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Optical networking becoming more essential in data center interconnects

By Max Burkhalter
April 23, 2012
Data center interconnect networks are the core backhaul system that establishes a connection between individual data centers and businesses. These networks transport data to LANs, WANs and MANs, ensuring that organizations can sustain operations. With the rise of virtualization and cloud computing, the importance of interconnects has grown, and fiber-optic cable infrastructure is emerging as a key requirement, Data Center Knowledge reported.

The news source explained that emerging service and application requirements, especially those having to do with the cloud, have created a situation in which latency needs to be cut out of the network. As the cloud continues to expand and become more prominent in the enterprise, service providers and organizations managing their own cloud architectures need to develop better methods for transporting data packets from one facility to another. Within this process, more companies are demanding cloud delivery systems that are built with extremely low latencies. As a result, cloud service providers, corporate data centers and telecoms need to have their facilities connected in such a way that resources can be seamlessly delivered.

Networking latency is created by a variety of issues, ranging from the amount of time it takes for a data packet to travel to a new destination to the quality of the fiber itself and the network equipment used to to transfer the optical light signal to an electromagnetic signal that can be sent through copper wires and Ethernet networks, the report said. Because latency is becoming such a priority for many organizations, optical network infrastructure capable of supporting wave division multiplexing is becoming essential.

WDM allows the optical network to transmit data using multiple wavelengths of light signal. The news source explained that this allows for bi-directional communication along the optical line. WDM can enable as many as 80 different channels of communication within an optical cable, allowing for far greater capacities. This is letting increased fiber-optic network use by allowing for higher capacities through each line.

As organizations consider using better optical network technologies for their interconnect networks, they also need to evaluate how that will impact their core connectivity options. Deploying more fiber may create demand for media conversion tools, as businesses need to find ways to transition from fiber to Ethernet without disrupting performance.

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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