Friday, May 10, 2013
MAN infrastructure and dark fiber - developing a cost-effective network
Dark fiber represents a unique opportunity for businesses with multiple branches in a metropolitan area.
It may sound kind of silly for a company to have a bunch of offices within a few miles of one another, why not just have one big office? The reality is that real-estate costs are often lower with more offices, workers can fit an easier commute into their day with this kind of setup and the distributed work force makes it easy to silo different parts of a company. As a result, the local branch office model is a fairly feasible option for many businesses. However, this setup also creates a few networking and data center challenges. Dark fiber used in a MAN setup can alleviate the connectivity side of the issue.
Taking advantage of dark fiber
When fiber-optic cabling was beginning to gain momentum in the 1990's and the economy was in good shape, many organizations went out of their way to build extensive fiber networks in metropolitan areas. Over time, the economy began to falter and demand for those advanced connectivity solutions never really took shape. In many locations around the United States, there are fairly extensive optical networks in place that are not currently being used. These dark fibers represent a strategic opportunity for businesses because some companies have begun selling access to the network infrastructure. As a result, organizations can use the dark fiber as an interconnect setup between their various offices without having to build cable trenches and install new wires throughout a city. Instead, businessesonly have to deploy media converters and enough cables to connect the dark fiber to the Ethernet systems in their office.
Using dark fiber in this way allows companies to establish a MAN network without having to incur major installation costs, but media converters are an essential investment in this landscape.
Media converters and the MAN
MAN infrastructure can provide a unique price-to-performance ratio, but only if organizations choose the right tools to complement the dark fiber. Cost-effective fiber to Ethernet media converters allow organizations to bridge the gap between the fiber setup that makes the MAN effective and the Ethernet systems that are common in most buildings. As a result, media conversion can serve as the glue that puts the various network components together, solving interoperability problems without creating excess costs that detract from the solution's core value.
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.