Month: March 2017

DWDM Solutions for Arista 7500E Series Switches

Nowadays, the deployment of DWDM solution has been hotly debated in many enterprise networks, especially in the new Lay2 and Lay3 equipment like Arista 7500E series switches. For many enterprises, DWDM network solutions are undoubtedly the best choices of action, because they can provide a scalable and elastic solution for the enterprise that offered high bandwidth and data separation. This article will demonstrate DWDM solutions to Arista 7500E switches which are the foundation of two-tier open networking solutions for cloud data centers.

Analysis of DWDM System

DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) is a technology allowing high throughput capacity over longer distances commonly ranging between 44-88 channels and transferring data rates from 100 Mbps up to 100 Gbps per wavelength. For intra-datacenter solutions, an endpoint connection often uses multimode (850 nm) for short ranges and single mode (1310 nm) for longer ranges. The DWDM node converts this local connection to a channelized frequency or wavelength, which is then multiplexed with other wavelength and transmitted over a single fiber connection.

A key advantage of DWDM is that it’s bitrate independent. DWDM-based networks can transmit data in IP, ATM, SONET, SDH and Ethernet. Therefore, DWDM systems can carry different types of traffic at different speeds over an optical channel. Voice transmission, email, video and multimedia data are just some examples of services which can be simultaneously transmitted in DWDM systems.

DWDM multi-channel Mux/Demux

Arista 7500E 100G DWDM Line Card

With full support for Layer2 and Layer3 protocols, Arista 7500E series switch is the ideal option for the network spine for two tier data centers applications. Arista 7500E especially provides the perfect resolution for high bandwidth Metro and long-haul DCI solutions with the 6-port DWDM line card. It has great advantage to migrate from existing 10G DWDM to 100G coherent line side modules. The 7500E series DWDM line card provides six 100G ports with coherent 100G tunable optics, which enables customers to connect directly into existing WDM MUX module without the need to add transceivers, which can save cost and space to a large extent. The coherent optics use C-band region wavelengths and offer a cost efficient solution for up to 96 channels of 100Gb over a single dark fiber pair.

Use Cases for Arista 7500E DWDM Card
    • Less Than 80 km Dark Fiber Connection
      For distance less than 80 km, Arista 7500E switch with DWDM line cards can directly terminate a dark fiber connection with a pair of passive DWDM Mux, thus achieving a point-to-point connection between two locations.

Dark Fiber Connection

  • Between 80 km and 150 km Connection
    For distance greater than 80 km but less than 150 km, losses occurred during the process of transmission should be considered. In order to boost the power level, an EDFA (Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier) is used to gain flatness, noise level, and output power, which is typically capable of gains of 30 dB or more and output power of +17 dB or more. With the use of EDFA, the signal can be boosted into a certain power level, thus achieving distances of up to 150 km.

The Arista 7500E series DWDM solution offers a cost-effective solution for transporting scalable and massive volumes of traffic, and enhances the 7500E system by providing high performance 100G DWDM port density with the same rich features and dedicated secure encryption in compact and power-efficient systems. Enterprises can easily migrate existing metro and long-haul DWDM networks to add new 100G capacities, thus expanding Layer2 and Layer3 services.

Originally published at

Difference Between AON and PON

AON (Active Optical Networks) and PON (Passive Optical Network) serve as the two main methods of building CWDM and DWDM backbone network. Each of them has their own merits and demerits. This article will compare them according to their different features and applications.


An active optical system uses electrically powered switching equipment, such as a router or a switch aggregator, to manage signal distribution and direction signals to specific customers. This switch directs the incoming and outgoing signals to the proper place by opening and closing in various ways. In such a system, a customer may have a dedicated fiber running to his or her house. The reliance of AON on Ethernet technology makes interoperability among vendors easy. Subscribers can select hardware that delivers an appropriate data transmission rate and scale up as their needs increase without having to restructure the network. However, AON require at least one switch aggregator for every 48 subscribes. Since it requires power, an active optical network inherently is less reliable than a passive optical network.


A PON is made up of an optical line termination (OLT) at the service provider’s central office and a number of optical network units (ONUs) near end users. Typically, up to 32 ONUs can be connected to an OLT. The passive optical network simply describes the fact that optical transmission has no power requirements or active electronic parts once the signal is going through the network.

