R&M sets up intelligent cabling at Société Arabe Internationale
SAIB’s datacentre cabling is capable of supporting 10Gbps over Cat6a Copper and 10Gbps over OM4 Fiber Optic along with 40Gbps over OM4 Fiber Cabling.

R&M sets up intelligent cabling at Société Arabe Internationale

Société Arabe Internationale de Banque in Cairo, Egypt has built its new datacentre using HD patch panels, raceway systems, and pre-terminated copper and fiber cabling solutions from R&M. The investment is future-proofed to be Automated Infrastructure Management ready and in its next phase will involve the integration of the R&MinteliPhy system for full visibility and manageability.

SAIB was established in 1976 and in addition to providing all manner of banking and financial services provides products & services that are in compliance with the provisions of Islamic law through its Islamic branch. The Bank was keen to develop a new datacentre and its initial requirements called for eight server racks, six network racks, and four security racks along with six more racks left for future use.

When R&M began its discussions with the Bank, it became clear that along with providing the physical infrastructure solutions, R&M would also have to add value through the R&M Network Advisory Service.

A total of forty R&M HD Panels were housed in the racks to provide the needed copper and fiber optic connectivity with full AIM retrofit-ability at later stages. As per R&M’s proposed design, one hundred sixty Cat6a trunk cables of various lengths were used to for connectivity between these racks.

For fibre optic connectivity, additional HD Patch Panels were used to house two hundred R&M HD MPO modules. Two hundred MTP12 OM4 Trunk Cables were also used ranging from 10 to 25 meters based on the datacentre design and rack arrangement. Additionally, FO Field OM4 connectors were used for fiber optic connectivity with external fiber optic connections.

To make sure moves, adds and changes to trunk cables between racks will be an easy job; R&M utilised its raceway system complete with bend-radius controlled fittings such as tee-joints, horizontal elbows, along with trumpet outlets for cables drops. The raceway helped match the containment design and fulfil the customer’s requirements within schedule and budget.

Equinox International, R&M’s certified partner, supported the vendor’s efforts during the site surveys, technical exchanges, and bill of quantities preparation phases. The presence of this strong certified local partner proved essential to success due to the sophistication of the project. The installation efforts were extensive but relatively direct due to the extensive surveys and preparation work done prior to the project.

SAIB’s datacentre cabling is capable of supporting 10Gbps over Cat6a Copper and 10Gbps over OM4 Fiber Optic along with 40Gbps over OM4 Fiber Cabling. The use of R&M’s pre-terminated Cat6a copper and OM4 fiber solutions, fully customisable in different lengths and with different wiring and configurations, enabled the bank to precisely match the needs of its datacentre architecture.

“Over a series of discussions, WebEx conference calls and presentations between the technical team in Dubai, and the sales and partner teams in Cairo, we carefully laid out plans for the data centre design,” said Mohamed Allam, Country Manager, R&M Egypt. “Working with the room layout and customer’s expectations regarding services and connections between the racks, we managed to propose an excellent design that incorporated best practices.”


An RFID tag on the connector is the source of information for the infrastructure management system.
An RFID tag on the connector is the source of information for the infrastructure management system.

Intelligent infrastructure management

With R&MinteliPhy network managers can manage their physical infrastructure intelligently and automatically. It combines intelligent RFID-based hardware and software to provide operations managers with end-to-end network infrastructure visibility and control. Neither special patch cords nor new patch panels are needed. Notepads are things of the past, as are hard-to-manage tablets.

With R&MinteliPhy, datacentres immediately improve the capacity utilisation, profitability and availability. IT managers gain control over all ports and more. This is because R&MinteliPhy helps with analysis and documentation, with the introduction of standardised processes and with all typical management tasks associated with passive infrastructure.

R&MinteliPhy Monitor and R&MinteliPhy Manage are the two pillars of the Automated Infrastructure Management solution from R&M.

R&MinteliPhy Monitor consists of a small number of components that can be retrofitted: RFID tags for patch cords, Sensorbars for patch panels and Analysers for the network cabinets.

R&MinteliPhy Manage is the client-server solution with a central database installed on a server in the LAN or available as a cloud-based service with numerous automating functions, routing, planning tools and extensive component libraries. That is all a company needs to manage the passive infrastructure of a datacentre or corporate network from any location.

A powerful AIM system is needed because datacentres today have no more leeway. The utilisation of resources has to be maximised. No one can allow themselves the luxury of delays, downtimes or mistakes. Change requests have to be carried out immediately and without mistakes.

Manual administration also works but has serious drawbacks. Personnel resources and time are needed to update tables or databases. The information is never current and complete. That complicates trouble-shooting and MAC processes, not to mention optimum capacity utilisation and controlled quality.

Manual data management is subject to a natural error rate of 10%. That has consequences. Up to 28% of downtime in datacentres can be traced to patching mistakes caused by insufficient documentation or a lack of process control. Over time, up to 40% of active switch ports disappear because of documentation errors. This is inefficient use of capital investments.

By contrast, an AIM system delivers a full overview about the status and configuration of the network and does so in real time at one central location. AIM replaces manual activities with standardised processes. The payback period for an investment in an AIM system is typically less than a year. In other words, it is worthwhile to invest in AIM.

An RFID tag on the connector knows all there is to know about the cable. It is the source of information for the infrastructure management system. The retrofit table clip with the tag fits all R&M copper and fiber optic patch cords.

A Sensorbar contactlessly reads the information contained on the RFID tags. It can be mounted on all R&M HD patch panels. The Sensorbar records connectors and connections. LEDs signal the operating state and show where patching is needed.

The Analyser links Sensorbars with the Server. It monitors one or more cabinets, reading information from the Sensorbars via a bus cable and delivering the data to the server.

With R&MinteliPhy, datacentres optimise their management and their infrastructure processes. The system records and monitors the network configuration centrally and in real time. It ensures complete monitoring of every port. Better use is made of resources as a result because the system knows which ports are free and which racks still have space available.

The administrator is immediately alerted about unsolicited changes to the infrastructure. Repairs are faster and the availability of the datacentre increases. Network drawings, cabinet layouts, labels or connection plans can be created error-free with a few mouse clicks. The result: greater transparency, more efficient management of quality and risks, improved compliance, successful audits.

R&MinteliPhy brings advances for IT managers. The system is capable of centrally managing large networks extending over many buildings and can handle connections between different sites. No one has to be on site to monitor a LAN or document patching changes. Change procedures can be standardised and automated. Optimum cable routes and link lengths can be computed in combination with geographical information systems, site and floor plans. Tree diagrams and network maps facilitate the overview of complex networks.

From its central position in the LAN or deployed as service in the cloud the R&MinteliPhy Manage Server monitors the entire infrastructure in real time. It offers a large selection of management and automation tools and interfaces to other systems. Any web browser or smartphone suffices for monitoring and management. The graphical user interface features intuitive operation and provides access to all functions.

Network planners appreciate the abundance of functions, visualisation tools and component libraries that come with R&MinteliPhy Manage. The client server solution supports automatic routing, risk analysis and emergency assistance. The planning of new installations is finished in no time. Templates for network components help with these tasks.

The system creates work orders in logical sequence, complete with bills of materials, and sends them by e-mail to installation crews or to their smart phones. LEDs on the Sensorbars show which cables have to be connected to which ports. Work order execution is constantly monitored so the IT manager is aware of the current status at any time.

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