Fiber Optic Components for Building 10G Data Centers

10 Gigabit Ethernet is a telecommunication technology that can support the network speed up to 10 billion bits per second. It’s also known as 10GbE. As 10GbE greatly increases bandwidth, many companies start to upgrade the data centers to meet their growing needs. How to build a 10GbE data center? What kind of equipment will be used except the switch? This article will recommend you some basic 10G solutions.

10G SFP+ Modules

10G SFP+ (small form-factor pluggable plus) modules are hot swappable transceivers that plug into SFP+ slots on switches and support 10G Ethernet. With small form factor, SFP+ transceivers can ensure low power disruption and high port density. Since it’s hot pluggable, the transceiver modules can be added or removed without interrupting the whole network. And SFP+ modules deliver data transmission speed of up to 10Gbit/s, which is 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet.

10g-sfp-lr

Currently, a wide variety of SFP+ modules can be purchased in the market. For the long distance transmission, modules include SFP-10GBASE-LR, SFP-10GBASE-ER, SFP-10GBASE-ZR, CWDM SFP+ and DWDM SFP+. For the short distance transmission, there are modules like SFP 10GBASE-SR, SFP-10GBASE-LRM. Brands are also versatile such as Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Brocade, etc. To get modules with lower costs, you can pick third-party transceivers which are compatible with these original brands.

LC Patch Cables

Patch cables contain both fiber and copper types. Fiber patch cords, as one of the data transmission media, enjoy great popularity because they have large transmission capacity, strong anti-electromagnetic interference, high security and fast speed. LC fiber patch cord is one of the most common cables for 10G network connection, covering single-mode and multimode categories respectively for data transmission over long distance and short distance. To increase panel density, flexible HD LC push-pull tab fiber patch cable is designed. With its unique design, this patch cable allows the connector to be disengaged easily from densely loaded panels without the need for special tools and give users easy accessibility in narrow areas for data center deployment applications. Another special LC patch cord is uniboot patch cord. It utilizes a special “round duplex” cable that allows duplex transmission within a single cable. It’s good for saving cable management space comparing to standard patch cords.

lc-apc-dumplex-single-mode

10G SFP+ Direct Attach Cable Assemblies

10G SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC ) is a cost-effective solution for 10G Ethernet. It’s a low-power alternative to optical SFP+ system. The 10G SFP+ cables provide low-cost and reliable 10G speed with either copper cables over distances up to 10 m or active optical cables reaching distances up to 100 m. Because there is no need for spending on fiber optic transceivers and cables. This kind of cables contain 10G SFP+ copper cables, both passive and active and active optical cable (AOC). Active copper cable and AOC are designed for long distance connection, while passive copper cable is for short distance, such as the interconnection of top-of-rack switches with application servers and storage devices in a rack.

10g-sfp-cables

Fiber Enclosure

Fiber enclosure is an equipment you must have in data centers. This component is used to provide a flexible and modular system for managing fiber terminations, connections, and patching in high density data center application to maximize rack space utilization and minimize floor space. Fiber enclosure can be divided into different configurations like rack mount (available in 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U), wall mount, indoor or outdoor. The rack mount enclosure come into three flavors. One is the slide-out type and the other two are removable type and swing out type. Fiberstore introduces high density fiber enclosures with 48 ports, 96 ports and even 288 ports loaded LC FAPs (fiber adapter panels) in 1RU or 4RU rack mount for 10G solutions. Or if you already have the unloaded fiber enclosures, you just need to buy fiber adapter panels.

288-pors-4u-patch-panel-enclosure

Conclusion

To build a 10GbE data center, you have to prepare the components, for instance, 10G SFP+ modules, LC patch cables, 10G SFP+ cables, fiber enclosures, etc. You may also need other instruments for testing and cable organization. And all those equipment can be got from us with higher quality but fewer costs. For more information, you can contact us.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

Secrets of Choosing Fiber Rack Mount Enclosure

Fiber rack mount enclosures can provide a high-density solution for inter-connects or cross-connects between backbone horizontal cable and active equipment. Enclosures allow for easy field termination of connectors or installation of pre-terminated solutions, and are ideal for high-density fiber applications in data centers, equipment rooms, and central offices. Fiber rack mount enclosures come in different configurations. You may find fiber enclosures in the market with different sizes, slide-out or lid type, fixed front panel or removable front panel, splice tray or preterminated. Among so many types, you have to choose one that suits your application the most. So how to make the right decision? The following will tell you the method.

fiber-enclosure-loaded

Which Size of Rack Mount Enclosure?

The rack mount units are designed for rack mounting in 19-in (48 cm) racks. They are available in rack space options of 1U (two panels, cassettes or modules), 2U (four panels, cassettes or modules), 3U (six panels, cassettes or modules) and 4U (twelve panels, cassettes or modules), etc.(See the following picture.) You should choose the most proper one depending on the space and port requirement of your project.

rack-sizes-rack-units

Slide-out Type or Lid Type?

