Buyer Beware: The Savings from Low-Cost Generic Fiber Assemblies are Not Worth the Risk

A Closer Look at Plug and Play MPO/MTP Assemblies

Maybe you’re one of the data center managers that tries to save a little with cheaper fiber assemblies from generic assembly houses. But do you really know if these assemblies are viable for your high speed fiber links?

When it comes to plug and play multi-fiber MPO/MTP cable assemblies used in data center backbone 40 and 100 gigabit fiber links that handle larger sets of complex data from multiple sources, performance is more critical than ever—especially considering the more stringent channel loss requirements of these next generation speeds.

Siemon Labs recently completed comprehensive testing on the performance of plug and play MPO/MTP assemblies, and we can absolutely tell you that not all MPO/MTP assemblies are created equal.

We tested random samples of MPO/MTP and MPO/MTP-to-LC assemblies acquired via standard distribution from four different low-cost assembly houses and from Siemon to TIA and IEC standards for end face geometry, cleanliness, optical performance and mechanical reliability. Each assembly was also tested to Siemon’s specifications which are more stringent to ensure superior performance and application assurance. What did we find?

As detailed in the white paper “A Closer Look at Plug and Play MPO/MTP Assemblies,” the majority of the generic assemblies failed to meet minimum standards requirements across the range of performance-critical parameters. Siemon was the ONLY manufacturer to pass ALL the parameters for ALL tests. In fact, three of the four assembly houses had assemblies that didn’t even offer an insertion loss performance that would allow for the use of a cross connect in a 40 or 100 gigabit channel. And all samples from one of the assembly houses completely failed cable flex mechanical reliability testing with the cable jacket completely pulling out of the rear of the crimp sleeve!

Is this the kind of quality and performance you want to rely on for your high speed data links? Probably not.

Thankfully, Siemon plug and play fiber assemblies are manufactured using the highest quality materials and via rigorous process control over end face geometry, cleanliness and mechanical reliability to ensure superior optical performance. In other words, your high speed fiber transmission can rely on our assemblies.

Posted in High-Speed Applications - 10/40/100 Gig | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Siemon Develops Valuable Planning Guide for Highly Automated Intelligent Buildings

July 5, 2016. Watertown, CT — Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, today announced the release of a new Zone Cabling and Coverage Area Planning Guide developed to assist infrastructure designers and architects ensure flexible zone cabling designs that provide significant benefits within intelligent buildings.

By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be 26 times as many connected devices and connected people! The growing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) will be optimally supported by a cabling design where low-voltage building, network and security systems are converged on a single IP network infrastructure and powered by advanced power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. Ideally suited for these converged infrastructures, zone cabling consists of horizontal cables run from telecommunications rooms to intermediate connection points housed in zone enclosures typically placed in the ceiling space. Cables from zone unit enclosures connect directly to building devices such as sensors, wireless access points, cameras and digital signage or to outlets serving any such device. Combining these connections within zone enclosures supports rapid, less disruptive changes and reorganization of work areas while simplifying deployment of new devices and applications.

“Deploying a zone cabling approach that facilitates building device connections within zone enclosures saves significant cost for automated buildings where a variety of low-voltage systems are converging on a single unified physical infrastructure,” says Valerie Maguire, global sales engineer for Siemon. “It’s important for those designing these converged infrastructures to realize the benefits of this highly economical and functional standards-based design and to understand how best to deploy it.”

Siemon’s new Zone Cabling and Coverage Area Planning Guide explains the various patterns that designers and architects can use for effective arrangements of coverage areas and their associated zone enclosures. The guide also highlights best practices for optimizing device density, scalability, and flexibility, and it covers considerations for selecting cable media and complying with industry standards.

As designers and architects strive to leverage IoT and deploy a converged cabling approach that allows connected systems to collect and analyze data for new levels of building intelligence, Siemon’s Zone Cabling and Coverage Area Planning Guide will serve as a critical reference to ensuring that cabling infrastructures are optimized to support these new trends in building design.

Learn more about cabling for intelligent buildings and access the new guide from the whitepaper section at:

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Upcoming Webcast on the Cisco® Digital Ceiling

Siemon is pleased to announce a new webcast on the Cisco® Digital Ceiling and the advantages of smarter, connected buildings. Presented by experts from Cisco and Digital Ceiling Partners Siemon and Philips Lighting, this webcast is being broadcast by Cabling Installation & Maintenance on June 2, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way of life as we know it, and the revolution is happening right above our heads. Low-voltage building system devices and LED lighting with advanced, embedded sensors are now converging on a single IP network and being powered by advanced power over Ethernet (PoE) technologies. Now, these trends are reshaping buildings and workspaces as the Cisco Digital Ceiling becomes the next frontier in the IoT that allows connected systems to collect and analyze data, enabling new levels of building intelligence.

