipment cabinets. 

A key component of cross connections is that components, networks, and services can be easily connected without requiring internet access. 

Bypassing an internet connection for business operations can mitigate problems. By eliminating the use of a public internet connection, you reduce security risks. You also reduce congestion issues, preventing low-latency. Direct connection enables a more manageable transmission of data. 

What Are Cross Connects Used For?

They can be used to connect any two pieces of hardware together in a data center. However, some common reasons for leveraging these connection strategies are:

  • Enabling direct connection to service providers, security, storage, backup, or applications 
  • Enabling direct connections to one or more network providers
  • Enabling direct connections to one or more local customers 
  • Enabling direct connection to a backup solution or provider in another data center
  • Creating a consolidation point
  • Private cloud Integration
  • Disaster recovery
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
  • High-frequency trading
  • Big data analytics
  • Telecommunications
  • Hybrid cloud deployments

9 Impacts of Cross Connections on Business Operations

How cross connections are set up and managed in a data center directly impacts a businesses operations. The table below lists different areas of an organization that are affected by the quality of their IT infrastructure’s strategic connections.

Business Aspect Impact of Data Center Cross Connections 
Security Direct connections bypass the public internet, thereby reducing data breach risks.
System Reliability Attain stable, consistent network performance with direct connections. 
Reduced Latency Faster communication for real-time applications through the use of fewer network hops and ability to manage the traffic.
Bandwidth Supports large-scale data transfers with higher bandwidth options, from 1MB to 400GB.
Cost Efficiency Saves on network costs by directly connecting 
Scalability Allows for easy network growth with minimal downtime.
Flexibility Quickly change or add a network or service provider.
Troubleshooting Easier identification of issues and resolutions with direct connections.
Disaster Recovery Enables redundant connections for business continuity.
Quality of Service Control of end-to-end network, traffic management, and quality of service for maintaining a high-quality network.
Pro-tip: “The type of cross connect used depends on the complexity of a system. A business with a highly demanding, complex IT infrastructure could have multiple (3 to 10) – cross connects in their set-up. 
“However, having too many of them, or an inefficient set-up can negatively impact a systems overall performance while driving up data center costs.
“It’s crucial to consult with IT center experts to create a solution that’s as efficient, cost-effective and reliable as possible.”-John Unger, President of Vaultas

Examples of Cross Connect Cables

There’s a wide variety of cross connect cables available, each with unique characteristics in terms of size, bandwidth, distance capacity, and the quality of connection. Here’s a rundown of the most frequently used types:

  • Single-Mode Fiber (SMF) is a type of fiber optic cable that carries data along a single light path.
  • Multi-Mode Fiber (MMF) utilizes LEDs to send data across several light paths.
  • CAT5 Ethernet is a network cable that delivers 100/10 Mbps of bandwidth. Its enhanced variant, CAT5e, provides up to 1Gbps of bandwidth and improved resistance to signal interference.
  • CAT6 Ethernet is the advanced successor to the CAT5, offering bandwidth up to 10 Gbps over distances up to 164 feet, beyond which it delivers the same 1 Gbps as CAT5e. The CAT6a, or Augmented CAT6, extends this higher bandwidth capacity to 328 feet.
  • COAX is a cost-effective and sturdy option for transmitting electrical signals via insulated copper wiring.
  • Copper cables are robust and economical with a lower bandwidth offering.
  • Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) uses copper loops to convey analog signals and, while its bandwidth and capabilities are modest, it is known for its dependability.

Benefits of Well-Managed Cross Connects

Well-managed cross connects are more than just physical cables within a data center; they’re a critical component of a business’s network strategy. Effective management of these connections can unlock their full potential, ensuring optimal performance and business continuity.

Optimized Network Performance

Good management ensures that cross connects are not only functioning but are also configured to deliver the best possible network performance. It can reduce system outages and avoid businesses losing $5,600 per minute – the average cost of downtime in the IT industry.

Regular audits and updates can prevent bottlenecks, allowing for smoother data flows and improved response times.

Cost and Resource Efficiency

Proper oversight of cross connects leads to more efficient use of resources, reducing unnecessary expenditure. By carefully mapping and managing connections, businesses can avoid redundant infrastructure and minimize the need for extensive cable runs.

Enhanced Business Agility

Well-managed cross connects provide the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs quickly. Whether scaling up operations or integrating new technologies, efficiently managed cross connects can significantly reduce transition times.

John Unger, President of Vaultas, highlights the importance of well structured and managed cross connections, “Work with a data center that know how to structure and implement cross connections so you get the most from your infrastructure – a benefit you pass on to your customers in the form of reliable, available, and consistent experiences.


Make Every Cross Connect Count with Vaultas - Data Center Services in Minneapolis

To get the most from your data center, partner with Vaultas. With over 40 years of data center experience, we help organizations build data solutions that ensure system excellence and a competitive advantage.

We’ll help you plan and implement cross connections tailored to your business and cater to your goals, customers needs, and your budget.

Get started today. Contact Vaultas.

Contact Information:

Vaultas - Minneapolis Data Center

511 11th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN MN 55415
United States

Vaultas Data Center
(888) 372-8388

Original Source: https://vaultas.com/cross-connect-in-data-center/

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