The rack mount enclosures include two kinds. One is the slide-out type, and the other incorporates a removable lid. The slide out type is more expensive while the lid type is less expensive but requires the user to remove the whole enclosure from the rack to gain internal access. If your budget is sufficient, I will recommend you to use the slide-out type. Then you may get more benefits during installation and maintenance, as they respectively feature a convenient slide-out support tray and a integrated swing-out tray so that you don’t need to remove the whole enclosure from the rack to gain internal access.

Fixed Front Panels or Removable Front Panels?

As we know, fiber optic adapters are the key part of an enclosure to accept the various fiber optic connectors. Thus, to choose a proper front panel option is also important. For general rack mount enclosures, there are mainly two types—one type uses fixed 1U High 19” front panel, and the other type incorporates three, or even up to five removable front panels. The latter is now becoming more popular with users, because a plug & play fiber adapter panel solution assures flexibility and ease of network deployment and MAC (moves, adds, and changes).

Splice or Pre-terminated?

Pigtail splicing and pre-terminated assemblies are the two basic way to do fiber termination. Depending on which method you choose, there are some differences in the rack mount enclosure selection. For pigtail splicing, you may need a rack mount panel with fiber splice tray, which are used for efficient management and storage of the spliced optical fibers. Splice tray is used for efficient management and storage of the spliced fiber optic cables. Fiber optic adapters are installed into the cut outs in the enclosure to accept the various fiber optic connectors. Fiber optic pigtails mate with the adapters and the fusion-spliced tails are stored on the splice tray.

But if you apply pre-terminated assemblies, the inner configuration of the rack mount panel is only the spools that are used to organize the cables. Obviously, the pre-terminated solution will help you save more installed time and labor cost.

Conclusion

In this article, you are advised to select the best fiber rack mount enclosure suitable for your own application from so many types. There are a wide range of rack mount enclosures in the market, which is good for interconnect and cross-connect in building your data centers. It’s ideal for the organization and protection of optic backbone terminations.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

Dos & Don’ts of Cable Management

Just imagine how would you feel when you face cable spaghetti? You must say, “oh, it’s very annoying.” Yes, that’s right. Improper cabling can bring disadvantages like heat retention, untimely hardware failure and maintenance headaches. So how to avoid cable spaghetti and keep network cabling in a good organization?

nice-cabling

Since cable management is one of the most important factors of data center design, it’s necessary to master some cabling skills. The following content will give you some suggestions for cabling installation.

Don’t Pull Fiber Jumper Cables too Hard

When installing cables, pulling issue can’t be avoided. Pulling cables too hard can damage them by stressing the core. Stressing the core will affect the signal performance. In extreme cases, it will cause unwinding of the twists in the sheath. Under this situation, you should better buy high quality patch cords from reliable manufacturers or vendors. Good patch cords are able to withstand the stress. Because cheap cables have sub-standard sheathing and narrow diameter cores which can cause signal loss. A smaller core is also more fragile and weak, more likely to bend, leading to an increased rate of cable failure.

Don’t Ignore Labels

Cable labels are very likely to be ignored by engineers. After finishing cable installation, they always think they can remember every cable type, including the network cables, power cables, patch cables, etc. Things doesn’t happen like you wish. Your memory will disappear as time goes on. Thus, you should not overlook labeling which can help you identify cables in a short time and leave messages to other installers to easily decipher what goes back.

cable-label

Don’t Forget Cable Ties

Cable ties are cheap and useful to get a clean look of your data center. Today there are many categories in different sizes with many colors. Nylon and Velcro ties are the most two common kinds. Velcro ties are better than plastic ties because they are easy and quick to add, remove and reusable. Nylon cable ties can put mush stress on cable bundles and cause pressure points on the cable jacket, changing the cable geometry and thus decreasing performance. What’s more, Velcro ties can be cut easily to any length you need.

Measure the Exact Cable Length You Need

Usually it says the longer, the better. But it’s another case for network cabling. Improper cable length often causes cable mess. Suppose you have bought 50m patch cable. However, you just use 20m. Then how to deal with the spare 30m cable? Just leave it alone? Of course not. So you’re advised to measure the exact cable length you need. Custom cable is the best solution for you to get the right length.

Leave Space for Cables Trays

What if very long cables are left in your network system? You may consider to put the cables into the cable trays. But it’s not a good idea. Cable trays should not be overloaded. Suspended cable trays are mounted to a rack or something. If it’s too heavy, the cable trays may fall off and break other expensive things. Too many cables is not only safety problem, but also leads to poor operational practices because it’s too hard or fear of disturbing cables. What’s worse, the cables at the bottom of cable try may be crushed and degrade signal propagation.

