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Networks Centre is one of the UK’s leading distributors of complete end-to-end network cabling solutions and security products.  We offer an extensive range of fibre optic and copper cabling systems; with all accessories, at very competitive prices, and by world-leading brands. Call our experienced and qualified sales team, to quote on your next installation or Data Centre project. We’re available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, on +44 (0)1403 754233
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What is a data centre? The UK’s number of Data Centres has grown rapidly over the last ten years and it currently has the most Data Centre capacity of any country in Europe. In fact, by the close of 2014 there is set to be 650, 000 square metres of Data Centre floor space in the UK, according to TCL’s figures.* With such a growing industry, it is important to ascertain exactly what a Data Centre is. And potentially, why your business or your department should have one. The Oxford Dictionary defines a data centre as: A large group of networked computer servers, typically used by organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data. Indeed, a data centre is a dedicated space where companies can keep and operate most of the ICT infrastructure that supports their business. The space includes: servers and storage equipment, which run application software and process and store the data and content. What sorts of businesses need a Data Centre? The boom of data centres came during the dot-com bubble. Companies needed fast Internet connectivity and non-stop operation. Many companies started building very large facilities, called Internet data centers (IDCs), which provided businesses with a range of solutions for systems deployment and operation. Namely, to control their IT resources and systems. Data Centres have grown in size, popularity and status, with the growing importance of IT in today’s business management and processes. The size of the company will determine whether they need a simple cage rack or perhaps a room full of cabinets. What is the layout of a Data Centre? All Data Centres need cabling in order to feed power to the various cabinets and racks. Some achieve this via a raised floor, which houses the cabling ducts underneath. Others are built on solid slab, and so cabling and power cables are fed from above the racks.   The data centre environment is controlled in terms of temperature and humidity, in order to ensure performance and the operational integrity of the systems. Whilst data centres can be in-house and located in the business’ own facility, they can also be outsourced and placed on a third party site. The Telecommunications Industry Association's TIA-942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers, specifies the minimum requirements for telecommunications infrastructure of data centers and computer rooms. Telcordia GR-3160, NEBS Requirements for Telecommunications Data Center Equipment and Spaces, provides guidelines for data center spaces within telecommunications networks, and environmental requirements for the equipment intended for installation in those spaces. These criteria were developed jointly by Telcordia and industry representatives. So, are there any advantages to having a data centre? The data centre is imperative to the successful running of any modern business or enterprise. Benefits include: An extremely secure environment for servers - prepared for the eventuality of power cuts. A data centre has an enormous bank of batteries and generators that will keep the electricity flowing indefinitely whilst the outage is fixed Incredibly secure storage of important data - data centres are very difficult to break into or damage in any way Cost reduction - A consolidated environment means businesses need less hardware overall Modernity – keeping up with the times on IT security, standards, capacity and more How to build a Data Centre? In order to house a data centre it is important that special arrangements are made for the high concentration of server resources and network infrastructure involved. Therefore the following areas need to be addressed: Power capacity Cooling capacity Cabling infrastructure Temperature and humidity controls Fire and smoke systems Physical security – restricted access and surveillance systems Rack space and raised floors If the above are not addressed in a sufficient manner then major risks can become present: Server failure Undetected smoke that can lead to fire incidents Ineffective monitoring of behaviour of onsite individuals High level management staff can be in danger Ineffective employee notification systems during emergencies Equipment malfunctions in individual machine cabinets due to microenvironment conditions Network connection failures External hackers How is data centre infrastructure performance evaluated? UpTime institute created the standard Tier classification system as a way to effectively evaluate data centre infrastructure in relation to the business’ requirements. The Tier classification system provides the data centre industry with a consistent method to compare unique, customised facilities based on expected site infrastructure performance or uptime. This Tier method also enables companies to align their data centre infrastructure investment with their business goals. The different level tiers are stated below; Tier 1 – Non Redundant – Dedicated data centre infrastructure beyond office setting Tier 1 infrastructure provides an improved environment in comparison to an office setting and includes a dedicated space for IT systems. Industries such as; real estate agencies, hospitality, lawyers and accountants will benefit from this tier. Tier 2 – Basic Redundant – Power and cooling systems have redundant capacity components Tier 2 infrastructure solutions include redundant critical power and cooling components to provide an increased margin of safety against IT processes. The redundant components are typically; extra UPS modules, chillers or pumps and engine generators. This type of equipment can experience failures due to manufacturing defects, installation