The IT world undergoes constant change. From the moment companies first needed IT infrastructure and their main problem was powering it, to when there was mass migration towards the cloud or hybrid IT solutions, and suddenly software was needed to manage it.

But we are now entering a point where there are applications that no longer fit into those traditional infrastructure paradigms, and this is changing things for manufacturers like Belden.

In a recent DCD>Talk, we sat down with Shad Sechrist, field application engineer at Belden to discuss how the world of electronics is changing in the industry.

“What we're seeing is this big change where applications now have a more specific area where they belong, whether that is at the Edge or in a cloud location,” explained Sechrist.

“No matter what industry you're in, you have different challenges, a lot of different problems, and a lot of different ways to solve them. So there's no ‘one solution’ anymore that's right for everybody. It's a solution that's right for you for that particular application. So you might have several different solutions because you have several different challenges, and each application is going to drive its own challenges.”

This diversification has really driven Belden to change its approach. As a company that has been around for 122 years, Belden has really become known for its work as a wire manufacturer. Belden creates networking, connectivity, and cable products for a variety of applications. But it is the sheer quantity and vast difference between those applications that has led Belden to focus on the concept of ‘solutions’ more.

“Everyone knows us as the ‘wire manufacturer’. We make the cable, but Belden has been changing and not only on our industrial side but also on the smart building side. We're moving more to a solutions platform. It is no longer, ‘here's the cable, this will work. This will be the speed you need.’ We're not talking speeds and feeds with that. We're talking about solutions.”

The fact is that in different applications there will be different needs and challenges. Belden works with clients across healthcare, finance, government, education and data centers among others, and it can’t be expected that the same wire can be used across all sectors.

In fact, we can’t necessarily expect that within one sector. When we consider the variety of data centers, from Edge to colocation facilities, to hyperscalers, the needs even within this one industry are drastically different. Inside each data center will be different equipment from different manufacturing facilities, and they will all be speaking in different languages. In a sense, solutions will also have to act as a translator.

“So many of these things are getting further and further away from the network, and now we have different solutions, whether it’s a hybrid solution, whether it's a digital electricity solution. Our role here at Belden on the product engineering team is to understand what some of those challenges are and introduce some ideas.”

For example, when it comes to data centers, that could be Belden’s DCX.

“One of our latest products, our DCX, which is a high-density fiber frame that allows you to put almost 8,000 fibers in a restricted area, and be able to distribute that and protect all of the fiber whether it's going into your core switch or going out to rows or out to for distribution, you can condense it a lot and then it can grow as far as egress will allow.

“We've done deployments of over 30,000 fibers in one location and we've got deployments where they're spread out across colocation facilities for all of their meeting rooms. In the data center, space comes at a premium and it can get really costly. You start looking at colo space, and your rack-level stuff is really expensive. So, you want to get as much compute and storage as you can into that seven-foot by four-foot area, space is key”

Connectivity is, well, a very complex issue. To find out more about Belden’s offerings, and the issues facing the data center network in terms of interconnecting, watch the full DCD>Talk