A PON system makes it possible to share expensive components for FTTH. A PON splitter takes one input and splits it to broadcast to many users, which can lower the cost of the links substantially by sharing, for example, one expensive laser with up to 32 homes. PON splitters are bi-directional, that is signals can be sent downstream from the central office, broadcast to all users, and signals from the users can be sent upstream and combined into one fiber to communicate with the central office.


A passive optical network does not include electrically powered switching equipment. It uses optical splitters to separate and collect optical signals as they move through the network. A PON shares fiber optic strands for portions of the network. Powered equipment is required only at the source and receiving ends of the signal. PONs are efficient since each fiber optic strand can serve up to 32 users. Besides, PONs have a low building cost compared with active optical networks along with lower maintenance cost. However, PONs also have some demerits. They have less range than an AON, which means subscribes must be geographically closer to the central source of the data. When a failure occurs, it is rather difficult to isolate it in a PONs. Moreover, because the bandwidth in a PON is not dedicated to individual subscribers, data transmission speed may slow down during peak usage times in an effect known as latency. And latency would quickly degrade services such as audio and video, which need a smooth rate to maintain quality.


As early as the year 2009, PONs began appearing in corporate networks. Users were adopting these networks because they were cheaper, faster, lower in power consumption, easier to provision for voice, data and video, and easier to manage, since they were originally designed to connect millions of homes for telephone, Internet and TV services.

Passive Optical Networks (PON) provide high-speed, high-bandwidth and secure voice, video and data service delivery over a combined fiber network. The main benefits of PON are listed below:

  • Lower network operational costs
  • Elimination of Ethernet switches in the network
  • Elimination of recurring costs associated with a fabric of Ethernet switches in the network
  • Lower installation (CapEx) costs for a new or upgraded network (min 200 users)
  • Lower network energy (OpEx) costs
  • Less network infrastructure
  • You can reclaim wiring closet (IDF) real estate
  • Large bundles of copper cable are replaced with small single mode optical fiber cable
  • PON provides increased distance between data center and desktop (>20 kilometers)
  • Network maintenance is easier and less expensive
  • Fiber is more secured than copper. It is harder to tap. There is no available sniffer port on a passive optical splitter. Data is encrypted between the OLT and the ONT.

To sum up, the PON network’s predefined topology makes individual changes more difficult. By terminating all the fiber optics at the OLT, i.e. the same fiber optic topology as in the AON (point-to-point), this disadvantage can be overcome. Therefore, for future-proof infrastructure investment, reliable point-to-point fiber optics technology should always be considered.

Using EDFA Amplifier for Long-Haul CATV Systems

With Laser technology combining with fiber optic technology, CATV systems in the field of optical communication have demonstrated unprecedented and irreplaceable achievements in the past few decades. When transmitting optical signals with fibers, fiber attenuation is the main factor that limits the transmission distance. EDFA (Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifier) designed for CATV long-haul transmission avoids the conversion of optic-electric-optic in CATV long-haul transmission. It amplifies low signal power into high signal power, thus extending transmission distance. This post analyzes EDFA configurations and the utilization in long-haul CATV systems.

EDFA Leading Position in CATV Systems

EDFA is one of the most prominent achievements in fiber optic transmission technology over the past decade. Because it cleverly combined the laser technology and optical fiber manufacturing technology in the CATV systems and its applications were then rapidly expanded. Originally PDFA and EDFA amplifiers were equally used for CATV systems, but today, EDFA has completely replaced PDFA and become the primary device for fiber optic transmission systems. Why EDFA has leading position on CATV systems? Because EDFA noise and distortion characteristics are better, and its superior characteristics can be clearly seen in the following:

  • Operates at wavelength of 1550nm, consistent with C-band where fiber has the lowest loss
  • Has higher saturation output power, useful in systems requiring transmission up to 100 km or systems requiring the optical signal to be split to multiple fiber optic receivers
  • The signal gain spectrum is wide up to 30nm or more, can be used for broadband signal amplification, especially for WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) system, ideal for radio and data services networks
  • Has user friendly interface RS232, easy to control and monitor with computers
  • Low noise figure with high stability
EDFA Configurations

The configuration of a co-propagating EDFA is shown in Figure 1. The optical pump is combined with the optical signal into the erbium-doped fiber with a wavelength division multiplexer. A second multiplexer removes residual pump light from the fiber. An in-line optical filter provides additional insurance that pump light does not reach the output of the optical amplifier. An optical isolator is used to prevent reflected light from other portions of the optical system from entering the amplifier.