or operation errors. Institutional and educational organisations normally select Tier 2 because there is no meaningful tangible impact of disruption due to data centre failure. Tier 3 – Concurrently maintainable – No shutdowns for equipment replacement and maintenance. Tier 3 site infrastructure adds the capability of concurrent maintenance to Tier 2 solutions. Therefore a redundant delivery path for power and cooling is added to the redundant critical components of Tier 2. Organisations who select this Tier typically have high availability requirements for ongoing business or have noticed a significant cost of disruption due to a planned datacentre shutdown. Tier 4 – Fault Tolerant – Withstand a single, unplanned event. Tier 4 site infrastructure builds on Tier 3 adding the concept of fault tolerance to the site infrastructure topology. Organisations who select Tier 4 are those who have high availability requirements for ongoing business or that experienced a large amount of disruption from the data centre shutdown. How long do Data Centres last? Data centers currently last no more than 7 years before they are considered out of date, as per Green Computing norms. However, in practice, the average life of a data center is considered to be more like 9 years. The Google Data Centre Google has around 16 data centers throughout the world. As per the recent estimate conducted by Microsoft, Google has around 900,000 servers in all its data centers and they use around 260 million watts of power, which accounts to 0.01% of global energy. This power is enough to consistently power 200,000 homes in America. The Future of the Data Centre? Despite the UK leading the way in Europe, and in London specifically, the future of data centres are yet to change. Companies such as Google have moved their data centres to Lapland, and the likes of Microsoft and Amazon have moved theirs to Dublin. This is for cost saving purposes but also due to the cool climates found in those areas, which can only be beneficial to the heat-producing Data Centre. Further down the line, we can expect to see data centres being moved to data centre parks, where their close proximity to renewable energy sources will be favourable, due to the lower energy prices. * (itproportal.com) Networks Centre distributes a wide range of data centre products, please explore the following; Prism Cabinets A selection of PDU's Cat6a Cable Containment A typical Data Centre within networking infrastructure More
What are the benefits of the OptiFiber Pro?   If you’re looking to maintain fibre network performance, in an evolving industry with more and more complex enterprise networks and datacenter architectures e.g. 40G, 100G, choose Fluke Networks’ OptiFiber Pro OTDR.Fluke’s latest Optical Time Domain Reflectometer is made with easy-to-use features and simple usability, in order to be accessible for use by enterprise network engineers, SAN designers and cable installers. With its simple smartphone user interface and powerful feature set, the OptiFiber Pro turns anyone into and efficient and expert fibre troubleshooter.Indeed, the OptiFiber Pro is the industry’s first purpose-built OTDR, designed with specific technology in order to meet the unique challenges of an enterprise fibre infrastructure.So what are the benefits of the OptiFiber Pro?And where can you buy the OptiFiber Pro?Well the second question is easy to answer… you can buy an OptiFiber Pro from Networks Centre of course! Just call 01403 754233 and speak to an Account Manager, or to find out more or purchase online, just click here. There are many benefits to using Fluke’s OptiFiber Pro OTDR, and we have categorized most of them into 4 key areas.1.    SPEED:•    Accelerate fibre certification with trace times as short as two seconds in Quick Test mode. While in Quick Test mode, a complete set of data is acquired in as little as 2 seconds per wavelength.•    Quickly test datacenter fibre with pre-programmed settings•    The shortest event dead zone (0.5M typical for MM) and attenuation dead zone (2.2M typical for MM and 3.5M typical for SM) of any OTDR2.    EFFICIENCY:•    Maximise efficiency with a smartphone user interface that allows anyone to perform expert fibre troubleshooting and certification. The most innovative and user-friendly OTDR in the market with a capacitive touchscreen.  •    Reduce network downtime by quickly and precisely identifying faults on all fibre types•    Provides the possibility of datacenter fibre deployment and provides the highest level of accuracy, for quick problem resolution and improved network availability. The Datacenter OTDR mode automatically sets up the configuration, to quickly test datacenter fibre: end-detection algorithms, pulse widths etc, without getting confused by the short links or number of connectors•    Enhance productivity with one-button set ups and integrated reporting•    LinkWare management software allows users to project manage, produce reports, manage workflow and consolidate test results.3.    ROI:•    Increase return on investment by enabling OTDR project sharing among users and different jobs. With built-in project management, OptiFiber Pro becomes an all-in-one fibre testing tool, complete with planning, inspection, certification and reporting.•    Saves money by reducing expensive OTDR training and detailed trace analysis•    Eliminates the need to invest in a second OTDR to troubleshoot LAN and campus networks4.    SIMPLICITY:•    Facilitate results reporting and management, with integrated LinkWare software, to generate detailed and standards compliant reports•    Easily characterize all connectors, splices and areas of high loss with graphic EventMap view•    On-screen “help” suggests corrective action(s) for resolving fibre problems during each testing step For more information or to purchase, simply call our qualified and experienced Account Managers on 01403 754233. Click here. What are the benefits of the OptiFiber Pro?  