Through three informative presentations, this hour-long webcast will cover the ins and outs of the Cisco Digital Ceiling and how it comes together with PoE LED lighting and a unified network infrastructure to drive new experiences and better business outcomes for maximum profitability. Presentations and speakers for this webcast include:

  • Cisco Digital Ceiling: Creating New Workplace Experiences, presented by Luis Suau, Solutions Architect and Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco’s Internet of Everything Vertical Solutions Group.
  • Connected PoE LED: Value Beyond Illumination, presented by Keith Moreman, Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Philips Lighting US
  • Intelligent Building Infrastructure: Connecting the Digital Ceiling, presented by Bob Allan, Global Business Development Manager for Intelligent Buildings and Strategic Alliances at Siemon

In addition to arming the industry with the information they need to understand the benefits and best practices of a Cisco Digital Ceiling deployment, this webcast will also provide a Q&A portion for participants to interact with each of the presenters.  Register for the June 2nd webinar, The Cisco Digital Ceiling: The Advantage of Smarter, Connected Building, at

For more information, visit

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Common Cable Construction

Data has become the most valuable corporate asset. How to effectively transmit, store, access, protect and manage critical data is a challenge Siemon has conquered. For more than 112 years, we’ve remained focused on quality, service, innovation and value; providing our customers a connection they can count on.

Ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Gbps, Siemon has the copper and fiber solutions to support all of today’s standard-based application speeds. Our broad range of cable jacket types and construction support installation in a wide variety of environments, including high flex cycling of robotics to noisy EMI of high voltage motors.

Before implementing, it is important to understand the most common cable construction types and their applications. Siemon’s preferred cable terminology is outlined below and is based on IEC 61156-5: Multicore and symmetrical pair/quad cables for digital communications.

The standard abbreviations are as follows:

U = Unshielded

F = Foil shielded

S = Braided shield

TP = Twisted pair

U/UTP: Often referred to as simply UTP cable, this is the most common unshielded balanced twisted-pair cable. UTP cable constructions feature unshielded twisted-pairs enclosed within an overall thermoplastic jacket.

F/UTP: F/UTP cable constructions feature unshielded balanced twisted-pairs surrounded by an overall conductive mylar-backed aluminum foil shield and enclosed within an overall thermoplastic jacket. The foil shield protects the cable from external EMI and alien crosstalk. Thecategory 6A/Class E variety of this cable type is commonly used in 10GBASE-T applications requiring additional headroom.

U/FTP: Category 6A/Class EA versions of this cable are commonly used in 10GBASE-T applications. This cable is constructed with no overall shielding or braiding, but each twisted-pair is foil screened.

S/FTP: This cabling type used primariy for category 7A/Class FA features individually foil-shielded twisted-pairs surrounded by an overall braid and enclosed within an overall thermoplastic jacket. Commonly used throughout much of Europe, this type of cable construction is the highest performing cable that significantly limits the amount of crosstalk between pairs and offers the greatest protection against EMI and external noise sources.  Due to the pair-to-pair isolation of this cable, it lends itself well to cable sharing which is a practice of sharing one 4-pair cable to support  multiple lower speed 1 and 2-pair applications.

Posted in Instructional/Tutorials, Standards | Leave a comment

Siemon Announces WheelHouse™ Advanced Data Center Solutions

October 1, 2015. Watertown, CT — Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, today announced the launch of its new WheelHouse Advanced Data Center Solutions brand. Aligning the company’s established line of cable and connectivity systems, cabinets, cable management and power distribution with an array of new and upcoming product innovations, Siemon’s WheelHouse delivers a comprehensive range of advanced data center solutions to support any size and type of data center, from large high-performance computing environments and colocations, to small-to-mid size enterprise data centers.

WheelHouse takes advantage of innovative, value-add data center infrastructure solutions designed to speed deployment, improve scalability, enhance manageability and increase efficiency, combining them with Siemon’s comprehensive data center design services and industry-leading support to help customers optimize their data centers while lowering total cost of ownership.

