Jun 02

How to Select Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable?

Fiber optic waterproof cables are widely used in outdoor applications to connect the major fiber optic lines or receivers or splice enclosures. According to different requirements, both fiber optic patch cords and fiber optic pigtails are available. Water proof fiber cable usually adds a water blocking material between the outer jacket and the inner fiber (or inner jacket) to protect the fiber surface from unwanted damage, such as an armored cable or loose-tube gel-filled cable, or water-tolerable tight-buffered cable. Since there are different types of structure for waterproof cables, is there an easy way to determine which waterproof fiber optic patch cable to choose? In order to help select a right waterproof fiber optic cable quickly, this post will introduce the basic knowledge of waterproof ratings and the features of our waterproof fiber optic cable.

LC-LC waterproof fiber patch cable

How Is a Waterproof Cable Rated?

Like choosing any other fiber optic patch cables, the connector type, fiber count, fiber type (single-mode or multimode), polish type, cable length and cable jacket are factors that should be considered as well. When buying waterproof fiber optic patch cords, the IP (International Protection or Ingress Protection) rating is an important parameter. Knowing the IP code can help you find your wanted waterproof cable.

IP rating system is a classification showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids. IP rating codes do not include hyphens or spaces, and consist of the letters IP followed by one or two figures. The first number refers to the degree of protection against the entry of foreign solid objects, such as dust. These protection levels range from 0 to 6. The second number of the IP code refers to the degrees of protection against moisture/liquids, which are raging from 0 to 8. The first and second number of the IP code can be replaced by the letter “X” when the protection capacity against solid objects (the first number) or moisture (the second number) has not been tested, for example, IPX7 and IP6X.

The following two tables explain the two types of protection levels in details.

Table 1: Protection levels against solid objects.

IP Code Protection Object Size
0 No protection. N/A
1 Protection from contact with any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part, such as a finger. Less than 50mm.
2 Protection from fingers or similar objects. Less than 12.5mm.
3 Protection from tools, thick wires or similar objects. Less than 2.5mm.
4 Protection from most wires, screws or similar objects. Less than 1mm.
5 Partial protection from contact with harmful dust. N/A
6 Partial protection from contact with harmful dust. N/A

Table 2: Protection levels against moisture.

IP Code Protection Test Duration Usage
0 No protection. N/A N/A
1 Protection against vertically dripping water. 10 mins Light rain.
2 Protection against vertically dripping water when device is tilted at an angle up to 15 degrees. 10 mins Light rain.
3 Protection against direct sprays of water when device is tilted at an angle up to 60 degrees. 5 mins Rain and spraying.
4 Protection from sprays and splashing of water in all directions. 5 mins Rain, spraying and splashing.
5 Protection from low-pressure water projected from a nozzle with a 6.3mm diameter opening in any direction. 3 mins from a distance of 3 meters Rain, splashing and direct contact with most kitchen/bathroom faucets.
6 Protection from water projected in powerful jets from a nozzle with a 12.5mm diameter opening in any direction. 3 mins from a distance of 3 meters Rain, splashing, direct contact with kitchen/bathroom faucets, outdoor use in rough sea conditions.
7 Protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) for up to 30 mins. 30 mins Rain, splashing and accidental submersion.
8 Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter (manufacturer must specify exact depth). Varies Rain, splashing and accidental submersion.
Features of FS.COM Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable

FS.COM provides IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable, including simplex, duplex, 12 fibers, 24 fibers, and various kinds of connect interfaces are optional, such as LC-LC fiber patch cord, SC-SC fiber patch cord, MPO-MPO fiber patch cord, etc. Other degrees of waterproof fiber optic patch cords can also be customized. Our waterproof fiber patch cables are designed with strong PU jacket and armored structure, which can resist high temperature and fit for harsh environment. Our IP67 waterproof fiber patch cords are featured with high temperature stability and low insertion loss. It is also very convenient to install these waterproof, dust-proof and corrosion-resistant patch cords. The plug and socket design can be used to extend the cable length. They are very suitable for FTTH (fiber to the home) and LAN (local area network) applications.

Conclusion

The IP code for waterproof devices is not that difficult to understand and you can get some basic information about the protection degree of a device after you know the meaning of each number. You can use it as a reference in choosing a waterproof cable, but you should also consider other factors according to your specific applications.

Feb 22

Suggested 100G QSFP28 Transceiver Solutions for Data Centers

In recent years, QSFP28 transceiver module has upgraded the 100G market which can support the data transmission mode of 4×25G. Currently many data centers have already adopted QSFP28 transceivers for 100G migration. Of course, there are many other types of transceivers can transfer the 100G network, but QSFP28 modules are still considered to be the optimal choice. This post is going to present some useful 100G QSFP28 transceiver solutions for data centers. Maybe one of them is exactly what you need.

Basics of QSFP28 Optical Transceiver

QSFP28 transceiver is designed for high-density and high-speed for applications in telecommunications. The transceiver offers four channels of different signals with data rates ranging from 25 Gbps up to potentially 40 Gbps, and meets 100 Gbps Ethernet (4×25 Gbps) and 100 Gbps 4X InfiniBand Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) requirements. QSFP28 optical transceiver has various advantages. It has a smaller size than other 100G modules, thus it is ideal for high-density ports on the switch. Power consumption of QSFP28 transceiver is usually the lowest of less than 3.5W. In addition, QSFP28 increases the transmission capacity of every lane from 10G to 25G, which can save much cost for each bit.

QSFP28 Transceiver Solutions

QSFP28 transceivers can be categorized into several types based on different IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ) or MSA (Multi-source Agreement) standards.

100GBASE-SR4 is the IEEE standard for 100G QSFP28 that supports short distance over multimode. It can reach 100G transmission up to 70m over OM3 and 100m over OM4. With the MTP/MPO interface, 100GASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceiver supports four lanes of 25G dual way transmission over eight fibers.

qsfp28-sr4

100GBASE-LR4 is also the IEEE standard for QSFP28 module but supports long distance transmission for the maximum of 10km over single-mode fiber. 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 is special for adopting the WDM technologies for four 25G lanes transmission over four different wavelengths. In addition, its duplex LC interface supports the 100G dual-way transmission.

qsfp28-lr4

100GBASE-PSM4 is the standard defined by MSA for the point-to-point 100G link over eight single-mode fibers reaching the length of up to 500m. 100GBASE-PSM4 QSFP28 transceiver uses four identical and independent lanes for each signal direction with each lane carrying a 25G optical transmission. With the MTP/MPO interface, optical fiber ribbon cables with MTP/MPO connectors can be plugged into the QSFP28 module.

qsfp28-psm4

100GBASE-CWDM4 standard was released by CWDM MSA to support 100G network for up to 2km. It uses the CWDM technology to reduce the transmission on 8 fibers (4 optical transmitters and four optical receivers) into 2 fibers. This transceiver is similar to 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 but has a shorter transmission range and lower cost.

qsfp28-cwdm4

Conclusion

In a word, QSFP28 modules are suggested transceiver solutions for upgrading the data center 100G network. The 100GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-LR4, 100GBASE-PSM4, and 100GBASE-CWDM4 QSFP28 transceivers mentioned above are the most popular ones to ensure the high-speed data transmission at either short or long distance. FS.COM offers both generic and compatible QSFP28 modules according to your demands. Other than QSFP28 transceivers, there are also many other types of 100G transceivers, such as CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CXP transceivers. For more information, please kindly visit FS.COM or contact us directly via sales@fs.com.

