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Distance matters, even when traveling at the speed of light

By Max Burkhalter
September 7, 2012
There's something beautiful about a child's mind. Think back to what it was like being a kid and you may start to see what I mean. You see, as kids, we didn't worry about questions being too big to have a real answer. We didn't care how complex an issue was; it was still worth wondering about the mysteries of the universe. Every once in a while, I try to stop and think like a child and look at technology problems from a much less cynical perspective.

Imagine, from a child-like perspective, how fast the speed of light actually is. I'm not talking numbers here. Kids don't think in numbers. Instead, imagine being able to travel at the speed of light. How fast could you get from one part of the world to another? How cool would it be when you could get anywhere? Where would you go? How annoying would it get when suddenly a trip takes an extra 20 milliseconds for no apparent reason?

It's funny how when the speed that we move accelerates, time that we once thought of as insignificant suddenly means something. This is happening in the world of cloud service delivery. According to a recent report from the Guardian, fiber-optic cabling infrastructure created a way to send data around the globe at the speed of light, but cloud computing has created so much demand for rapid content delivery that the milliseconds of latency created by having to send data so far has become problematic because it limits download speeds.

There are a few ways to overcome this, including considering distance when choosing a cloud vendor, the report said. One of the best ways to ensure cloud performance, however, is to use specialized dedicated network services, such as MPLS infrastructure, to create a direct network link between cloud services and accelerate data delivery by removing latency.

If you want to get this kind of performance, however, you have to have the supplementary tools needed to connect optical networking infrastructure to the corporate network, which is often built using copper and electromagnetic signal, not fiber and light. This makes fiber media converters essential for companies working to get the most out of the cloud, as they allow the specialized fiber networks to work effectively alongside copper systems, enabling operations as close to the speed of light as possible.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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