Siemon’s WheelHouse Advanced Data Center Solutions portfolio includes:

  • End-to-end copper cabling systems Z-MAX® Category 6A F/UTP and TERA® Category 7A/Class high-performance twisted-pair copper cabling systems, including patch panels, patch cords, pre-terminated trunking assemblies and cable.
  • LightHouse™ Advanced Fiber Cabling Solutions LightStack™ ultra high-density plug and play system supporting up to 40/100Gb/s, LC BladePatch® jumpers with innovative push-pull latch, feature-rich fiber management solutions, and an extensive line of enclosures, field-terminated connectors, jumpers, pigtails and fusion splicing systems.
  • High speed interconnect assemblies Full line of Cisco-compatible and independently tested SFP+ QSFP+ passive and active copper and optical cable assemblies for the latest ultra high-speed point-to-point applications.
  • Comprehensive line of data center cabinetsInnovative VersaPOD® and V800 cabinets with valuable Zero-U vertical space between cabinets and at end of row for patching, power distribution and cable management, as well as robust, cost-effective V600 server cabinets and hot aisle/cold aisle containment solutions.
  • V-Built™ Preconfigured Data Center Cabinets – Customized data center cabinets preloaded with Siemon connectivity, cable assembles, PDUs, cable management and accessories, preassembled and packaged under one part number to arrive at customer site ready for active equipment.
  • Complete line of racks, cable management and accessories VersaPOD 4-post racks, vertical and horizontal cable management, end-of-row vertical patching channels, thermal blanking panels, equipment shelves and more.
  • Full line of power distribution solutions PowerMax™ and intelligent PDUs available in metered, monitored, smart, switched and managed options with environmental monitoring and DCIM capabilities.
  • Infrastructure management – Upcoming EagleEye™ software that combines automated infrastructure management (AIM) with future DCIM capabilities, including capacity planning, power and environmental monitoring, virtual machine management and more.
  • Comprehensive data center design services – 2D and 3D layouts, bills of material, thermal analysis, pathway and space planning, and expert guidance on standards compliance, topologies and architectures.

An interactive guide with information on Siemon WheelHouse Advanced Data Center Solutions, as well as links to educational resources such as infrastructure planning and design guidance, white papers and webinars are available at

Posted in Data Center Infrastructure, Data Center Space and Density, Data Center Storage, High-Speed Applications - 10/40/100 Gig | Leave a comment

Soziales Engagement für Hilfsbedürftige: Siemon unterstützt Golf Charity der INITIATIVE DO IT

Troisdorf, 24. Juli 2015Bereits zum neunten Mal fand mit der Golf Charity der INITIATIVE DO IT e.V. am 11. Juli 2015 eine der angesehenen deutschen Benefiz- Golfveranstaltungen statt. Siemon, ein international führender Anbieter von Lösungen für die IT-Netzwerk- und Rechenzentrumsinfrastruktur, beteiligte sich dieses Jahr als Sponsor des Turniers und unterstützt damit Sozialprojekte seines Distributionspartners Atlantik Systeme GmbH, dem Träger des Vereins INITIATIVE DO IT e.V..

82 Golfbegeisterte, darunter Gäste, Sponsoren und Prominente, erspielten auf der renommierten Anlage des Golfclubs Wörthsee e.V. einen Reinerlös in stattlicher Höhe von insgesamt 55.555 Euro. Über die Summe können sich krebskranke Kinder und Menschen in sozialer Notlage freuen. Der Betrag wird an Sozialprojekte der INITIATIVE DO IT e.V. und an die von der ALR Treuhand geförderten Kinderkrebsforschung am Klinikum München-Schwabing der Technischen Universität München gespendet.

Siemon arbeitet mit der Atlantik Systeme GmbH, einem Value Add Distributor für aktive Netzwerkkomponenten und Data Center Management Lösungen, seit 2014 eng zusammen und deckt mit seiner Produktpalette speziell die Infrastrukturanforderungen des deutschen Rechenzentrumsmarktes ab. Zum Portfolio der Siemon Produktlösungen bei Atlantik gehören unter anderem hochleistungsfähige 10GbE End-to-End Kupferverkabelungslösungen, Glasfaserlösungen für 10, 40 und 100 Gbit/s Anwendungen und das komplette Sortiment an VersaPOD Portfolio an Schrank- und Racksystemen.

“Gemeinsam nicht nur wirtschaftliche Erfolge zu erzielen, sondern diese auch zu nutzen, um sich zusammen für kranke Kinder und für schwache, bedürftige und in Not geratene Menschen zu engagieren, liegt uns sehr am Herzen“, kommentiert Martin Verweij, Regional Director bei Siemon EMEA. „Wir freuen uns, dieses Jahr bei dieser namhaften Veranstaltung als Sponsor dabei gewesen zu sein. Die erzielte Spendensumme des Turniers ist ein herausragender Erfolg.“

Über die INITIATIVE DO IT e.V. kommt der Hauptteil des Reinerlöses den Projekten ‚Herrschinger Tafel’, ‚Eine bessere Basis für Schüler’, ‚Kinder in Nepal’ und ‚Förderung von Ganztagsklassen’ zugute. Damit können diese Projekte nachhaltig finanziell unterstützt werden.