Feb 15

Do You Know the Difference Between Hub, Switch & Router?

When computers, network devices or other networks are required to be connected, hubs, switches and routers are the bridges to link them together. All the three types of devices can perform the same function, and technicians sometimes may use the terms interchangeably. However, this will make people confuse whether they are the same thing or different from each other. This post is going to explore the actual meanings of hub, switch, router and what they are used for.

Overview of Hub, Switch & Router
Hub

A hub is to sent out a message from one port to other ports. For example, if there are three computers of A, B, C, the message sent by a hub for computer A will also come to the other computers. But only computer A will respond and the response will also go out to every other port on the hub. Therefore, all the computers can receive the message and computers themselves need to decide whether to accept the message.

hub network

Switch

A switch is able to handle the data and knows the specific addresses to send the message. It can decide which computer is the message intended for and send the message directly to the right computer. The efficiency of switch has been greatly improved, thus providing a faster network speed.

switch network

Router

Router is actually a small computer that can be programmed to handle and route the network traffic. It usually connects at least two networks together, such as two LANs, two WANs or a LAN and its ISP network. Routers can calculate the best route for sending data and communicate with each other by protocols.

router network

What Is the Difference?
Hub Vs. Switch

A hub works on the physical layer (Layer 1) of OSI model while Switch works on the data link layer (Layer 2). Switch is more efficient than the hub. A switch can join multiple computers within one LAN, and a hub just connects multiple Ethernet devices together as a single segment. Switch is smarter than hub to determine the target of the forwarding data. Since switch has a higher performance, its cost will also become more expensive.

Switch Vs. Router

In the OSI model, router is working on a higher level of network layer (Layer 3) than switch. Router is very different from the switch because it is for routing packet to other networks. It is also more intelligent and sophisticated to serve as an intermediate destination to connect multiple area networks together. A switch is only used for wired network, yet a router can also link with the wireless network. With much more functions, a router definitely costs higher than a switch.

Hub Vs. Router

As mentioned above, a hub only contains the basic function of a switch. Hence, differences between hub and router are even bigger. For instance, hub is a passive device without software while router is a networking device, and data transmission form in hub is in electrical signal or bits while in router it is in form of packet.

Which One Should I Buy?

Whatever device you use for your network, you must make sure it can perform all the functions required by the network. As for performance, wireless router is recommended because it allows different devices to connect to the network. If you have a limited budget, switch is a good solution with relatively high performance and lower cost.

Conclusion

Although sometimes specialists alternatively use hub, switch or router to describe these devices, they still have their own differences. Understanding their distinctions can be helpful to find the most appropriate device for your network.

Feb 09

How Will SDN Change the Future Network?

Traditional networks are usually built with tiers of Ethernet switches in a tree structure. However, the development of mobile devices, server virtualization and cloud computing service has driven the need for dynamic computing and storage in data centers. Thus, the concept of software-defined networking (SDN) was put forward to construct a more flexible and agile network. This technology has widely caught people’s attention in the industry over the years. In this post, some basic knowledge about SDN will be introduced to help you have better understanding.

Definition of SDN Architecture

SDN is a developing network architecture that aims to directly program the network computing. Through the open interfaces and abstraction of lower-level functionality, this approach allows the network administrators to programmatically initialize, control, change and manage network behavior dynamically. SDN is different from the traditional network architecture whose network devices are based on both control plane and data plane. Instead, SDN puts the control plane on the SDN controller to communicate with a physical or virtual switch data plane through the OpenFlow protocol.

sdn-architecture

Features of SDN

Here are some fundamental features of the SDN architecture:

  • Instantly programmable: Network control is directly programmable for it is decoupled from forwarding functions.
  • Agile: Administrators can dynamically adjust network-wide traffic flow to meet changing needs.
  • Centralized management: Network intelligence is centralized in SDN controllers that maintain a global view of the network.
  • Programmatically configured: Network managers can configure, manage, secure, and optimize network resources very quickly by dynamic, automated SDN programs.
  • Open standards-based and vendor-neutral: SDN simplifies network design and operation since instructions are provided by SDN controllers instead of multiple, vendor-specific devices and protocols.
Basics of OpenFlow

OpenFlow is a type of communication protocol that provides access to the forwarding plane of a network switch or router over the network. It is considered to be the first SDN standard, which enables network controllers to determine the path of network packets across a network of switches. In order to work in an OpenFlow environment, all the equipment should support the OpenFlow protocol to communicate to an SDN controller.

openflow

What Benefits Will OpenFlow-Based SDN Bring to Network?
  • Point 1, SDN controller can get centralized control of OpenFlow-enabled devices from any vendors instead of managing the devices from different vendors separately.
  • Point 2, OpenFlow-based SDN provides a flexible network automation and management architecture, and can develop a variety of automated network management tools to replace the current manual operation which greatly reduces the complexity.
  • Point 3, SDN increases higher rates of business innovation and allows IT network operators to meet specific business needs and variable user needs in real time by explicitly programming or reprogramming the network.
  • Point 4, SDN enables IT to define the configuration network and develop management policies at a higher level and distributes the information to the network infrastructure through OpenFlow, which has increased the network reliability and security.
  • Point 5, OpenFlow’s flow control model allows IT to deploy network policies at a granular level which is a higher abstraction and automated deployment level including session-level, user-level, device-level and application-level.
  • Point 6, through centralized network control and network application status information, SDN can provide better dynamic user experience.
Conclusion

Future network will depend on more and more software to accelerate the pace of network innovation. SDN is committed to changing the current static network into a dynamic and programmable one. With so many advantages and industrial potentiality, SDN will definitely become the new standard of future network.

Jan 30

Computer Networks Comparison Between LAN & WAN

When setting up the wireless router at home, you may notice that there are different ports at the back of router noted with LAN or WAN. If you are totally new to this, then understanding the differences between LAN and WAN technologies is fairly important. This article will solve your confusion about these network terms.

LAN-WAN

What Is LAN?

LAN is the abbreviation of local area network. As a simple and original network, LAN is widely used in different kinds of places for short range computer connections. It is a computer network built within a restricted area. LAN network has its own network devices and local interconnections. Applications of LAN can always be found in the residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office. All the computers are linked in the same general location. A local area network is considered to be private and maintained by a single group of people.

local area network

What Is WAN?

WAN refers to wide area network. It is a computer network with a large geographical coverage. The essence of WAN is to allow a network to be carried out without the limitation of location. The Internet that we use every day is a good example of WAN network. As its name suggests, WAN is very wide that can across a town, a region, a country or even the whole world. It is often used by business and government agencies to make strong network communication among employees, clients, supplier and buyers from various parts of the world.

wide area network

Differences Between LAN & WAN

Here are some major differences between LAN and WAN computer networks.

  • Point 1, cover ranges of LAN and WAN networks are different. LAN connects computers in a small physical area, while WAN connects larger areas situated in different geographical locations.
  • Point 2, network speeds of LAN and WAN are varied. WAN is typically slower than LAN due to the distance data must travel. The maximum speed of LAN is 1000 Mbps while WAN can only reach 150 Mbps.
  • Point 3, as for the security level, LAN seems to be better than WAN. Because WAN involves more people into the interconnection, there is a greater possibility of network issues.
  • Point 4, due to the smaller network coverage, setup and maintenance costs for LAN are usually lower than WAN.
Other Computer Network Types

Apart from the common LAN and WAN computer networks, there are also many other types.

