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High-Density Cabling Design Solutions

As network density and bandwidth requirements increase, the need to pack more network connections into a smaller space is becoming greater. Numerous different space types have the need to maximize available space for cable plant. These different space types include:

  • Data Centers

  • Airports/Transit

  • Operations Centers

  • Healthcare

  • Hospitality

  • and Others

High density cabling solutions take many forms. From ever-increasing strand counts in fiber optic cables to patch panels with extremely high numbers of terminations, these types of solutions are highly functional, and provide organizations with maximum space utilization.

High Density Fiber Solutions

Traditional fiber solutions packed a maximum of 144 LC or SC terminations into a 4RU footprint. Those days are long gone. Manufacturers are packing upwards of 288 or even 572 strands into that same 4RU footprint using slim cassettes and high-density connectors, such as MPO or MTP connectors. These types of connectors house up to 12-strands per connector, which is then broken out within a termination cassette to 12 individual LC connectors.

High density fiber solutions also incorporate ribbonized fiber optic cabling. Ribbon fiber optic cables pack a tremendous strand count into a relatively small cable diameter. These high-density fiber cables are great for data center applications where space is at a premium, and inter-rack connectivity is required across hundreds or thousands of racks .

High Density Rack and Cabinet Solutions

Modern IT racks and cabinets come with all types of features to support high-density cable solutions. These features include:

  • Zero-U vertical cable management solutions

  • Front and rear rail mounting solutions

  • Vertical rail mounting solutions for patch panels

  • Increased depth to support cable terminations on both sides of the rack/cabinet

Additionally, as port densities increase, so does the need for cooling and power within the IT environment. Rack and cabinet solutions incorporate features to increase airflow, maintain separation between cold supply air and hot exhaust air, and provide adequate power distribution to all equipment within the rack/cabinet.

High Density Cable Pathway Solutions

The last piece to look at when dealing with high-density cabling environments are the cable pathways. These include:

  • Ladder Tray

  • Basket Tray

  • Fiber Runner

  • J-Hooks

  • Innerduct

When designing and installing pathways for high density solutions, it is critical to plan out the initial Day 1 requirement, but to also plan for the future growth and capacity needs. Typically, this is done by oversizing your pathways to support 25% more cable plant than initially installing.


Planning for a high density cable plant solution is no easy task. Sizing the infrastructure, mapping the ports, and ensuring EIA/TIA and BICSI installation standards are adhered to present formidable challenges to any installer. As a BICSI RCDD and state-licensed Professional Engineer (PE), I take great pride in the cable plant solutions that LVSI offers to our clients. From inside plant cabling to outside plant cabling, data centers to hospitals, LVSI is an expert in the field of cable plant design, installation, and maintenance. Contact us today about your next cable plant project.

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