Nowadays, the demand for high connection speeds is increasing at an intimidating pace. People need to send -and receive- more data than ever, and the technology that’s available to them often seems to just not being able to keep up.
Optical fiber seems to represent the best choice when it comes to offering higher speeds -currently required by data center networks. In contrast to multimode and single mode optical networks, which were typically based on duplex fiber links, parallel fiber (MPO-based) connectivity has now become the ideal go-to choice, since it allows the use of pre-terminated systems that can be used in a quick and efficient way.
Nonetheless, this type of connectivity had been used to deliver duplex connectivity combined with duplex modules and breakouts. The selection of multi-fiber interfaces responds to the demands of increasing applications and density.
This turnover has led to a general consideration of using duplex connectivity, but at the same time, it needs to fill the necessity of including a combination of parallel and duplex interfaces.
Apart from considering these new iterations, it is essential to have a solid grasp on the evolution of network equipment and on the advantages of implementing an infrastructure based on duplex connections.
That being said, let us walk you through the Ethernet Roadmap.
There are several applications housed in data centers, which implies that those applications will demand a diversity in the connectivity topologies. It is commonly known that most networks use duplex links, but the demand for higher speeds requires using duplex links into other groups of links, which is when the term of parallel links enter the debate.
Likewise, this new incorporation asks for certain cabling structures that can handle this new array of options while having the acute vision of what the new results from this structures may provide us with. In other words, what we’re now witnessing it’s a migration from arrangements that involve duplex links into parallel link options that need to cover the requirements of higher speeds.
The great thing about parallel links is that they reduce the operation costs at a significant rate. Since they offer higher connectivity densities, it reduces the power consumption to send that data. This type of connection multiplies the information been transported, so it offers a notable reduction in the time employed in the transmission of information.
The increase of speeds has also developed a certain progress when it comes to the outlining of separate transmission lanes. In the end, the throughput will be augmented due to the incorporation of additional fiber, or the multiplexing over just a single a fiber.
Each one of these parameters will determine the selection of the fiber media and the options for cabling that will become the most appropriate for your data center. The decision of moving from single and duplex links to parallel ones will surely affect your cabling choice. This may traduce to a significant cost at the beginning, but it shall be seen as an investment in the long term.
The first thing you need to do is to determine the desired capacity that your data center will possess in the short-term future. Your team can come in handy forecasting this scenario since it is very well equipped with considering, evaluating and even trying several technologies, platforms and routing strategies.
After coming to terms to answering each one of the specific requirements demanded by your new system, the pre-terminated MPO-based fiber cabling system will enable a quicker utilisation and a certain flexibility of configuration, along with a cabling topology that corresponds appropriately with the new direction and desired performance of your data center direction.
Aside from combining “lanes” to provide for higher and better link speeds, multiplexing several wavelengths on a single pair of fibers offers great results.
The great thing about this new structure of links is that it offers a new set of applications. Depending on the type of configuration, migrations can be enabled between duplex and parallel optics.
This quality is very eloquent when it comes to supporting the notion of the flexibility offered by parallel links. If new needs come up, you should be able to accommodate those necessities by making adjustments to your new structure in your data center.
Every decision that you make towards implementing parallel links will affect your structure -and space- of your cabling, so every single analysis that you can make before adding something to your new structure should be mandatory.
To put it mildly, you need to be aware of the physical space every new configuration is going to occupy. You can have lots of great ideas for new connections, but if you can’t afford the space for it, none of them will work out. But don’t worry, you just need to gain conscience of the dimensions of your cabling configurations so you can design them and implement them properly.
The good thing about duplex cables is that they are very flexible, so not all of these considerations should be thought of as limitations. You can work around them -and, trust us, you should!
By merely thinking about all of this, you could be concerned about the cost it implies, and we hear you. Notwithstanding, this is a cost you need to assume. Not only because the current situation demands it, but also because this decision will stand out as an investment for the near future.
New designs imply adjustments so you can incorporate duplex and parallel connections, meaning that perhaps new racks or more space for your cabling will be needed. This inclusion will also call for changes in the management of your team, which will have to face new ways to handle these devices.
Human beings tend to reject at first all sorts of changes, it’s in our nature, but if you are totally convinced on the benefits that each and single one of these procedures will bring to your data center in the future, you will work through them focused on having the vision aiming at an impending success. The current concerns need to be replaced with a relentless optimism that your work will be enhanced in the long run.
We hope you find this article very useful and that this information can help you increase the speed -and hopefully the quality- of your data center.