WLAN: wireless local area network is a type of LAN that uses wireless technology to connect computers or devices to the router.

MAN: metropolitan area network is larger than LAN and smaller than WAN to connect nodes located in the same metro area.

SAN: storage area network provides access to consolidated, block level data storage. It does not rely on a LAN or WAN.

VPN: virtual private network help users to access a private network remotely through a virtual point-to-point connection.

EPN:enterprise private network is a computer network built by a business to interconnect its various locations to share computer resources.

PAN:personal area network is the smallest and most basic network for data transmission among personal devices.

Conclusion

LAN and WAN are the most widely used computer networks in today’s world. Both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. When you are confused about which network to set up, network distance is a good aspect to consider. Although LAN has many benefits, you still need to choose WAN when it comes to large areas networking.

Jan 23

Layer 2, 3, 4 Switching: What’s the Difference?

Network switches are always seen in data centers for data transmission. Many technical terms are used with the switches. Have you ever noticed that they are often described as Layer 2, Layer 3 or even Layer 4? What are the differences among these technologies? Which layer is better for deployment? Let’s explore the answers through this post.

What Does “Layer” Mean?

Switch is used for linking the network devices together and switching the data from one port to another based on information from the packets being transmitted. The information complies with the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) seven-layer model to ensure product interoperability. OSI model is a conceptual model that characterizes and standardizes the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system without regard to their underlying internal structure and technology. Therefore, switches working on different layers of OSI model are described as Lay 2, Layer 3 or Layer 4 switches.

OSI model

Switch Layers
Layer 2 Switching

Layer 2 is also known as the data link layer. It is the second layer of OSI model. This layer transfers data between adjacent network nodes in a WAN or between nodes on the same LAN segment. It is a way to transfer data between network entities and detect or correct errors happened in the physical layer. Layer 2 switching uses the local and permanent MAC (Media Access Control) address to send data around a local area on a switch.

layer 2 switching

Layer 3 Switching

Layer 3 is the network layer in the OSI model for computer networking. Layer 3 switches are the fast routers for Layer 3 forwarding in hardware. It provides the approach to transfer variable-length data sequences from a source to a destination host through one or more networks. Layer 3 switching uses the IP (Internet Protocol) address to send information between extensive networks. IP address shows the virtual address in the physical world which resembles the means that your mailing address tells a mail carrier how to find you.

layer 3 switching

Layer 4 Switching

As the middle layer of OSI model, Layer 4 is the transport layer. This layer provides several services including connection-oriented data stream support, reliability, flow control, and multiplexing. Layer 4 uses the protocol of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) which include the port number information in the header to identify the application of the packet. It is especially useful for dealing with network traffic since many applications adopt designated ports.

layer 4 switching

Which Layer to Use?

As for small networks, Layer 2 switches might be a good option. However, most networks will combine the Lay 2 and Layer 3 switches. Layer 3 is more intelligent and provides all the functionality of Lay 2 networks. Therefore, Layer 2 switches are used to provide cheap and easy connectivity to workgroups and Layer 3 switches are used to enable departmental networks to be segmented and controlled with no loss of bandwidth. Likewise, Layer 4 switches contain all the features of Layer 3 switch and some additional functions. Layer 4 switches are the enhanced version to provide higher class of service for controlling the network traffic.

Conclusion

With the development of technologies, the intelligence of switches are continuously progressing on different layers of the network. The mix application of different layer switches is a more cost-effective solution for big data centers. Understanding these switching layers can help you make better decisions.

Jan 16

Basic Knowledge of Wireless Access Point

With the rapid development of Ethernet network, cables are widely adopted for wired network connectivity. However, this may also lead to the problem of cable mess when large quantities of cables are deployed. In order to solve this issue, wireless network is now accepted by most network users to reduce the employment of cables. Wireless access point is an important device for connecting the wired network with wireless network. This article will talk about the fundamental knowledge about wireless access point.

What Is Wireless Access Point?

Wireless access point (WAP) is also known as access point (AP). It is a hardware device used in a wireless local area network (WLAN) for data transmitting and receiving. An access point connects users to other users within the network and also serves as the point of interconnection between the WLAN and a fixed wire network. Basically, the working principle of wireless access point is to broadcast a wireless signal that computers can detect, then computers can link to the network without using any wires.

wireless access point

Categories of Wireless Access Point
Fat Access Point

According to different working modes, wireless access point can be divided into several categories. Fat access point is the standard type which is also named as autonomous access point. This device is independent to be separated from other network devices or fat access points. It can automatically manage the functions for wireless client devices, such as wireless authentication and encryption. It is enough to use the fat access point at home or small office.

fat AP

Thin Access Point

However, when wireless access point is required in large enterprise or college campus, fat access point is not an ideal solution. Thin access point, namely lightwave access point, may be a better choice with all the functions controlled in a central device, like a wireless switch or wireless LAN controller. Thus, all the settings can be configured automatically by central device in a remote location.

thin AP

Fit Access Point

Fit access point is the combination of both fat and thin access points. It provides the wireless encryption function and has a remote controller for management. Fit access point can also support the DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) relay to get IP address for the station.

Applications of Wireless Access Point
Indoor

Wireless access point used indoors are comparatively smaller for easier installation and maintenance. Signals broadcast from indoor access points are stable and high-qualified. Wireless radiation is also weaker which makes the indoor device ideal for dense deployment.

Outdoor

As for the outdoor application, access points are more solid to survive the harsh environment. Network signals are more stable with a bigger coverage. Point to point and point to multi-point network connections are widely used for outdoor application to link the networks among different locations.

Are Wireless Router & Wireless Access Point the Same?

The answer is no. A router can be an access point but an access point can’t be a router. A router is able to provide WiFi access and has an Ethernet switch built in, while an access point is to connect the wired Ethernet LAN to WiFi devices.

wireless router and wireless access point

Conclusion

Nowadays, wireless network is everywhere around us saving a lot of troubles for managing cable mess. A wireless router is often enough for family use since the coverage is limited. However, if you need to build up wireless network in large areas, wireless access point is always necessary.

Jan 10

Cable Manager Brings Cable Routing Back to Life

Along with the trend for high density connectivity in server rooms or data centers, cable management has become more difficult than ever before. Cable mess often occurs on the racks causing tremendous problems for later installation and cable maintenance. Network installers are searching for effective tools to make structured cabling. Cable manager appears to be an optimal management accessory. Today, many places adopt this component for cable routing in a simpler way. This article aims to introduce some cost-effective cable manager solutions for you.

cable manager

Benefits of Cable Manager

With the help of cable manager, cables are perfectly protected from strain to ensure the network reliability. Besides, cable manager also ensures the data integrity in a more organized way. Space is rationally used with a safer cable routing. It is pretty simple to install the cable manager and use it to arrange large amount of cables. The cost of cable manager is always affordable which is a necessary invest to avoid huge loss caused by cable mess in the future.

