Month: October 2016

How to Choose the Right Fiber Patch Panel?

Fiber patch panel, also known as fiber enclosure, is deployed for better cable management and cable protection in data centers. Fiber patch panel terminates the fiber optic cable and provides access to the cables’ individual fibers for cross connection, which makes it easier for technicians to do the cabling work. Since there are various types of fiber patch panels in the market, choosing the right one for your network is not as easy as you think.

Loaded vs. Unloaded

Before choosing fiber patch panels, you should keep in mind that fiber optic enclosures have loaded and unloaded version. Loaded patch panel is pre-installed with adapter panels or cassettes while unloaded patch panel is empty with nothing inside. Typically, LC and MTP connectors are widely used in loaded patch panels. But these connectors in loaded panels are often permanently mounted, so if a port gets damaged it’s dead forever. Unloaded patch panel, on the contrary, is more flexible that can let you swap out defective ports at will. But extra assemblies are demanded to be purchased and installed by yourself.

loaded-unloaded patch panel

Patch Panel Rack Size

Fiber patch panel is usually measured by rack unit. A rack unit is used to describe the height of electronic equipment designed to mount in a 19-inch wide rack or a 23-inch wide rack. The height of rack-mounted equipment is frequently described as a number with U or RU. 1U refers to one rack unit, 2U refers to two rack units and so on. 2RU and 4RU are often used for high-density installations. So according to your application, the related rack size should also be adjusted.

Port Density

Port density is also an important part to be considered when purchasing fiber patch panels. As for normal patch panel, 1RU is able to carry 48 ports. If high-density patch panel is required, 1RU can support 96 ports. Moreover, 144 ports in 1RU is also available with ultra density patch panels. Since high-density has been frequently applied to the data centers, patch panels with higher port density becomes the future trend.

port-density

Migration to High-Density Patch Panels

With the wide deployment of 40G and 100G high speed networks. MPO/MTP breakout patch panel may be an ideal solution for this high-density installation. Deploying high-density patch panels has many advantages. It simplifies the cabling deployment by running a short fiber patch cable from your SAN or network switch up to the fiber patch panel. Much space can also be saved in data centers by mounting more cables into a smaller space. Installation is easier since no tools are required to install cassettes in the patch panels, and push-pull tabs are used to ease the difficulty of cable connections in the patch panels.

Conclusion

To organized and protect cables to ensure a stable network, fiber patch panel is definitely the perfect solution. When choosing fiber patch panels, you’re supposed to consider from the aspects of loaded or unloaded types, rack size, port density, etc. Besides, the high-density patch panel is a cost-effective solution that overcomes the cabling congestion in high bandwidth networking.

High-density QSFP+ SR4 Transceiver Cabling Methods

With the increasing demand for higher speed in fiber optic communications, 40G network is widely deployed in today’s backbone transmission network. 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceivers, for short reach applications, can support distance of up to 150 m over OM4 multimode optical fiber. Inserted in switch, QSFP+ SR4 module utilizes a MTP/MPO interface for dual way transmission.

There are a lot of methods to connect QSFP+ SR4 transceivers to other devices by using different connectivity products. Besides, the cabling for 40G is relatively more difficult than that of 10G network, which requires more cables and space. Here are several high density QSFP+ SR4 transceiver cabling methods.

40gb QSFP+

QSFP+ SR4 40G to 40G Applications

40G to 40G transmission is needed in a 40G fiber optic network. The following picture simply illustrates how 40G to 40G multimode transmission is being achieved by QSFP+ SR4 transceivers. Two QSFP+ SR4 modules interconnected with a MTP trunk cable are separately inserted into two switches. Thus two switches are linked successfully.

40G Cabling

Of course, there are also other ways to achieve this connection. The more devices you use, the more complex it is to achieve connections because cable counts increase. As shown in the following figure, a 48-port 1U rack mount MTP fiber patch enclosure is used. Four 12-port MTP fiber adapter panels can be deployed in this standard 1U rack mount enclosure. With the help of this 48-port MTP fiber enclosure, cable management for 40G connections could be easier.

40G high-density cabling

QSFP+ SR4 40G to 10G Applications

QSFP+ SR4 is a parallel fiber optic transceiver which uses four fibers for transmitting and four fibers for receiving at the same time. The 40G fiber optic signal can be separated into four 10G signals to meet the 40G to 10G transferring requirements. The fiber optic cable count will be increased at the 10G distribution end. Usually a breakout MTP-8LC harness cable is used. For better cable management, a 1U 96-fiber enclosure is recommended, which includes four HD MTP cassettes transferring MTP front the 40G end to LC at the 10G end. Four 10G-SR SFP+ modules, inserted in 10G switch/ports, can be connected to the corresponding LC ports on fiber optic enclosures to achieve the duplex transmission between 40G and 10G.

