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Morrisons is operating a 10GBase-T network at its purpose-built Bradford headquarters.

Based on Brand-Rex’s 10GPlus structured cabling system, the network comprises a Blolite air-blown fibre backbone and shielded Augmented Category 6/Class EA cabling, serving more than 6,000 outlets and a data centre.

Providing the central hub of Morrisons’ IT infrastructure, the data centre delivers business-critical communications services to the company’s 375-plus stores, warehouses and distribution points.

With its recent acquisition of competitor Safeways, Morrisons is growing rapidly and is making a multi-million pound investment in re-engineering its IT environment.

This has placed additional demands on the data centre for cabling and power.

‘We were facing the same issues that many large organisations do in terms of driving data centre efficiencies – namely power, cooling and airflow,’ said Darryl Shears, data centre manager at Morrisons.

‘More cooling requires more power, which presents a cost challenge.

‘Reducing the amount of space I needed for cabling would help improve airflow – and the more airflow, the better.’ Brand-Rex has developed an Augmented Category 6/Class EA cabling product designed specifically for use in challenging environments such as data centres, storage area networks (SANs) and links up to 70m.

Forming part of its 10GPlus system, the Zone cable has an outside diameter of 5.4mm.

As the Zone cable is smaller and more flexible than conventional shielded AC6 cables, it is easier to install.

Brand-Rex accredited installer, Express Data, was able to deliver 480 links for Morrisons in just two weeks, with the installation of an increased number of 10GPlus Zone cabling links now planned to further support the OM3 fibre backbone infrastructure.

By creating more room in server cabinets and under-floor cabling trays, the Zone cable has enabled Morrisons to significantly improve airflow throughout the data centre, while accommodating the hardware being deployed.

Cabling installation times have also been reduced by using another Brand-Rex innovation, the tool-free RJ45 Snap-In-Jack, which supports the 10GBase-T application and removes the need for termination tools.

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