Cable Manager Solutions
Orientations

Cable manager can be used for either horizontal direction or vertical direction. The horizontal cable manager allows neat and proper routing of cables from devices in racks. It is important to make sure the rack height and cable density is supported by the cable manager. Typically, 1U and 2U horizontal cable managers are more popular in use. You also need to ensure that the horizontal cable manager is not obstructing devices in racks and cables are free to add or remove. Another solution is vertical manager. It can arrange the slack patch cables in vertical space allowing for 50 percent growth of cables and eliminating the use of horizontal cable managers.

cable manager orientations

Styles

Cable manager usually has various styles. First is the type with finger duct. The flexible finger ducts can maximize the care and protection of the equipment and cables. The holes are easy to pass through for convenient cabling. Second type has the D-rings and is available for horizontal, vertical or diagonal positions in cable management. Third is the cable manager with brush slots. This unique design can protect the cable from most contaminants and effectively increase the air flow at the same time. Last cable manager style is especially used for telephone line. It is often constructed by a base within two 110 cable management blocks.

cable manager styles

Structure

Structures of cable manager can be divided into single sided and dual sided types. Single sided manager provides a convenient cable run between equipment and racks, while dual sided manager supports patch panels by keeping different cables separate for better distinction.

cable manager structure

Material

Generally speaking, cable manager can be made of three kinds of materials as plastic, metal and semimetal. Plastic and metal are the most common materials. Plastic cable manager is definitely lighter in weight for easier installation. Metal cable manager is more solid to protect the cables from any damage.

Conclusion

In summary, cable manager is now widely used for cable routing in racks. Having a structured cabling is beneficial to future management of cables. It’s never too late to sort out the cables if you want your network to achieve a higher performance for data transmission. FS.COM provides all kinds of cable managers mentioned above. If you are interested, please visit www.fs.com for more information.

Jan 04

Rated Cables Comparison: Plenum Vs. Riser

Whenever constructing cables into a building, we always need to consider the installation places. Different spaces may result in using the different cables. Plenum and riser areas are two common places for cable deployment. According to this, cables are rated into distinctive fire ratings as plenum cables and riser cables. This article is going to present a brief comparison between these two types of cables.

Introduction to Plenum & Riser
What Is Plenum?

In a building, a plenum is a separate space used for air circulation for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. The space is often between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling. Sometimes, plenum also refers to the space under a raised floor. Since the plenum areas is a renewable source of oxygen and distribute environmental air, the cables installed in this area should have higher fire resistance. The typical application of this space is to house the communication cables for building’s computer and telephone network.

Plenum

What Is Riser?

Different from the plenum, a riser is a vertical area that passes from one floor to another floor inside a building. For instance, elevator shafts and conduits from one floor to another floor are all risers. Cables planted in risers should also be fire-proof to prevent the flame from traveling up the cable. However, the fire rating requirements for riser areas are less strict than those for plenum areas.

Riser

Differences Between Plenum & Riser Cables

In North America standard, CMR and CMP are used to describe riser and plenum cables. “C” and “M” are used to indicate that the cable is complied with the NEC (National Electrical Code). “R” refers to riser and “P” refers to plenum. Here will illustrate the main characteristics of plenum and riser cables in the following parts.

Plenum Cables

Plenum cables, or CMP cables are installed in the plenum areas of buildings. This type of cables has a fire retardant plastic jacket. Materials of the jacket is either the low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or the fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP). If the cable comes across a fire, only little toxic fumes will emit as it melts. Plenum rated cables have a higher fire rating for both commercial and residential use. When cables are needed in the air ducts, plenum cables are the primary choice.

plenum cable

Riser Cables

Riser cables, namely CMR cables, are widely used for regular networking from floor to floor in non-plenum areas. Since the demands for riser cables are lower, plenum cables are usually used as an alternative of riser cables. However, replacing the plenum cables with riser cables is not available. Riser cables can also be applied to both commercial and residential areas, but residential homes are more common.

riser cable

Acronyms for Plenum & Riser Cables

Here lists some regular acronyms for plenum and riser cables, you may use them for a quick reference.

  • CMP: Communications Plenum. It can be installed in any space.
  • CMR: Communications Riser
  • CATVP: Cable TV Plenum.
  • CATVR: Cable TV Riser
  • CL3P: Class 3 Plenum. Usually for in-wall installation in plenum, riser and general spaces.
  • CL2P: Class 2 Plenum. Usually for in-wall installation in plenum, riser and general spaces.
  • CL3R: Class 3 Riser. Usually for in-wall installation in riser and non-riser spaces.
  • CL2R: Class 2 Riser. Usually for in-wall installation in riser and non-riser spaces.
Conclusion

Choosing the right type of rated cables can effectively reduce loss and is healthier to people when the cables are burning. Plenum rated and riser rated cables are generally employed for building constructions. If your application is related to the areas mentioned in the article, using plenum and riser cables is very necessary.

Dec 29

Have You Remembered to Clean Your Fiber Optic Connectors?

Needless to say, keeping the cleanness of fiber optic connector is essential to the high performance of optical devices. If the ferrule is damaged or broken, the whole connector will be useless. Therefore, protecting the connector ferrule from any possible contamination is very necessary. You need to take fiber optic cleaning seriously as a routine work to avoid extra loss.

Types of Contaminants

From the following picture, it is clear to see that the end face of a fiber consists three areas: ferrule, cladding and core. Once these parts are free from contamination, fiber optic cleaning is complete. Different contaminants may result in different cleaning solutions. Do you know how many kinds of contaminants are there on the fiber optic connectors?

fiber end face

Generally speaking, there are three types of contaminants. Dusts and oils are the most common types. Cleaning these contaminants is easier as long as using the proper method. However, the contaminant of scratches, chips or pits sometimes may cause permanent defects on the end face. Then a new connector is required for replacement. Oils from your fingers will leave a noticeable defect easily seen with the use of a fiber scope, but it will also tend to trap dust against the fiber, which can lead to scratches on both the fiber connector and the optic it is being mated to. In addition, when installing or removing a fiber, small static charge on the ends will attract dust particles in the air. Therefore, putting on the fiber caps is a good precaution if the cable is not used.

end face contamination

Several Cleaning Methods

Nevertheless, if the connector is already polluted, using fiber caps will no longer be enough. Proper cleaning methods should be applied to remove the contaminants. Here lists some common cleaning methods:

  • Dry cleaning – No solvent is used for this type of method. The whole cleaning is processed in a dry condition.
  • Wet cleaning – Solvent is required for this method. Isopropyl alcohol is the most common solvent.
  • Non-abrasive cleaning – This method will not use any abrasive material to contact the connector end face.
  • Abrasive cleaning – This method will adopt abrasive tools such as lint-free wipes to do the cleaning.
Solutions for Fiber Optic Cleaning

If you have decided the cleaning method, then it is time to choose the right cleaning products. Common cleaning solutions on the market now are the pen cleaner, cassette cleaner, cleaning card and wipes.