For higher cabling density, the above mentioned 48-port 1U rack mount MTP fiber patch enclosure is still being recommended, which can provide high density 40G MTP cabling environment. And additional MTP-8LC harness cables should be used for transferring signals between 40G and 10G.

Conclusion

Through the above analysis we can see that, QSFP+ SR4 transceivers can meet various cabling applications with different fiber products. Apart from the above-mentioned methods, there are also others way to build connections using QSFP+ SR4 modules and it will depend on the practical applications and cabling environments. All the related products for the above mentioned methods can be found in FS.COM.

Common Types of Fiber Optic Splitters

An fiber optic splitter is an essential component used in an FTTH PON where a single optical input is split into multiple output. This enables the deployment a Point to Multi Point (P2MP) physical fiber network with a single OLT port serving multiple ONTs. The most common split ratios are 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 1:16 and 1:32. Although other split ratios are available, they are usually custom made and commands a premium. Fiber optic splitters enable a signal on an optical fiber to be distributed among two or more fibers. As a basic example, the diagram below shows how light in a single input fiber can split between four individual fibers (1×4):

1x4_splitter

Splitters can be built using a variety of single mode and multimode optical fibers and with most connector types for various applications. From a technology standpoint, there are two commonly used types of optical splitters:

  • Fused Biconic Tapered (FBT)
  • Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC)

As with most technology, each type has both advantages and disadvantages when deploying them in a passive optical network.

Fused Biconic Tapered (FBT) Coupler Splitters

FBT is the traditional technology in which two fibers are placed closely together and fused together by applying heat while the assembly is being elongated and tapered. A signal source is used to determine the point at which the desired coupling ratio has been met, which then stops the process.

As this technology has been developed over time, the quality of FBT splitters is very good and they can be deployed in a cost-effective manner. FBT splitters are widely accepted and used in passive networks, especially for instances where the split configuration is smaller (1×2, 1×4, etc).

A drawback of this technology occurs when larger split configurations (1×16, 1×32, 1×64, etc) are required. FBT technology is limited in the number of quality splits that can be achieved in a single instance, so several must be spliced together when a larger split configuration is required. As a result, the physical size increases due to multiple splitters, along with the excess loss from the splices. Thus, for these instances, PLC splitters are more ideal as we will discuss in the next section.

Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) Splitters

PLC (Planar Lightwave Circuit) Splitters are Single Mode Splitters with an even split ratio from one input fiber to multiple output fibers. Available split counts are: 1×4, 1×8, 1×16, and 1×32. PLC Splitters are availble with 900µm loose tube singlemode fiber and terminated or unterminated as per your needs. Unconnectorized PLC splitters come with no connectors for easy splicing or connectorization. Connectorized PLC splitters are available with your choice of Fiber Optic Connectors: LC/UPC, LC/APC, SC/UPC, SC/APC, FC/UPC, FC/APC, and ST/UPC.

Among the many miniature parts which makes up a passive optical PLC splitter, there are three main components which are the fiber array for the input and output, and the chip. The design and assembly of these three component is the key to produce a high quality PLC splitter.

PLC splitter

A more recent technology, PLC splitters offer a better solution for applications where larger split configurations are required. To achieve this, waveguides are fabricated using lithography onto a silica glass substrate, which allows for routing specific percentages of light. As a result, PLC splitters offer very accurate and even splits with minimal loss in an efficient package.

With the rapid growth of FTTx worldwide, the requirement for larger split configurations (1×32, 1×64, etc) in these networks has also grown in order to serve mass subscribers. Due to the performance benefits and overall low cost to deploy, PLC splitters are now the ideal solutions for these types of applications.

Three Steps to Build a Copper Network at Home

Wireless access is popular at home today, however, most of our home devices are with copper based interfaces and they can work better through a wired connection to the broadband. Thus, copper based networks are still very important in our daily life.