If you’re looking to maintain fibre network performance, in an evolving industry with more and more complex enterprise networks and datacenter architectures e.g. 40G, 100G, choose Fluke Networks’ OptiFiber Pro OTDR.Fluke’s latest Optical Time Domain Reflectometer is made with easy-to-use features and simple usability, in order to be accessible for use by enterprise network engineers, SAN designers and cable installers. With its simple smartphone user interface and powerful feature set, the OptiFiber Pro turns anyone into and efficient and expert fibre troubleshooter.Indeed, the OptiFiber Pro is the industry’s first purpose-built OTDR, designed with specific technology in order to meet the unique challenges of an enterprise fibre infrastructure.So what are the benefits of the OptiFiber Pro?And where can you buy the OptiFiber Pro?Well the second question is easy to answer… you can buy an OptiFiber Pro from Networks Centre of course! Just call 01403 754233 and speak to an Account Manager, or to find out more or purchase online, just click here. There are many benefits to using Fluke’s OptiFiber Pro OTDR, and we have categorized most of them into 4 key areas.1.    SPEED:•    Accelerate fibre certification with trace times as short as two seconds in Quick Test mode. While in Quick Test mode, a complete set of data is acquired in as little as 2 seconds per wavelength.•    Quickly test datacenter fibre with pre-programmed settings•    The shortest event dead zone (0.5M typical for MM) and attenuation dead zone (2.2M typical for MM and 3.5M typical for SM) of any OTDR2.    EFFICIENCY:•    Maximise efficiency with a smartphone user interface that allows anyone to perform expert fibre troubleshooting and certification. The most innovative and user-friendly OTDR in the market with a capacitive touchscreen.  •    Reduce network downtime by quickly and precisely identifying faults on all fibre types•    Provides the possibility of datacenter fibre deployment and provides the highest level of accuracy, for quick problem resolution and improved network availability. The Datacenter OTDR mode automatically sets up the configuration, to quickly test datacenter fibre: end-detection algorithms, pulse widths etc, without getting confused by the short links or number of connectors•    Enhance productivity with one-button set ups and integrated reporting•    LinkWare management software allows users to project manage, produce reports, manage workflow and consolidate test results.3.    ROI:•    Increase return on investment by enabling OTDR project sharing among users and different jobs. With built-in project management, OptiFiber Pro becomes an all-in-one fibre testing tool, complete with planning, inspection, certification and reporting.•    Saves money by reducing expensive OTDR training and detailed trace analysis•    Eliminates the need to invest in a second OTDR to troubleshoot LAN and campus networks4.    SIMPLICITY:•    Facilitate results reporting and management, with integrated LinkWare software, to generate detailed and standards compliant reports•    Easily characterize all connectors, splices and areas of high loss with graphic EventMap view•    On-screen “help” suggests corrective action(s) for resolving fibre problems during each testing step More
Networks Centre successfully hosted one of its popular Customer Technology Days, on 1st May 2014, which was held at Wokefield Park near Reading. The event provided guests with the opportunity to learn about some of our brand partners, including: Fluke Networks, Raritan and Siemon. Each company gave an informative presentation, and educated guests on a range of topics, including: Accelerating the Certification Process, IP Convergence, and Data Centre Optimisation & Life after PUE. Mark Rhodes, the popular motivational speaker, also taught the group some key principles from his book: ‘Think Your Way to Success’. His speech provided an insightful look into business strategy and mindset, and how we can train our minds to think more ‘successfully’ and achieve better results. Event invitees had the chance to take part in live product demonstrations, with the opportunity to see, touch and use market-leading equipment. This included: Fluke Networks’ DSX-5000, Raritan PX-5000 Outlets and Siemon LightStack systems.  Duncan Lindsay, Managing Director of Networks Centre, stated: “Our Customer Technology Days provide an invaluable opportunity for our customers to learn more about current and future trends in the industry. Guests have the opportunity to network with peers, and to discover our world-class brands and their products.” Networks Centre want to engage with, and constantly add value to, their customers, and the Technology Days are simply one way in which they do this. The event was an outstanding success with very positive feedback. For more information, contact marketingevents@networkscentre.com More
It’s a positive launch into Springtime for Networks Centre, one of the UK’s largest distributors of network cabling and security products, with confirmation that they’re now an accredited member of the Achilles Link-up scheme. Achilles Link-up is the largest supplier registration and qualification scheme for the UK rail industry, covering Network Rail and more than 100 other rail organisations. The organization helps UK rail industry businesses, and other companies, to manage risk within their supply chain, and to comply with EU Procurement Legislation and other standards. The scheme is designed to provide a single common qualification process for UK Rail Industry suppliers, and is used extensively by: procurement, engineering, safety and quality professionals. Over 11,000 searches are conducted on average each month by buyers on Link-up, and Networks Centre will now be part of the accredited suppliers list. As an accredited member, Networks Centre has been audited across a range of activities. Certification highlights our commitment to providing high quality products and services to the rail industry. By becoming part of the Link-up supplier management service, Networks Centre gains the opportunity to connect to a network of potential rail sector buyers around the world. Buyers can be confident that our processes and standards are fully compliant, and be assured by the fact that we’re one of the largest distributors of network cabling and security products in the UK. More

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