Pen Cleaner

Pen cleaner is also named as one-click cleaner. It features an easy one push action, which quickly and effectively cleans the end-face of connectors. The cleaning tip is rotated to ensure the fiber end-face is effectively but gently cleaned. Usually available for 600 to 800 cleans.

pen cleaner

Cassette Cleaner

Cassette cleaner or reel-type cleaner is ideal for lab, assembly line and field use. It enables simple push bottom shutter operation for quick and easy cleaning. Each cleaning tape is available for 400 to 500 cleans.

cassette cleaner

Cleaning Card & Wipes

Cleaning card is made of the densely woven micro fiber cloth which effectively minimizes the static charge. Wipes are designed with minimal lint or dust to have little interference with the normal functioning of the equipment.

wipes and cleaning card

Common Cleaning Procedure

Follow these steps, you can always make a thorough fiber optic cleaning:

  • Step 1, inspect the fiber connector with a fiber scope.
  • Step 2, if the connector is dirty, clean it with a dry cleaning technique.
  • Step 3, inspect the connector.
  • Step 4, if the connector is still dirty, repeat the dry cleaning technique.
  • Step 5, inspect the connector.
  • Step 6, if the connector is still dirty, clean it with a wet cleaning technique followed immediately with a dry clean in order to ensure no residue is left on the end face.
  • Step 7, inspect the connector again.
  • Step 8, if the contaminant still cannot be removed, repeat the cleaning procedure until the end face is clean.
Conclusion

Constantly cleaning the fiber optic connectors can greatly decrease the link failures and unnecessary component replacement. Moreover, using professional tools is much safer and cleaner. Are you ready to clean the fiber optic connectors from now on?

Dec 20

Special Fiber Patch Cable for Mode Conditioning

As we all know, standard fiber patch cables can be divided into the single-mode type and multimode type. Data communication is more stable between fiber patch cables with the same mode. When single-mode and multimode cables are directly linked together, an effect named as differential mode delay (DMD) often occurs. It is a variation in propagation delay because of the differences in group velocity among modes of an optical fiber. Under the influence of DMD, cable distance is greatly limited and network bandwidth is also reduced over the distance. However, using the single-mode cables with multimode cables is sometimes necessary for certain applications. Is there any solution to this problem? Of course, this is why mode conditioning patch cable is made for.

Overview of Mode Conditioning Patch Cable

Mode conditioning patch cable is always designed to be the duplex style. It contains a conditioned channel with an offset fiber connection part. The connectors on both ends are also optional from LC, SC, ST and other types. In general, mode conditioning patch cable is needed when link distances are over 300 meters. Although mode conditioning patch cable looks different from the standard fiber patch cable, they both function for the same performance.

mode conditioning patch cable

Working Principle of Mode Conditioning Cable

Cable offset is the core of mode conditioning patch cable. A multimode fiber and a single-mode fiber are fusion spliced together with a precise core alignment and angle inside the offset. Optical light is launched from the single-mode fiber to the multimode fiber at a precise angle, which provides the cable with mode conditioning functionality. In this way, optical signal is able to freely pass different fiber modes without the problem of DMD.

cable offset

Features & Benefits of Mode Conditioning Cable
Features
  • IEEE-802.3z (Gigabit Ethernet) Compliant
  • Permanent offset closure
  • Low profile offset closure
  • Low insertion loss
  • Fits existing cabling scheme
  • Easy to use
  • Reduced modal noise
  • OFNR rated jacket complies with strict building codes
Benefits
  • Eliminate DMD effect
  • Correct offset always maintained
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Uses precision ceramic ferrules
  • Use in place of standard equipment-to-cable plant patch cord
  • Functions the same as a standard patch cord
Applications of Mode Conditioning Patch Cable

Mode conditioning patch cable is suitable for 1000BASE-LX long wave applications of Gigabit Ethernet, such as 1000BASE-LX routers, switches, or transceivers. This is because 1000BASE-LX should operate for both single-mode and multimode cables. A mode conditioning patch cable eliminates the multiple signals by allowing the single-mode launch to be offset away from the center of a multimode fiber.

When the Gigabit LX switch is equipped with SC or LC connectors, the yellow leg (single-mode) of the cable should be connected to the transmit side, and the orange leg (OM2 multimode) of the cable should be connected to the receive side. Both ends must maintain this configuration. Exchanging the transmit and receive is only allowed at the cable plant side.

application of mode conditioning patch cable

In addition, mode conditioning patch cords can only convert optical signals from single-mode to multimode. If you want to convert from multimode to single-mode, you’d better use a media converter.

Conclusion

Mode conditioning cable is a special fiber patch cable designed for reducing the differential mode delay between single-mode and multimode data transmission. This type of cable is usually used in pairs. Different connectors types, cable jackets, fiber types, cable lengths are also available to meet your demands. This post provides some basic knowledge about mode conditioning cable. If you are interested, please visit FS.COM for more information.

Dec 16

Different Kinds of Cable Lacing Bars for Cable Management

Cable lacing is a method widely used for cable management. For applications in telecommunication, navy, and aerospace, it is often used for tying cables in an organized sequence. Traditionally, cable lacing will use a thin cord to bind together a group of cables with a series of running lockstitches. Today, cable lacing bars and cable ties are typically used to perform cable lacing. Cables can be bound by the cable ties onto the cable lacing bar. Of course, cable lacing bars also have different shapes to meet different cabling demands. This article will guide you to explore the world of cable lacing bars.

cable lacing bars

Introduction to Cable Lacing Bars

Cable lacing bars or lacer bars are made of metal designed to mount above, below, behind, or in front of your network devices. They are often seen in racks (between switches and patch panels) or enclosures. The pressure of cable connections is greatly relieved by the support of cable lacing bars. Installing the cable lacing bar is pretty easy. Only several screws are needed to fasten each end of the bar onto the rack. The width of cable lacing bar is the standard 19 inches, but the height is usually optional of 1U or 2U.

Benefits of Cable Lacing Bars

Why are cable lacing bars so popular for cable management? Here lists some advantages of using the assemblies.

  • Point 1, cable lacing bars are space-saving. The bars use less than one U space, or none at all if mounted in front of or behind equipment. Thus, the valuable U space is saved for other network installation needs.
  • Point 2, cable lacing bars provide numerous cable lacing points. Almost entire length of the bar is neatly covered with lacing slots, which allows for easy cabling along the whole bar.
  • Point 3, cable lacing bars relieve the strain of cables. When large amounts of cables are installed in the rack, cable stress will also increase accordingly. Using cable lacing bars can relieve cable stress and avoid pulling cables when routing them from one side of a rack to the other.
  • Point 4, cable lacing bars promotes good bend radius. If bend radius of fiber cables is well-protected, risks like slower data speeds and broken cables will no longer exist.
Six Types of Cable Lacing Bars

In general, there are six types of cable lacing bars. Each one is designed for a specific cabling environment. From the descriptions below, you can know which one is the perfect solution for your application.

Round lacer bars are used for individual or a small amount of horizontal cables. The rod has flattened ends and its diameter is 1/4 inch.

round-lacer-bar

When lacing small bundles or individual cables off the rear of equipment, patch panels and other components, round lacer bars with offset are used to relieve cable stress from the connections. Appropriate offset should be selected based on the distance from the rear of equipment to the rack rail.

round lacer bar with offset

Square lacer bars are suitable for cable routing at the rear of equipment. They are also used for vertical or horizontal cable lacing. Similarly, they are still designed with 1/4” diameter rod and flattened ends.

Square Lacer Bar

L-shaped lacer bars are much stronger and provide fixed lacing points. More cables can be supported by this type of bar. You should also mind the distance from the rear of equipment to the rack rail for offset choosing.

L-Shaped Lacer Bars

90 degree bend lacer bars are special for the 90 degree bend which provides a full-width support. They can also be used for clearance around components that extend past the rear rack rail.

90 Degree Bend Lacer Bar

Horizontal lacer panels are typically used for large lacing amounts of cables or mounting devices. They have large flanges, numerous lacing points and more surface for mounting.

