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Most recent posts by "Dwayne Crawford"

Big Data Brings Challenges, Driving Pre-Term Solutions and New Topologies
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on June 05, 2013

Within the last minute there were 204 million emails sent, 20 million photos viewed, 100 thousand Tweets, 277 thousand Facebook logins and more than 2 million Google searches. With those statistics it's no wonder that 90% of the world's data has been created in the last two years alone. And all of this data—whether text, audio, video, click streams, log files or sensor data—is what is referred to as "big data."

According to a recent Gartner study, 42% of IT leaders are investing in big data projects, or plan to do so this year. While the analysis of big data presents a host of opportunities, from increased operational efficiency to new revenue streams, the Data Center is responsible for carrying this additional load—and a light load it is not! As demand for instantaneous data (anytime, anywhere and from any device) continues to grow, the Data Center must adapt—this is the new normal. Here are a few Data Center challenges driving the need for advanced cabling topologies and pre-terminated cabling solutions specifically.

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Technological Advancements Enable Easy Back-to-Basic Structured Cabling Design
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on June 18, 2013

In the Data Center, migration to 40 and 100-gigabit infrastructure deployment and flattened architectures are causing optical loss budgets to shrink.

Unfortunately, the loss values of many pre-terminated fiber solutions have only allowed for two mated pairs in a channel, which has limited the ability to deploy manageable, scalable and secure networks.

In fact, the current insertion loss of 0.75 dB per mated pair defined by TIA allows for just one mated pair in both 10- and 40-GbE fiber channels. Thankfully, new low-loss solutions allow Data Center managers to get back to the fundamental best practice of deploying multiple connection points that provide convenient cross-connects and zone distribution areas (ZDAs) to improve manageability, scalability and security.

How many connection points is optimum? Let’s take a look.

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24-Fiber MPO Solutions: A True Caveat Emptor
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on August 06, 2013

In 2008, the IEEE ratified the 40GBASE-SR4 standard that uses 4 lanes at 10 Gig per lane over multimode fiber for a total of 8 fibers (i.e., 4 transmit and 4 receive). At the same time, the 100GBASE-SR10 standard was ratified that uses 10 lanes at 10 Gig per lane over multimode fiber for a total of 20 fibers (i.e., 10 transmit and 10 receive).

While very few data centers are running 100 Gig today, and most that are tend to use singlemode fiber, we all know that 100 Gig over multimode is on the horizon. Therefore, many data center managers are looking to prepare themselves for an eventual migration.

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Tags: MPO, 12-Fiber, 24-Fiber, 40/100G Migration


Who is Erika Violet and What is She Doing in My Data Center
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on September 11, 2013

Centuries before Sir Isaac Newton started studying color at the age of 23 in 1666, mankind used color as a means of identification.

Color remains the easiest way to identify, recognize and classify just about anything, and it has always been an integral part of our industry—from the colors of individual fibers to the outer jacket of a cable.

Despite what you may have heard or seen, there isn’t a new lady or a new type of optical fiber in town. But there is a new color—Erika Violet—and she has a lot to offer when it comes to identifying OM4 fiber in the data center.

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Tags: Erika Violet, OM4 Fiber


A Follow Up Post: 24-Fiber MPO Solutions: A True Caveat Emptor
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on October 03, 2013

My original blog post on August 7th regarding the limitations of using 24-fiber MPO solutions seems to have raised some questions in the industry.

The more information we can offer our readers on the differences between 12-fiber and 24-fiber MPO solutions, the more informed decisions they can make. So let me elaborate on some of the concepts I touched on in my original post.

Fact #1—The Higher the Fiber Count, the Higher the Loss

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Tags: Data Center, MPO, Fiber Testing


Fiber Channel Testing: With or Without the Patch Cords?
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on November 14, 2013

Discussions surrounding whether or not to test a fiber channel with the patch cords have been unclear. The answer to this long-standing question is “it depends.” Let’s take a closer a look.

First Check the Spec

In reality, the main deciding factor for whether to test the channel with the patch cords included or to just test the permanent link depends on the specification provided by the end user or their consultant. If the spec calls for it, you need to include them. It’s that simple.

Then Consider the Facts

If after checking the spec the question still remains as to whether or not patch cords should be included in channel testing, consider the fact that patch cords are factory terminated and offer a lower risk of defect and errors. Installation of the permanent link typically has much more impact on the performance and insertion loss of the channel.

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Tags: Data Center, Fiber Testing


Fiber Channel Testing:1-, 2- or 3- Jumper Reference?
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on November 21, 2013

As a follow up to my last blog regarding whether or not to include patch cords when testing a fiber channel, another question that has long plagued fiber testing is whether to use the 1-, 2- or 3-jumper reference method.

As shown in the graphic, what is being measured in a fiber channel varies greatly depending on the reference method selected. So it’s a good idea to understand why the 1-jumper method is preferred and what the difference is between the three methods.

1 Jumper


The 1-jumper reference method recommended by both TIA and IEC standards assesses the condition of the channel end faces against a very high quality multimode connector from the test reference jumper (i.e., 0.1dB per mated pair), and it includes the loss of the connections at both ends of the channel. Because much of the loss is a result of those connections, the 1-jumper reference method provides the highest accuracy.

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Tags: Fiber Testing


Why Design to the Max
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on February 13, 2014

In an era where loss budgets are more stringent than ever and most manufacturers are publishing both typical and maximum insertion loss values, knowing which loss values to base the design of your channel on is more important than ever.

The idea of a loss budget is to ensure that the application will function over the installed channel. Rather than using the best possible connector loss values, designers should be conservative and give themselves some margin.

In other words, play it safe and base your testing loss limits on the manufacturer’s specified “maximum” insertion loss values.

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Tags: Data Center


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