EDFA Configuration-1

An EDFA with a counter propagating pump is pictured in Figure 2. The copropagating geometry produces an amplifier with less noise and less output power. The counter propagating geometry produces a noisier amplifier with high output power. A compromise can be made by combining the co- and counter-propagating geometries in a bi-directional configuration.

EDFA Configuration-2

A Typical CATV System Using EDFA

Figure 3 illustrates a basic long-haul CATV transmission system designed to carry 77 channels of CATV signals for 100 km in a basic point-to-point configuration.


As you can see in Figure 3, the local CATV provider sends 77 channels of CATV signals at the transmitting side. After processing and RF combining, those multiple signals are combined into one channel of CATV signal with the wavelengths of 1550 nm. It transmits over a single-mode optical fiber to 50 km. An EDFA amplifier is used at the middle point to amplify the signals to a certain power level, continuing to transmit over a single mode fiber to 100 km. At the receiving side, the 1550nm CATV channel is split into multiple channels of 1550nm CATV signals, serving multiple hotel cable TV users.

FS.COM CATV EDFA Optical Amplifiers List

EDFA has undoubtedly received wide interest for CATV applications because of its high output power, low distortion and low noise capability. FS.COM supplies optical amplifiers including CATV EDFA, SDH EDFA, DWDM amplifier, etc. The following table lists FS.COM CATV EDFA amplifiers which are available with range of output power from 13 dBm to 24 dBm to meet the requirements of a high-density solution for the large-scale distribution of broadband CATV video and data signals to video overlay receivers in a FTTH/FTTP or PON system.

Product ID Part Number Description
17467 CEDFA-O13 New 13dBm 1550nm CATV EDFA Fiber Optic Amplifier
17489 CEDFA-O17 New 17dBm 1550nm CATV EDFA Fiber Optic Amplifier
17495 CEDFA-O23 New 23dBm 1550nm CATV EDFA Fiber Optic Amplifier
36458 CEDFA-BA Customized 1550nm CATV EDFA Fiber Optic Amplifierr

Originally published at

CWDM and DWDM Network Solutions

Growing demands of the internet users is one of the reasons that lead using wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networks to transmit optical data. So, what is WDM? WDM is a technology that multiplexes various optical signals through a single optical fiber by taking advantage of different wavelengths of laser light. And the ITU-T recommendation specifies the wavelengths used in CWDM/DWDM or OADM. All the passive fiber optic components are made of filters that only allow specific wavelength to pass through a fiber port and then the others to be reflected to another fiber ports.

WDM Network Overview

A WDM network uses a multiplexer at the transmitter to join the several signals together, and a demultiplexer at the receiver to split them apart. With the increasing demand of data, video and mobile usage on many networks, WDM technology has proved to be the most reliable and cost-effective in transporting large amount of data in telecom. And by utilizing CWDM and DWDM network systems to scale the bandwidth, the operators enable to transmit service from 2Mbps up to 100Gbps of data. Now WDMs are very popular in field of CATV, Internet, VoIP, audio and video solutions, and even bring FTTX solutions to the people’s daily life.

CWDM Network Solutions

CWDM stands for Course Wavelength Division Multiplexer. “Course” means the channel spacing is 20nm with a working channel pass band (±6.5nm or ±7.5nm) from the wavelengths center. CWDM MUX DEMUX Modules take advantage of conventional thin-film filter (TFFS) technology and that allow various channels within ITU G.694 Grid (1270nm~1610nm,1271nm~1611nm), to realize multiplexing or demultiplexing wavelengths over one fiber. Due to the use of cheaper CWDM uncooled laser or lower-quality multiplexer and demultiplexers without fiber amplifiers. The CWDM works at a 60 or 80 km transmission with the wavelength of 1550nm. So CWDM is a very attractive options in metro networks.

DWDM Network Solutions

DWDM stands for Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexer. The word “Dense” is referring to the very narrow channel spacing measured in Gigahertz (GHz) as opposed to nanometer (nm). DWDM us typically use channel spacing measured in GHz (100G or 200G, C-Band 1525nm~1565nm). Now an optical fiber inter-leaver or optic fiber chip is used to double the channel of 100GHz or 200GHz spacing, that’s 50GHz or 100GHz AWG. Just like CWDM MUX DEMUX, DWDM MUX DEMUX also takes the advantage of thin-film filters and are used to increase the amount of data capacity that can be transmitted over a single fiber. The DWDM will be with more channels with much tighter channel spacing. Typical DWDM MUX DEMUX modules only have 32, 40, 44 channels but today’s 50Ghz 100Ghz DWDM MUX DEMUX doubles the channel spacing and can reach up to 64, 80, 88 and even 90 channels.