Horizontal Lacer Panel

Conclusion

Since cable management takes an important role in structured cabling, cable lacing bars are an ideal solution for efficient and safe cable routing. Choosing the right type of cable lacing bar is also necessary for making the best use of it. Thus, you’d better choose wisely and consult the professionals if needed.

Dec 07

Reasons for Choosing LC HD Plus+ Cable in Data Centers

Many data centers are now upgrading into unprecedented higher bandwidth. In order to realize the massive data capacity in a restricted area, reducing the connectivity space is rather important. Therefore, many high-density devices are designed to meet this requirement. One of the most popular products is the LC HD plus+ cable. It has become an effective solution for 10G / 40G / 100G applications. Why does data center constantly use this type of patch cable for equipment connections? This article will give you four irresistible reasons of choosing LC HD plus+ cable.

Construction of LC HD Plus+ Cable

You may wonder what makes LC HD plus+ cable so special. From its construction, you can see the differences. LC HD plus+ cable is mainly structured with uniboot connector, push pull tab and bend-insensitive fiber. The uniboot connector combines two LC connectors into one boot housing, which means that two fibers are bundling in a single patch cord. The connector polarity is also reversible without using special tools. As for the push pull tab, it is a tab attached to the connector used for pushing or pulling the whole connector into or out of the equipment. It is also known that fibers are usually sensitive to stress, but LC HD plus+ cable is no more afraid of bending thanks to the bend-insensitive fiber.

LC HD plus+ cable

Four Reasons of Using LC HD Plus+ Cable
Advantage of Uniboot Connector

The compact uniboot design reduces the cable management space by 68%, which has efficiently offered airflow and visibility of equipment in high-density networks. Its reversible polarity design also enables the change of polarity with a finger latch release greatly eliminating the cable congestion in racks and cabinets. In this way, uniboot connector significantly eases the issue of cable management in high-density connectivity.

uniboot-connector

Advantage of Push Pull Tab

When manual access to the connector is limited in areas like the slider or rear part of the connector, the use of push pull tab will greatly simplify such connectivity problem. The flexible connector can be freely extracted or inserted into the port with the help of extension tab. No tool is need for the connecting and disconnecting process which makes the use of push pull tab much simpler. Therefore, it is also an ideal solution of dense applications to save space for the stacking of devices.

push-pull-tab

Advantage of Bend Insensitive Fiber

In general, when fiber is stressed by bending, the light in the outer part of the core will leak out of the fiber and no longer stay in the core. This can cause huge fiber loss and lower the transmission performance. However, using the bend insensitive fiber can avoid such situation. Bend-insensitive fiber adds a layer of glass around the core of the fiber which has a lower index of refraction that literally “reflects” the weakly guided modes back into the core when stress normally causes them to be coupled into the cladding. Bend-insensitive fiber becomes more and more vital to the high-density applications where fiber bending is almost inevitable.

bend-insensitive-fiber

Advantage of Low Insertion Loss

Apart from the above benefits, LC HD plus+ cable also supports low insertion loss. Lowering the insertion loss can achieve higher data performance. The insertion loss of LC HD plus+ cable is lower than 0.15dB due to its integrated design.

Conclusion

Uniboot connector of the LC HD plus+ cable perfectly reduces the space for high-density connectivity in data centers. The push pull tab and bend-insensitive fiber also simplify the installation process. FS.COM has provided the custom service for LC HD Plus+ fiber cable. Trunk cable and harness cable can all be customized with LC HD Plus+ designs. Please visit FS.COM for more information.

Nov 30

How to Terminate Bare Fiber With Fiber Optic Connector?

There are usually two ways for fiber optic termination. Bare optic fiber can be either spliced with another fiber for a permanent joint or connected with fiber optic connector for a temporary joint. When using the fiber optic connector, we can easily install or uninstall the cable for various applications. This type of termination is more flexible and simple to operate. It is also time-saving to use fiber optic connectors for cable connectivity. However, do you know the right process to terminate bare fiber with fiber optic connector? This article will guide you step by step.

Common Fiber Optic Connectors

Let’s start from the fiber optic connectors. Choosing the right kind of connector for your termination is extremely important. In today’s market, four types of fiber optic connectors are widely used for terminating single fibers. They are LC, SC, ST and FC connectors. LC connector has a 1.25mm ceramic ferrule which is only half the size of other connectors. It’s a snap-in connector usually used for high-density applications. SC connector uses a 2.5mm ceramic ferrule and also features a snap-in connection for quick cable patching. Different from other connectors, ST connector uses a bayonet twist-lock connection with 2.5mm ferrule. Moreover, FC is a screw type connector with 2.5mm ferrule but is becoming less popular than LC and SC connectors.

common-fiber-optic-connector

Connector Polish Styles

When terminating the optic fiber with connector, you should also decide the polish type if the connector is not polished in advance. Generally, connector end face will be polished to minimize back reflection of light. Using the mated polish styles, light can propagate through connectors with lower fiber loss. There are four types of polish styles – flat, PC, UPC and APC polishes. Among them, UPC and APC types are more popular in the industry. The major difference between UPC and APC connectors is that the APC type is polished at an 8-degree angle while UPC has no angle, but they are both slightly curved for better core alignment. As for the color, UPC connector is usually blue and APC connector is green.

upc-apc-polish

Important Precautions

Fiber optic cable is very fragile and sensitive to contamination, thus we need to pay more attention to the precautions before starting termination. Here lists some general precautions as a reference:

  • Always keep dust cap on unused connectors. Store spare dust caps in a dust free environment.
  • Remember to clean the connector and fiber before termination.
  • Make sure there is no laser light in the fiber during termination process.
  • Do not bend the optic fiber at a radius less than 25 mm.
Termination Process

When everything is ready, we can begin the fiber optic termination. The followings are the specific steps.

  • Step 1, measure and mark the cable jacket to the desired length(usually 35 mm). Place jacket stripper on mark and squeeze gently until cutter closes. Pull the cut section off the cable.
  • Step 2, measure and mark kevlar to the desired length(usually remain 7 mm). Use scissors to cut away extra kevlar.
  • Step 3, measure and mark the buffer to the desired length(usually remain 16 mm). Strip the buffer in several small lengths to avoid fiber damage.
  • Step 4, use a lint-free, alcohol-soaked tissue to clean the fiber.
  • Step 5, fill the syringe with adhesive, and slowly inject the adhesive into the ceramic tip.
  • Step 6, gently insert the fiber into the connector and put the connector components together.
  • Step 7, place the connector in the polishing disk. Put it on the polishing film, and lightly polish the connector for 8 to 10 times.
  • Step 8, mission complete! Give it a try on your equipment.

fiber-optic-termination

Conclusion

Bare fiber terminated with fiber optic connectors greatly eases the stress for cable installation. It is always recommended to turn to the professionals for help when doing fiber optic termination.