Ottmar Flach, Geschäftsführer der Atlantik Systeme GmbH und Vorstandsvorsitzender der INITIATIVE DO IT e.V., sagt: „Siemon ist nicht nur ein Anbieter von Komplettlösungen für strukturierte Kupfer- und Glasfaser-Verkabelungssystemen, die einen ausgezeichneten Ruf genießen. Das Unternehmen übernimmt auch immer wieder wichtige gesellschaftliche Verantwortung. Wir sind stolz darauf, einen so starken Partner an unserer Seite zu haben und freuen uns sehr über die finanzielle Unterstützung.“


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What’s the worst thing you’ve found stuck in a network port?

Broken USB cord in airport RJ45 outlet

Broken USB phone charging cord in an airport RJ45 outlet

Anyone responsible for network infrastructure probably has stories of  questionable foreign objects stuck in their ports and outlets.  While it may be more of an issue in publicly accessible ports, it can happen wherever you might find childish mischief, malicious intent, or old-fashioned stupidity (in other words, anywhere).



Gum in a K-12 computer lab port

Gum in a grade school computer lab port

I’ve collected a few good examples in my travels, including gum in an elementary school outlet, the remnants of a USB phone charger jammed into an airport kiosk port, and my personal favorite: a half-smoked cigarette in a TR patch panel, left by a tech who obviously intended to smoke the rest of it later.

But I’d be willing to bet that my examples would be child’s play compared to what you contractors and network pros have seen over the years – and we’d love to hear about it.

Share your best “foreign object in a port” story via Twitter @siemoncabling #siemonlockit and we’ll send you a Siemon gift pack, including a few samples of our LockIT outlet lock (which, not coincidently, was designed to help keep all manner of unauthorized things out of your network ports).  Include a picture of the offense and we’ll throw in a Siemon bucket seat and a hard hat*.

LockIT Outlet Lock and locking patch cord

And, once we’ve all had a good laugh, you can check out an easy way to make sure it never happens again – with Siemon’s LockIT outlet locks.

*In US only, while supplies last.


Posted in Contractor Solutions, Network Infrastructure Security | Leave a comment

Siemon Expands MapIT® G2 Automated Infrastructure Management System with the Highest-Performing TERA® Solution

April 20, 2015. Watertown, CT — Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, is pleased to expand its MapIT® G2 Automated Infrastructure Management System with its fully shielded TERA® solution. The combination of MapIT G2 technology built into TERA patch panels and cords and the new feature-rich Siemon EagleEye™ Connect software deliver real-time tracking and management of the highest performing and most secure category 7A/class FA twisted-pair cabling system available.

The MapIT G2 TERA system includes robust intelligent patch panels that are easy to install with modules that snap in from the front or rear and include Quick-Ground technology for proper grounding of the shielded system. The panel’s angled design allows for easier cable routing directly to vertical managers. The panel displays real-time information about each patch cord connection and circuit trace locally at the backlit graphic LCD display.

Designed for superior reliability and corrosion resistance, the MapIT G2 TERA patch cords are available in both 2- and 4-pair versions and feature an accessible sensor pin at the rear of the boot for testing and mapping purposes. The 2-pair cords accommodate cable sharing where two 2-pair applications such as VoIP or 10/100BASE-T can run over a single 4-pair cable and outlet, saving cable cost and pathway space.

“Not only are we excited about our powerful EagleEye Connect software, but implementing MapIT G2 technology into the TERA system results in one of the industry’s only category 7A/class FA automated infrastructure management systems,” says Robert Carlson, Siemon’s vice president of global marketing. “There are many forward-looking end users that deploy TERA for its unparalleled performance of 1000 MHz bandwidth, its TEMPEST rating for superior security and its ability to support cost-effective cable sharing. Providing these customers with an intelligent version of TERA brings this premium fully-shielded system to a whole new level of network management, protection and reduced downtime.”

A combination of MapIT G2 smart connectivity technology and the new EagleEye software provides complete visibility and control of the physical layer. Using real-time port monitoring and tracing capability, the system identifies faults, unauthorized connections and unused ports to improve troubleshooting response time, work order processes, security and asset management. MapIT G2 TERA patch panels are extremely efficient, using up to 78% less power than competing systems scalable. They are also available in field-upgradable MapIT G2-Ready versions for a simple and cost-effective migration path to automated infrastructure management.

