The Main Distribution Frame (MDF) is the core element of a fiber optic structured cabling system
and is located in a Main Distribution Area (MDA). Similar to central office applications, a main distribution frame contains cables that connect the various items of equipment inside a data center. These cables come from other distribution areas, such as the zone, horizontal and intermediate areas, as well as from equipment. An MDF may consist of one or more Optical Distribution Frames (ODFs), 19” cabinets or other frame constructions.
Every day, data centers are subject to changes in connectivity mapping and the main distribution frame design should allow for these changes during the data center life cycle.
Key elements of the main distribution frame include:
• patching field area
• patch cord management area
• incoming cables area
Frames include one or more cabinets connected to each other, together with space for placing chassis or sub-racks for modules or cassettes, space and accessories for incoming cables, systems to manage patch cords and patch cord slacks, and modules and cassettes with fiber optic adapters, which are connected to cables and represent a patching field area.
A main distribution frame filled with equipment ports from various data center locations, such as data center switches or storage area network directors, requires the use of special methods to replicate ports on main distribution frames. It enables a reduction in cable congestion in ventilated areas and the improvement of optical losses, and reduces the need to perform changes on active ports. All this is possible using special components designed specifically for high-density switches, such as SAN components
Connections on the main distribution frame can be fully automated using optical switches.
HUBER+SUHNER provides various solutions for organising main distribution frames. These include LISA centralised cross-connect solutions, SYLFA front-access solutions and IANOS® 19” based high-density solutions. These systems vary in the number of ports per square metre (lower and higher density), accessibility from the front and rear, ways to manage patch cords and patch cord slacks and the supported connectivity (LC, SC, E-2000TM, FC etc.).
HUBER+SUHNER has supplied optical distribution frames for over 20 years, and acquired comprehensive expertise in mastering the many challenges of deploying MDFs.
Data center cable management