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Optical networking innovation naturally fits with the cloud

By Max Burkhalter
July 9, 2012
The rapid rise of fiber-optic cabling in the telecommunications and data center spaces has helped revolutionize the potential of networks. This has become an important trend, as cloud computing and similar technologies have created an environment in which businesses can ill afford to experience poor network performance and have to invest in advanced technologies to support operational needs.

According to a recent Cabling Installation and Maintenance report, it was not too long ago when companies like AT&T were advertising this cool new form of cabling that uses fiber-optic technology to handle 24 phone calls at the same time. This amounts to a little over 1 Mbps, a speed that is dwarfed by current advanced cable forms that can carry one terabit of data per second. The rise of fiber-optic cabling could not have come at a better time, as the rapid advance of cloud computing and similar technologies has made high-performance networking critical in a variety of sectors.

The increased use of fiber-optic connectivity options has created a major shift in how data center networks operate. The news source explained that most data center networks have traditionally contained copper wiring throughout the facility, with the only fiber-optic line acting as the main connection between the data center and the corporate network.

However, the rise of cloud computing in consumer and business sectors has made video and other forms of media more prevalent in a variety of settings. Furthermore, the cloud also supports data-rich application delivery through the web. This has led to a major shift in the data center. The report said copper alone is no longer enough to support operational requirements, and that companies are increasingly laying out optical networks throughout the data center in an effort to support ongoing data delivery requirements.

Demand for fiber-optic cabling is also extending outside the data center. As more consumers engage in video streaming and similar services from the home, the consumer network often demands the kind of performance formerly restricted to businesses. This has led to an influx of fiber-to-the-home projects over the course of the past few years, with some countries making FTTH backbone construction mandatory with any new housing development. The network has always been an important supporting technology, but it has become a critical considerations, making optical connectivity key.

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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