Copper is still playing an important role in nowadays data centers, however, data center evolution is moving faster than in the past years, and lane speed quickly increasing in the large data center. there are lots of articles with the main topic of comparison between copper and fiber, thus there are lots of obstacles to copper wire. so will you still use copper for your next-generation data center?
Normally Copper is used as UTP/STP cable or DAC cable (Direct Attache Cable) inside racks in the data center. compared with fiber, it is cost-efficient for links up to 50Gbps. However, there are still some points that need to consider when selecting media in the data center.
1. Power consumption
Takes lower power consumption 10G RJ45 copper transceiver as an example, the power consumption is about 1.6 ~ 2W, standard 10G copper transceiver power consumption may reach 2.5W. while multimode 10G fiber transceiver with power consumption is less than 1W.
2. Signal loss over distance.
People are now easy understanding, that the longer distance the copper wire used the higher loss it is, this affects the transmission distance of copper transceivers as well as the copper-based DAC (both active DAC and passive DAC).
3. Fixed lengths of DAC.
A Direct Attach Copper cable or a DAC cable is a Twinax copper cable that connects directly the ports (or line cards) within active equipment, such as switches, routers, servers, or data storage devices, in a data network, it is inexpensive, but the fixed lengths makes it is not as flexible as fiber optic transceivers, but still can decrease CAPEX inside racks.
Based on the above points, will you still choose copper inside the data center?