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Installation options can have major impact on network performance

By Donna Donnawitz
November 7, 2012
Installing fiber-optic cabling infrastructure is a challenging and often expensive process. Over the past few decades, the core elements of cabling installation have been simplified, but the network itself has become more complex. This has created a dynamic in which the strategies and tools used to build the cabling architecture of a network can have a major impact on its performance. According to a recent Cabling Installation & Maintenance report, this is especially evident when you look at fiber-optic connectors.

Considering connector options in fiber-optic networks
The importance of fiber-optic connectors goes back as far as the late 1970s, when cabling technicians would manually polish the connectors used in fiber-optic cabling deployments, the news source said. This process was effective, but took so long that it was not a viable long-term strategy. Before long, ovens were introduced that could accelerate the polishing process and make it much easier. But this solution still depended on field polishing methods. During the 1990s, cabling manufacturers made pre-polished connectors that only had to be treated, cleaved and properly set to establish the connection.

This base pre-polished system worked exceptionally well for a while, especially after new methods for cleaving and crimping were developed, the report explained. However, data rates were increasing at a rapid pace, leading to the realization that Fresnal reflection is a major problem within the network. Since then, multiple solutions have emerged to deal with Fresnal reflection, allowing you to more easily establish the fiber network by pigtailing the connector or using angle physical contact solutions.

Simplifying connections in the network
Dealing with fiber connectors is only part of the problem when installing a network. High-quality connector solutions can enable you to more easily, and less expensively, establish fiber-optic cabling infrastructure. However, doing this also forces you to find a way to make copper and fiber interact with each other effectively. This is one of those problems that people wish they had. On one hand, it is easy to solve using fiber to Ethernet media converters. On the other, dealing with the slight complexity increase of a multi-protocol network contributes to major performance gains and helps future proof your infrastructure. As a result, combining effecting cabling connectors and media conversion can enable you to more easily establish a high-performance network that fits within your budget.

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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