Building a copper network at home is easier than building a fiber network. Before deploy the copper home network, you should firstly understand what you want from this copper home network. Of course, easier access to broadband and WiFi is the most basic requirement. Also remember to determine the port number and expectation of the network performance, which is closely related to the product selection and cost of your network. Here are three steps to follow when building a copper network at home.

copper network

Step One: Introduce Service Provider Distribution Cable to Your Home

Now most of the broadband service provider will install a distribution point near or inside a building. As shown in the above picture, copper network cables or fiber optic cables are deployed inside a building to bring services to every houses inside this building. For some old buildings, the cables between the end users and distribution point are still copper based. For many new buildings, these cables are usually fiber optic based. Just add an ONU (Optical Network Unit), you can change these optical signals into electrical signals and distribute signals to different ports and home devices. If your apartment is a small one, you can just use one ONU or router in the whole home network.

There are a variety of ONUs and routers which can support WiFi and satisfy various port requirements. For example, the following picture shows the application of a typical ONU that can meet the requirement of most apartments. This ONU has a SC optical interface to be connected with the service provider’s entry fiber optic cable. Except two voice ports and four LAN ports, this ONU provides WiFi function.

Step Two: Wiring the Whole House

Wiring the whole house is very important for a home network with good broadband access. It is known that most home devices have better performance via a wired connection compared with being connected to WiFi. So during this process, you should device the port number you should leave in your house and how many devices should be connected to the network. Now there are a variety of home devices can be connected to a home network for better and smarter performance, which is also called smart home. Devices like air condition, light control and televisions can all be connected to the home network. Thus, copper network cable for signal transmission should have good and reliable performance. Cat6 and Cat7, two types of high performance Category copper cable, which can meet the requirement for both now and future, are strongly recommended.

wire home

The above picture shows the copper cabling for an apartment. The bedroom, living room, office and dining room of this house is all connected to broadband via copper network cable. In addition, each room is connected to voice cable ensuring that the house owner would not miss phone calls in most part of the house.

Step Three: Terminate Copper Cables and Connect Them to Home Devices

For the sake of security and reliability, the copper network cables should be terminated at wall plate ports. And a length of RJ45 copper network patch cable should be used to connect the port with target device as shown in the following picture.

copper home network

FS.COM Copper Networking Solutions

Good broadband access is very important to deploy a copper based home network. However, select the right cabling product is also important. FS.COM provides a wide range of copper network products for not only home network use but also for data center use, including Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7 cable, patch panels and cable jackets and plugs. All these products are available in different colors and can be customized in FS.COM.

High-density MPO/MTP Solutions in Data Centers

MTP/MPO fiber cables, as an important part of the multi-fiber connection system, are designed for the reliable and quick operations in Data Centers. These cables are with less space requirements and improved scalability, providing significant space and cost savings. The MTP/MPO solutions are widely used for 40GbE and 100GbE network environment as well as fast installation of enterprise data center.

Why MPO/MTP Solutions Are Needed in Data Center?

With the advent and popularity of cloud computing and big data, the demands for high-speed transmission and data capacity are becoming much greater than ever before. And 40/100G Ethernet is now a trend and hotspot for data center cabling system. Since MPO/MTP connectors are the up-and-coming standard optical interface for 40/100G Ethernet network, it is predicted that MPO/MTP solutions will eventually flood the data center. After all, the high fiber count in one connector creates endless possibilities.

MPO Solution

The Advantages of MPO/MTP Solutions

Rapid Deployment
Since the MPO/MTP products are factory terminated, they can be installed easily and simply. They use a simple push-pull latching mechanism for easy and intuitive insertion and removal. Thus, the installing process only includes pull and plug, eliminating all unpredictable field termination troubles. It is estimated that the MPO/MTP solutions’ installation time can be reduced by up to 75% compared to traditional fiber cabling systems.

High Density
With the same size as a SC connector, the MPO/MTP connector can accommodate 12/24 fibers, providing 12/24 times the density. Therefore, MPO/MTP connectors allow high-density connections between network equipment in telecommunication rooms, and offer savings in circuit card and rack space.

Cost Saving
As mentioned above, the installation process of MPO/MTP products is simple and easy. Therefore, the installation time involving a costly highly qualified workforce can be reduced to a minimum.

Scalability
As we all know, most MPO/MTP products are modular solutions. This is the good choice to ease future expansion and for quick and easy system reconfiguration.

FS.COM MPO/MTP Solutions

FS.COM, as a fiber network solution supplier, is now going to be ahead of the game with various MPO/MTP solutions that are designed for the reliable and quick operations in the data center. We offer a wide range of MPO/MTP solutions including trunk cables, harness cables, cassettes, fiber enclosure and so on.