To learn more about the MapIT G2 TERA System, please visit:

Posted in Intelligent Infrastructure Management (IIM), New Products | Leave a comment

Siemon Improves Network Visibility, Monitoring and Management with EagleEye™ Connect Software

April 15, 2015. Watertown, CT — Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, is pleased to announce EagleEye™ Connect, an automated infrastructure management (AIM) software solution that automatically monitors and documents physical layer connections and device status for unparalleled network visualization, improved network security, better management of IT assets, reduced downtime and increased staff productivity.

As the central interface for Siemon’s MapIT® G2 Automated Infrastructure Management System, EagleEye™ Connect is a server-based software solution that collects, monitors and stores network intelligence data from innovative MapIT G2 Master Control Panels and Smart Patch Panels available in Category 6 UTP, Category 6A F/UTP and UTP, and Category 7A F/STP for copper patch panels, and in singlemode and multimode MTP-to-LC and LC-to-LC enclosures for fiber.

EagleEye Connect software includes the following user-friendly set of network management features:

  • Navigation tree showing hierarchical relationship of all network assets down to the port and device level
  • Realistic graphical views of floors with device locations and front and back views of racks with patch connections
  • Graphical end-to-end circuit traces from the switch port to the end device
  • Real-time database with auto-discovery to automatically maintain updated inventory
  • 24/7 monitoring and alerts of unauthorized connection/disconnections and movement of IT equipment and devices
  • Efficient work order management for creating, assigning, managing and tracking work orders

“With security a top concern and downtime primarily caused by IT personnel making errors when configuring changes, today’s IT leaders need nonstop monitoring of all IT assets and methods to improve accuracy and productivity,” says Tony Veatch, Siemon’s director of product management. “We have designed EagleEye™ Connect with enhanced security features that prevent loss of data and help to ensure compliance with security regulations like HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxley. That combined with the ability to speed response time and improve accuracy of moves, adds and changes significantly reduces downtime and operating expense. The software’s ability to document network assets in real time also allows our customers to maximize utilization of their switch ports and rack space for reduced capital expense.”

Included in the EagleEye™ Connect Software is a comprehensive reporting function that facilitates planning for growth or changes, including inventory and capacity reports to show available ports and rack space. Accessed remotely from anywhere via a web browser, EagleEye™ Connect can monitor, manage and protect networks across multiple facilities and sites around the world.

For more information on the Siemon’s EagleEye™ Connect Software, visit:

Posted in Intelligent Infrastructure Management (IIM), New Products | Leave a comment

Siemon 4U LightStack Optimizes High Density Data Centers

15-04-01-lightstack-4uApril 1, 2015. Watertown, CT — Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, is pleased to announce a 4U version of its LightStack™ Ultra High Density Fiber System to house to 576 LC fibers or 3456 MTP fibers in just four rack units of space while ensuring superior port access, cable management and fast, seamless migration to advanced 40 and 100 gigabit applications.

Part of Siemon’s LightHouse™ Advanced Fiber Optic Cabling Solutions, LightStack 4U is an innovative rack-mount enclosure with revolutionary horizontal cable management that handles both traditional and uni-tube jumpers and features easy-unlatch, swing-open management clips for full access to the jumpers. Swivel trunk cable tie-down points on the rear of the enclosure maintain proper bend radius, while sliding trays offer all-around better access than any other high-density fiber enclosure on the market. Modules are easily inserted or removed from either the front or rear of the enclosure, and the visually appealing easy-open magnetic door eliminates harmful pinch points and offers high-visibility drop-down labeling.

“Our 1U LightStack Ultra High Density Fiber System is extremely popular among today’s high-density data centers that require easy access and management of high density fiber connectivity with the capability to easily migrate from 10 to 40 and 100 gigabit speeds,” says Charlie Maynard, Fiber Optic Product Manager at Siemon’s global headquarters. “Our latest 4U version simplifies installation for high fiber count environments by supporting four times the density in a single enclosure while maintaining the best-in-class LightStack features that help data centers overcome current and future fiber connectivity challenges.”

The LightStack Ultra High Density Fiber System includes ultra-slim LightStack low-loss 0.35dB LC-to-MTP modules, 0.2dB MTP pass-through adapters that are fully ready to support 40 and 100 gigabit applications, and 12-fiber LC pass-through adapter plates for current 10 gigabit Ethernet or Fibre Channel SAN applications. Ideal for backbone and SAN applications, the system also includes trunk cables, including MTP trunk cables and LC-to-MTP hybrid trunk cables available in staggered lengths for connecting a variety of active equipment to interconnects or cross connects.

For more information on the LightStack Ultra High Density Fiber System,

Posted in Cable Management, Data Center Space and Density, High-Speed Applications - 10/40/100 Gig, New Products | 2 Comments