Choose a Proper Cable Manager

Cable manager is an economical and efficient solution to manage high density structured cabling in data centers and telecommunication rooms, which allows the maximum amount of cables to be organized in a minimum amount of space. Choose the best cable manager which suits the most for your application. Simple or complex cable manager, vertical or horizontal, plastic or metal, one must meet your requirements for network cable management improvement.

cable-manager

Conclusion

Cable management is not an easy work. Some engineers may not take cable management seriously or they don’t care much if there is a little mess. But the improper operation can cause lots of problems. To achieve neat cabling, too many things must be taken into consideration. And some useful tools and equipment are also required. Come and find a perfect cabling solution.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

MTP Trunks Assembly for High Density Data Center

The need for high bandwidth has never stopped. High bandwidth means more fibers are needed for the cabling infrastructure. The demands certainly change the network architecture to be more complicated. For spine-and-leaf architecture, each leaf switch in the network is interconnected with every spine switch. As a result, with leaf-spine configuration in data centers, fiber counts can multiply very quickly compared with traditional three-layer distribution architectures.

Besides, 40GbE and 100GbE grow quickly in the data center. Relatively, the interface of parallel optics like 40G QSFP+ changes to be MPO/MTP with 12-fiber instead of duplex fiber. And that also increases the fiber counts in your data center structured cabling. As data center evolves, links require 144 fibers, 288 fibers or even more. So data center managers are in front of many challenges such as limited space, deployment efficiency and of course the cost.

MTP Deployment Solutions

To address these challenges, many data center cabling designs use MTP trunks with up to 144 fibers. In data centers requiring more than 144 fibers, multiple runs of a 144-fiber cable assembly are typically installed to achieve the total desired fiber count. For example, if a link requires 288 fibers from the main distribution area of the data center to another location, two 144-fiber trunk cables would be installed. This method can reduce the physical space capacity for future growth. Figure 1 depicts the space savings across three deployment scenarios in a 12-inch x 6-inch cable tray with a 50 percent fill ratio:

  • 4,440 total fibers using 370 x 12-fiber MTP trunks
  • 13,680 total fibers using 95 x 144-fiber MTP trunks
  • 16,128 total fibers using 56 x 288-fiber MTP trunks

comparison

Figure 1. Comparison of trunks with different fibers

MTP connectivity is one of the important solutions used in high density environment. MTP cable allows for the deployment of optical fiber termination of 12 fibers at a time rather than individual termination of single fiber strands. In addition, this kind of cabling is easy for future migration to 40/100/200/400GbE networks using parallel optical technologies. To achieve high-fiber-count cable and connectivity, various implementation options are available.

MTP Trunk Assemblies

MTP trunk cable assemblies are offered in fiber types in standard 12, 24, 48, 72, 96 or 144 core versions in a compact and rugged micro-cable structure. With high port density, it brings big savings in installation time and cost. Due to its discreet premium connectors and special fiber, it delivers low insertion loss and power penalties in high speed network environment. And the multifiber connector and compact dimension also ease the space pressure in costly data centers.

MTP trunk cables are available in either mesh bundles or distribution fan-out trunks since infrastructure designs, cabling environments and pathway types are different, MTP connectivity in backbone cabling can employ different methods. Below are two possibilities:

Cables that are factory terminated on both ends using MTP connectors (MTP-MTP trunks)
Cables that are factory terminated on one end using MTP connectors (MTP pigtail trunk)

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Figure 2. MTP assemblies types

MTP-MTP Trunks

MTP trunk assemblies are used where all fibers are landed at a single location at each end of the link—for example, between the main distribution areas (MDAs) and the server rows or between the MDA and the core switching racks in a computer room or data hall, as Figure 3 shows. Additionally, MTP-MTP trunks also appear between MDAs of multiple computer rooms or data halls where open tray is the pathway.

same-computer-room

Figure 3. MTP-MTP trunk assembly deployed in a computer room

MTP Pigtail Trunks

MTP pigtail trunks can be used for environments where the pathway doesn’t allow for a pre-terminated end with pulling grip to fit through—for example, a small conduit space (see Figure 4). This approach is common when needing to provide connectivity between MDAs of multiple computer rooms or data halls. Additionally, a deployment using pigtail trunks can be useful when the exact pathway or route is not fully known, avoiding exact length measurement before ordering of the assembly.

two-computer-rooms

Figure 4. MTP pigtail trunk field terminated in two computer rooms

Conclusion

Many factors should be considered to plan and install a data center cabling infrastructure for actual and future needs, especially in high density environments. So before choose the best cabling installation solution, you need to take following points into concern:

  • Application environment: inside or between computer rooms or data halls
  • Design requirements: traditional three-layer or spine-and-leaf architecture
  • Future proofing: transition path and future-technology support

From this article, high-fiber-count MTP trunks are the best solution for your backbone cabling. MTP trunks is useful for faster installation, lower pathway congestion and greater efficiency while delivering the bandwidth to meet the needs of 40GbE/100GbE/200GbE and beyond.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com