MPO/MTP Trunk Cable
MPO/MTP trunk cables are made up of 12/24/48 fiber cables factory pre-terminated at both ends with MPO/MTP connectors. They are designed to be used as backbone or horizontal cable interconnections. These assemblies are available in OM3, OM4 and single mode fiber. Standard lengths of 5, 10, 25 meters are available.

MPO/MTP Harness Cable
MPO/MTP harness cables are often made up of 12 fiber cables terminated at one end in MPO/MTP connectors, through a bifurcation unit, to SC or LC connectors terminated on simplex/duplex cables. They are used to connect equipment in racks to MPO/MTP terminated backbone cables. Available in OM3, OM4 or single mode fiber in lengths of 5, 10, 25 meters, etc. they are designed for high density applications which require high performance and speedy installation without on-site termination.

MPO/MTP Cassette
MPO/MTP Cassettes are enclosed units that contain 12/24 fiber factory terminated breakout cables inside, serving to transition ribbon cables terminated with MPO/MTP connector to the more common LC or SC interface used on the transceiver terminal equipment. This kind of cassette provides a quick and efficient way to deploy up to 24 LC or 12 SC fiber ports in a single module.

MPO/MTP Fiber Enclosure
As a scalable modular, the MPO/MTP fiber enclosure is designed for high density Gigabit Ethernet application. MPO/MTP fiber enclosures are used for terminating backbone cables at the main distribution area (MDA) and horizontal distribution area (HDA). They are available in 1U, 2 U and 4U (as shown in the following figure).

mpo-fiber-enclosure

Note: The HD MPO/MTP cassettes and fiber enclosure are also available in FS.COM for high-density demands.

Conclusion

MTP/MPO cabling system indeed offers an ideal solution for high-density network infrastructures, which helps to ease the difficulties of migration to 40/100G network. FS.COM provides a wide range of MTP/MPO solutions and tutorials, for more detailed information, please visit fs.com.

Choosing 10G SFP+ Modules for Cisco Switches

10G fiber optic network has been widely spread in today’s telecommunication network. The Cisco 10GBASE SFP+ modules offer customers a wide variety of 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options for data center, enterprise wiring closet, and service provider transport applications. If you choose a Cisco switch, Cisco original brand or Cisco compatible modules like SFP/SFP+ might be needed to transfer between optical signals and electrical signals. This article will introduce the 10G IEEE standards and how to select the proper 10G SFP+ module for Cisco switches.

cisco-sfp-testing

Understand 10G IEEE Standards

10G fiber optic network is mature now, and there is a wide selection of 10G IEEE standards for different 10G networking applications and environments. Before you buy 10G SFP+ modules for your Cisco switches, you should firstly get to know these 10G standards.

IEEE has defined 10G standards for different transmission distance and transmission media. For instance, there is 10G-SFPP-SR for short distance up to 300 meters over OM3 multimode optical fiber and 10GBASE-LR for long distance up to 10 kilometers over single-mode fiber. There are also standards for 10G transmission over copper cables like 10GBASE-CR and 10GBASE-T. The following table listed the details for the most commonly used 10G standards.

Do You Really Need Cisco Original Brand SFP+ Modules?

Except IEEE standard and transmission distance, to select the proper 10G SFP+ modules should also considerate several other factors like compatibility and costs.

Although Cisco has a wide selection of switches and 10G SFP+ modules, but not every SFP+ modules can work well on every Cisco switches SFP+ port. Before selecting the SFP+ module for your Cisco switch, you must make sure this SFP+ is compatible with your switch.

The second important factor is the costs for the SFP+ modules. Why? SFP+ module is just a small part of the whole fiber optic network, but the use amount of SFP+ module is very large. Cisco Original brand SFP+ modules are usually expensive. Thus, select cost-effective modules are necessary. Actually, Cisco Original brand SFP+ module is not the only choice. There are also many third party modules that it compatible with Cisco switches. Generally, prices of third party fiber optic transceivers are much lower than the original brand ones.

How to Purchase Cisco 10G SFP+ Modules?

If you have plenty of money, you can directly order the modules from Cisco. However, if you are going to select the third party modules for a cost-effective solution, then the quality and compatibility would be very important. FS.COM supplies a full range of Cisco compatible modules. All its modules are fully tested in original brand switches to ensure the compatibility and quality. What’s more, FS.COM uses the same naming system as Cisco for its Cisco compatible modules and generic fiber optic modules. A list is also offered in the product page of each fiber optic modules showing the compatible switches and platforms. Customer can use the Cisco product number to search Cisco Compatible and generic modules in FS.COM directly.