Nov 25

Trend of Cloud Computing in Data Center

In the past, traditional data centers were mainly established by hardware and physical servers. However, the data storage is limited to the physical restriction of space. Network expansion became a headache for IT managers. Gladly, virtualized data center with cloud computing service has emerged and continued to be the trend since 2003. More and more data center technicians adopt it as a cost-effective solution to achieve higher bandwidth performance. This post will help you to have a better understanding of cloud computing in data center.

cloud-computing-of-data-center

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing service is not restricted to one data center. It may includes multiple data centers scattered around the world. Unlike the traditional data center architecture where the network users owned, maintained, and operated their own network infrastructure, server rooms, data servers, and applications, cloud data center is providing business applications online that are accessed from web browsers, while the software and data are stored on the servers or SAN devices. Thus, applications using cloud-based computing are running on servers instead of local laptop or desktop computer. There is no need for users to know the position of data center and no need for experts to operate or maintain the resources in the cloud. Knowing the way to connect to the resources is enough for the clients.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing brings many great changes for data center networking. Here lists some key benefits of cloud computing.

  • Flexibility – Cloud computing has the ability to update hardware and software quickly to adhere to customer demands and updates in technology.
  • Reliability – Many cloud providers replicate their server environments in multiply data centers around the globe, which accounts for business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • Scalability – Multiply resources load balance peak load capacity and utilization across multiply hardware platforms in different locations.
  • Location and hardware independence – Users can access application from a web browser connected anywhere on the internet.
  • Simple maintenance – Centralized applications are much easier to maintain than their distributed counter parts. All updates and changes are made in one centralized server instead of on each user’s computer.

cloud-computing-advantages

Traditional & Cloud Data Centers Cost Comparison

Cost is always an important concern for data center building. One reason why cloud computing is so popular among data centers is because its cost is much lower than the same service provided by traditional data centers. Generally, the number of cost mainly depends on the size, location and application of a data center.

Traditional data center is more complicated by running a lot of different applications, but this has also increased the workloads and most applications are only used by few employees making it less cost-effective. 42 percent of the money is spent on hardware, software, disaster recovery arrangements, uninterrupted power supplies, and networking, and 58 percent for heating, air conditioning, property and sales taxes, and labor costs. While cloud data center is performing the service in a different way and saves the cost for servers, infrastructure, power and networking. Less money is wasted for extra maintenance and more for cloud computing, which greatly raises the working efficiency.

Is It Secure to Use Cloud Computing?

Data security is always essential to data centers. Centralization of sensitive data in cloud computing service improves security by removing data from the users’ computers. Cloud providers also have the staff resources to maintain all the latest security features to help protect data. Many large providers will safeguard data security in cloud computing by operating multiple data centers with data replicated across facilities.

Conclusion

Cloud computing service has greatly enhanced the high performance of data centers by reducing the need for maintenance and improving the ability of productivity. More data centers are turning into cloud-based these days. It is definitely an efficient way to provide quality data service with cloud technology.

Nov 18

Using IP67 Fiber Cable For Fiber Link Protection

Fiber optic cables have taken a large percentage of today’s network market. Compared with copper cables, optical cables are faster in speed and lighter for carry. The deployment of fiber optic cables has brought many benefits to ordinary people, but the disadvantages of fibers can also be fatal. Optic fibers are easily breakable and polluted by dust, liquid and other contamination. Hence, fiber optic cables should be designed to accommodate to different kinds of environment. IP67 fiber cable is a type of specially used fiber cable with dust-proof and water-proof functions. This post will guide you to know more about this special fiber cable.

Meaning of IP67

When hearing the name of IP67 fiber cable, you may be curious about the meaning of IP67. Actually, “IP” is a kind of rating defined by International Standard IEC 60529. The abbreviation stands for international protection which classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid object (including body parts), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The IP code consists of two numbers, such as IP67. The first number represents the solid object protection, and the second is the water protection. Following picture presents the category of IP codes. If either number is represented by an “X”, it means the product has not been tested in that category. It does not equate to a ranking of 0, but it also does not guarantee any protection. Therefore, IP67 means that the cable is protected from dust at the highest level and against temporary immersion in water.

ip-rating-code

Construction of IP67 Fiber Cable

IP67 fiber optic patch cable contains the ordinary optic fiber and special IP67 fiber optic connector. IP67 connector is designed based on the conventional connector with a aluminum shell of spring-loaded push-pull locking mechanism. The shell protection can block dust and liquid from the inside connector. The following picture gives a detailed structure of IP67 LC duplex connector.

structure-of-ip76-cable-connector

Types of IP67 Cables

According to the connectors on each ends, IP67 fiber optic cables can be divided into two types. One type is equipped with IP67 connectors on both ends, and another type is terminated with a IP67 connector on one end and common fiber optic connectors on the other end. Fanout IP67 fiber optic cable is also used for high-density connections.

ip67-fiber-cable

Applications

The strong PU jacket and single-mode APC armored structure of IP67 cable provides 1 Gbps data transfer speed in high bandwidth application, which is five times quicker than standard 9/125 μm fiber patch cable. The low insertion loss IP67 cable connector has a simple push-to-latch and a pull-to-release outer sleeve for mating and un-mating action allowing for easier install or uninstall. Designed according to the IEC60603-7 interface standard, the connector can also match with other similar mechanical systems. IP67 cables are often used in FTTH, FTTA, LAN test equipment and military industry deployed at junction cabinets in the street, remote radio head connection, wind mills or direct buried installation.

Conclusion

IP67 fiber optic cable offers great protection for optic fibers against dust and water under severe outer environment. It is wise to use IP67 fiber cables in these places to secure your data links. Inner shell connectors of the cable are now optional with LC, SC, ST and FC types. You may regard IP67 cable as a considerable choice for your network.

Nov 09

Have You Used Fiber Optic Wall Plate for FTTx Applications?

Did you notice the square object with jacks installed on the wall before? It is often called as wall plate. There is a variety of wall plates used in everyday life. Almost every room will have one to enable convenient cable deployment inside buildings and houses. As for FTTx applications, fiber optic wall plate is an indispensable component to keep fiber optic link away from dust and damage. This article will mainly give some details about fiber optic wall plate.

fiber-optic-wall-plate

What Is Wall Plate?

First, let’s get to know more about the basics of wall plate. Wall plate, also called as wall outlet, workstation outlet or station outlet, is a flat plastic or metal plate that usually mounts in or on a wall (sometimes may be mounted in floors or ceilings). A wall plate has one or more jacks. A jack refers to the connector outlet employed for physical and electrical connection to the network cabling system. According to different networks, wall plates is divided into two types as fiber optic wall plates and copper wall plates. Since optical network has been leading the world trend, today we will get to know more about fiber optic wall plates.

Types of Fiber Optic Wall Plates

Fiber optic wall plate is designed to establish the connection between two fibers. Based on different adapters, fibers, port counts and port orientations, fiber optic wall plates have many classifications.

Classified by Adapter

There are typically four types of fiber optic connectors used in optical network, therefore the fiber optic adapters installed on the fiber optic wall plates are also different. LC, SC, FC and ST adapters are the common types. When you need to find a matching fiber optic wall plate, just check your fiber connector to see if it is the same type as the wall plate.

adapter-type-of-wall-plate

Classified by Port Count

As for port count of the fiber optic wall plate, a typical wall plate holds up to four ports. For individual homes, sing-port type is mostly used for FTTH network. But for the office buildings, multi-port type is required for FTTD applications. In addition, if other ports are aimed for different applications, the ports can be made as hybrid ports with mixed types of adapters.

port-count-of-wall-plate

Classified by Port Orientation

Port orientation is another way to divide fiber optic wall plates. Using the right orientations can provide fiber links better protection under different environment. Three common types of port orientations are straight, box-shaped and angled.

port-orientation-of-wall-plate

Classified by Fiber

Fiber optic cables are made of different types of fibers. In order to satisfy the demands for all kinds of fiber cable deployment, fiber optic wall plates are also distinguished by single-mode fibers of OS2, and multimode fibers of OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4. Moreover, single-mode fiber optic wall plate is used for most FTTx projects.