40 channel Mux Demux

DWDM is the most suitable technology for long-haul transmission because of its ability to allow EDFA amplification. Given the growing need for bandwidth driven by data-hungry applications (smartphones, video streaming, etc.), DWDM has now found its way into metro networks, and is even being used in some cellular back-haul deployments.


WDM systems have become one of the major solutions to meet the growing demand for increased network bandwidth brought about by the rapid growth of Internet and data services. CWDM and DWDM network solutions have their own suitable applications. If you want to get more details for these solutions, kindly visit

Necessary Components in DWDM Systems

DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) is used to increase the amount of information or systems that can be transmitted over a single fiber, thus allowing allow for more channels with much tighter channel spacing. In DWDM systems, DWDM devices combine the output from several optical transmitters for transmission across a single optical fiber. At the receiving end, another DWDM device separates the combined optical signals and passes each channel to an optical receiver. This article covers DWDM system components that combine (multiplex) and separate (demultiplex) multiple optical signals of different wavelengths in a single fiber.

Optical Transmitters/Receivers

As the light sources in a DWDM system, the optical transmitters are of great importance to the whole system design. In DWDM systems, multiple transmitters are used to provide the source signals which are then multiplexed. Incoming electrical data bits (0 or 1) trigger the modulation of a light stream (e.g., a flash of light = 1, the absence of light = 0). Lasers create pulses of light, each with an exact wavelength. In an optical-carrier-based system, a stream of digital information is delivered to a physical layer device, whose output is a light source (an LED or a laser) that interfaces a fiber optic cable. Then the device converts the incoming electrical signals to optical form signals. Electrical ones and zeroes trigger a light source that flashes light into the core of an optical fiber. The format of the underlying digital signal is not changed. Pulses of light propagate across the optical fiber by total internal reflection. At the receiving end, another optical sensor (photodiode) detects light pulses and converts the incoming optical signals back to electrical signals. Two fibers are used in this process, one for transmitting and the other for receiving.

DWDM Mux/DeMux Modules

The DWDM Mux combines multiple wavelengths created by multiple transmitters and operating on different fibers. The output signal of an multiplexer is referred to as a composite signal. At the receiving end, the DeMux (demultiplexer) separates all of the individual wavelengths of the composite signal out to individual fibers. The individual fibers pass the demultiplexed wavelengths to as many optical receivers. Generally, Mux and DeMux components are contained in a single enclosure. Optical Mux/DeMux devices can be passive. Component signals are multiplexed and demultiplexed optically, not electronically, therefore no external power source is required.

DWDM MUX DEMUX Mux/Demux 40 Channels over Dual Fiber

Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (OADM)

In a DWDM system, the optical add/drop multiplexers (OADM) can add or drop DWDM channels into an existing backbone ring. It provides the ability to drop one DWDM channel from the network fiber, while allowing all other channels to continue pass to other nodes. Similarly, the drop/insert module removes an individual channel from the network fiber, however, it also provides the ability to add that same channel back onto the network fiber.

Optical Fiber Amplifiers

Optical fiber amplifiers boost the amplitude or add gain to optical signals passing on a fiber by directly stimulating the photons of the signal with extra energy. Optical fiber amplifiers amplify optical signals across a broad range of wavelengths. They can provide flat gain over a large dynamic gain range, have a high saturated output power, low noise, and effective transient suppression. Erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) is the most widely used fiber amplifier which has received great attention over the past 10 years. EDFA is generally used for very long fiber links such as undersea cabling. It uses a fiber that has been treated or “doped” with erbium, and this is used as the amplification medium.

Transponders (OEO)

Transponders are also referred to as optical-electrical-optical (O-E-O) wavelength converters. They can convert optical signals from one incoming wavelength to another outgoing wavelength suitable for DWDM applications. A transponder performs an O-E-O operation to convert wavelengths of light. Within the DWDM system, a transponder converts the client optical signal back to an electrical signal (O-E) and then performs either 2R (reamplify, reshape) or 3R (reamplify, reshape and retime) functions.

DWDM System with Transponders


With all the necessary components, DWDM-based networks can transmit data in IP, ATM, SONET, SDH and Ethernet. Therefore, DWDM-based networks can carry different types of traffic at different speeds over an optical channel. If you want to learn more about all these components for DWDM system, kind visit for more details.