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3 Things You Need to Know About Cross Connect in Data Center Networking
If you're on the hunt for a data center, it's crucial to get a grip on cross connects. Knowing the basics will empower you to compare your options and make the right choice. This simple guide is here to help you understand the basics of cross connects. You'll learn what a cross connect is, breaking it down into three key aspects you should know: types, benefits, and how it differs from interconnect. By the end, you'll be equipped with the information you need to confidently make data center choices. Let's get started.

What is cross connect?


A cross connect is a direct link between two hardware units, like racks and service providers, creating a private network without using the internet. It's established using patch cables between tenant spaces. Cross connects connect global networks, enabling faster operations and increased efficiency.

For instance, if you work at a call center with inbound call solutions, a cross connect allows your center to establish a dedicated and fast connection directly to the servers handling incoming calls. This specialized link ensures seamless communication without delays associated with internet connections, optimizing the efficiency of your call center operations.

3 Things You Need to Know About Cross Connects

Now that you have a better understanding of what cross connects are, let's talk about the top three things you should know about them.

#1 Different Types of Cross-Connect

So, the first thing that you need to know about is that there are different types of cross connect. Each type has its own distinct features. These include:

  • Single-mode fiber: This type sends data using a single light ray, offering long distances with minimal loss.
  • Multi-mode fiber: MMF's Use LEDs for data transfer through multiple light rays. They're ideal for short distances with higher bandwidths.
  • Ethernet cables: You can either opt for a CAT5 ethernet cable with a 10/100 bandwidth. Or, you can opt for a CAT6 ethernet cable which offers 10 Gbps of bandwidth for lengths of up to 164 feet.
  • COAX cables: This Transmit electrical signals using insulated copper wire. It's durable and extremely cost-effective for specific data center applications.
  • POTS Cables (Plain Old Telephone Service): POTS cables use copper loops for analog signals, offering reliability under diverse conditions despite limited features and bandwidth compared to the newer technologies out there.

#2 Cross connect vs interconnect

The next thing you should know about is the difference between interconnects and cross connects in networks. While some people use them interchangeably, there is actually a difference. Interconnects use simple cables to connect equipment in a data center efficiently.

On the other hand, cross connects are a bit more complex and intricate. There are two types: three-connector and four-connector cross connects. The three-connector type adds an extra panel at the switch end, while the four-connector model includes another patch panel in a separate enclosure. These distinctions are key to making sure everything connects smoothly in the world of digital infrastructure.

#3 What are the benefits of cross connect?


Now It's time to understand the advantages that cross connects bring to the table and why it's crucial for businesses. Here are our top perks:

Reduced Waiting Times

time - waiting 

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Ever felt like your digital operations are stuck in slow motion? Cross connects step in as the ultimate problem-solvers here. By creating swift and efficient data paths in a data center, they wipe out those frustrating delays.

For instance, suppose you work with a company that uses enterprise architecture software. You're dealing with massive datasets, intricate diagrams, and real-time updates. Without cross connects, this could mean long waiting times, especially when crunching complex scenarios or collaborating across different teams. But with cross connects optimizing the data flow, those sluggish loading screens become a thing of the past.

Another example is Heat maps. These visualize data traffic patterns, can be generated with the help of cross connects, allowing data center managers to identify bottlenecks and optimize data flow further.

Reliable Connections:

Cross connections enhance the reliability of a network by eliminating potential failure points found in public networks, thereby reducing IoT security risks associated with IoT devices and data. The points can lead to a substantial reduction in server downtime. The direct links between the data center and cloud service provider improve system availability and performance, minimizing the risk of complications that could arise when customers access the vendor's network.

This reliability is essential for businesses with a robust content distribution strategy, ensuring that their content reaches end-users without interruptions.

Suppose you're managing an e-commerce platform. Without the reliability that cross connects bring, your platform might experience disruptions during high-traffic periods. This could mean lost sales, frustrated customers, and even long-term damage to your brand's reputation.

However, with cross connects in play, your e-commerce platform gains a sturdy backbone. The direct links ensure seamless communication between your data center and cloud services, reducing the chances of hiccups.

Budget-Friendly Solutions:


Money talks, and cross connects are fluent in budget-friendly language. Compared to traditional telecom services, they deliver more bandwidth at a lower cost. The people who manage these connections? That's your data center provider. Meaning you don't have to pay any extra expenses or hire a small army to handle them.

Imagine overseeing a tech startup juggling between solution architecture vs enterprise architecture projects. Each financial decision carries weight, especially when dealing with traditional telecom services that could strain your budget. Now, here's where cross connects come in. Managed seamlessly by your data center provider, they become the budget-friendly bridge, ensuring your team stays connected without breaking the bank.

How much do cross connects cost, you ask? Well, according to Data Centers, they're around $100-$300 a month.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it - a straightforward guide to cross connects, covering what they are and the essential aspects you should be aware of. Without cross connects, connecting your servers, storage, and networking hardware to the internet, be it through dedicated or blended access by a colocation provider, is simply not possible.

So, be sure to get to understand the different types, how they differ from interconnect and learn about the brilliant things they can do for your business. The road to mastering cross connects may have a few twists, but with this guide in your back pocket, you're armed and ready. Happy connecting! Liked this blog? Check out our 2024 IT Predictions for cross-organization workflows in 2024.

Published Friday, February 02, 2024 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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