How to Install Wall Plate?

As a reference, here are the recommended steps for installing box-shaped wall plates on the wall:

  • Step 1, determine the location of the new cabling wall plate. Use a pencil to mark a line indicating the location for the top of the wall plate.
  • Step 2, use the hole template to trace the outline of the hole to be cut onto the wall with a pencil. Keep the top of the hole aligned with the mark made in step 1.
  • Step 3, follow the lines and use a drywall keyhole saw to cut out a hole.
  • Step 4, insert the wall plate into the hole. If it won’t fit in, trim the sides of the hole with a razor blade or utility knife.
  • Step 5, secure the wall plate by screwing the box to the drywall or by using the friction tabs.
Conclusion

Fiber optic wall plate is an important part for FTTx applications. Selecting the right one from so many types of wall plates is also a task. All the aspects for your project should be taken into consideration. FS.COM is a place where you can find different types of fiber optic wall plates. You are welcome to get more detailed information in there.

Nov 02

Building MDU Network into Brownfield and Greenfield

Multi-dwelling unit (MDU), namely multi-family residential, are the structures of housing where there are more than one living unit per location. MDU classification of housing has been considered as an important growth opportunity for communication services providers according to the population density and economics of scale. Generally speaking, there are two applications for MDU FTTx network deployments as “greenfield” and “brownfield”. This post will introduce the basic information about MDU and its network building applications.

Three Types of MDUs

In North America, MDUs can be classified into three construction versions of high-rise MDU, mid-rise MDU and low-rise MDU. Here will explain them one by one.

High-Rise MDU

This type of MDU refers to the large multi-story building like condo or apartment with more than ten floors and 128 living units using the internal residential entry. High-rise MDU is typically designed as vertical living style and planned for cabling access to the different stories and sections of the building thereby making sure that the FTTP network functions efficiently and reliably over high levels.

high-rise-mdu

Mid-Rise MDU

Mid-rise (medium-rise) MDU is the leased or owned condo or apartment with up to 10 stories including 12 to 128 living units using the internal residential entry. For new mid-rise MDU, its fiber deployment is similar to the high-rise buildings. However, many old mid-rise MDUs are built as walk-ups and without provisions for new cabling networks. It is a challenge for these mid-rise residential buildings to find space for structured cabling.

mid-rise-mdu

Low-Rise MDU

Low-rise MDU is usually known as condo, townhouse or apartment constructed in garden style or horizontal style. There is only up to 3 floors or stories and 12 living units inside the low-rise MDU with external residential entry. The difficulty level for cable deployment also depends on whether the building is newly constructed.

low-rise-mdu

Brownfield and Greenfield Applications

As mentioned above, the oldness and newness of residential buildings will affect the difficulty degree of cable installations. These two types of architectures are also the basic applications for building MDU network. Greenfield means the newly-built housing communities consisting of many separate living units typically joined together in one or several buildings. However, brownfield refers to the MDU that already exists in a typical urban area.

In a Brownfield application, a service provider must deliver fiber into the customer’s premises quickly, efficiently and securely. The ability to connect fibers as they are needed for new subscribers is best served using a simple “plug and play” approach. Thus, the splice storage should provide a demarcation point, such as a fiber demarcation box, equipped with industry standard connectors.

brownfield-deployment

As for greenfield application, a network operator could ideally place the fiber to every living unit during initial construction. Fiber from every unit may then be run back to central closet and spliced as required inside a closure. A box such as the fiber splice box is an optimal and low cost solution.

greenfield-deployment

Fiber Connectivity Methods

In MDU network applications, service providers can use factory-terminated patch cords or fusion-spliced pigtails to connect fibers. Patch cords are efficient connectivity methods because no tools or splices are required in the field to make the termination. Their simple plug and play installation also minimizes the required skills for setting up the connection, which reduces installation time and labor costs.

Fusion-spliced pigtails can alleviate the issues of cable management for massive patch cords and cable waste for long patch cords. However, the fusion splice machine is expensive and specialized training is required. The fusion splicer also requires electrical power in places like MDU hallways where power outlets aren’t readily available.

Conclusion

The building of FTTx network in MDUs has become more and more popular around the world. Project installer should make proper connectivity plan according to different structures of MDUs. The complexity of deployment will also depends on whether the MDU is built in greenfield or brownfield. A successful network deployment in MDU is measured in many ways.

Oct 28

An Easy Guide to MPO/MTP Polarity

Nowadays, many data centers are migrating into the 40G and 100G transmission. To prepare for this change, MPO/MTP technology is applied to meet the requirements of high density patching. Typically, a fiber optic link needs two fibers for full duplex communications. Thus the equipment on the link should be connected properly at each end. However, high density connectivity usually requires more than two fibers in a link, which makes it more complex to maintain the correct polarity across a fiber network, especially when using multi-fiber MPO/MTP components for high data rate transmission. Therefore, many technicians would prefer to use pre-terminated MPO/MTP components designed with polarity maintenance for easier installation. This article will specifically guide you to understand the polarity of MPO/MTP products and the common polarization connectivity solutions.

What Is Polarity?

Keeping the right polarity is essential to the network. A transmit signal from any type of active equipment will be directed to the receive port of a second piece of active equipment and vice versa. Polarity is the term used in the TIA-568 standard to explain how to make sure each transmitter is correctly connected to a receiver on the other end of a multi-fiber cable. Once the component is connected to the wrong polarity, the transmission process will be unable to go on.

Structure of MPO/MTP Connector

When discussing about the polarity, MPO/MTP connector is an important component for you to know. An MPO/MTP connector has a key on one side of the connector body. There are two positions of the key – key up or key down. Key up position means that the key sits on top. When the key sits on the bottom, it is the key down position. Moreover, the fiber holes in the connector are numbered in sequence from left to right named as P1 (position 1), P2, etc. Each connector is additionally marked with a white dot on the connector body to designate the P1 side of the connector when it is plugged in. The MPO/MTP connector can be further divided into female connector and male connector. The former has no pins while the latter has two pins on the connector. The following picture shows the basic structure of MPO/MTP connector.

structure-of-mpo-connector

Connecting Methods of A, B, C

The TIA standard defines two types of duplex fiber patch cables terminated with LC or SC connectors to complete an end-to-end fiber duplex connection: A-to-A type patch cable is a cross version and A-to-B type patch cable is a straight-through version. Based on this, there are three polarity connecting methods for MPO/MTP products. Here will introduce them in details.

duplex-patch-cable

Method A is the most straight-forward method. It uses straight-through patch cords (A-to-B) on one end that connect through a cassette (LC-to-MPO or SC-to-MPO depends on what the equipment connector is), a straight-through MPO/MTP key up to key down backbone cable and a “cross-over” patch cord (A-to-A) at the other end.

method-a

Method B is the “cross-over” occurred in the cassette. The keys on the MPO cable connectors are in an up position at both ends, but the fiber that is at connector P1 in one end is in P12 at the opposite end, and the fiber that is in P12 at the originating end is in P1 at the opposing end. