Today’s data centers are looking to deploy infrastructures that are ready to support 40- and 100-gigabit Ethernet (GbE) as well as flattened data center architectures to improve low-latency, server-to-server communication. Supporting these higher speeds and new designs is causing optical insertion loss budgets to shrink. To date, the loss values for many preterminated multi-fiber (MPO) solutions have only allowed for two mated pairs in an optical fiber channel. This has significantly limited the ability for data center managers to deploy flexible, manageable, scalable and secure networks.
Insertion loss is a critical parameter that determines the maximum distance of an optical fiber channel for a given transmission rate. With reduced maximum channel loss for 40 and 100 GbE, the loss values on multi-fiber connectivity have become more critical than ever, especially when deploying multi-point architectures. Remember, both 40 and 100 GbE now have a total connector loss limit of 1.5 dB and 1.0 dB respectively. Connector loss is directly related to how many mated pairs can be placed within a channel. However, deploying 3-, 4- or even 5-point architectures allow data center managers to get back to the basic, fundamental and time-honored best practice of convenient cross-connects and zone distribution areas (ZDAs) that provide significant benefits in flexibility, manageability, scalability and security.
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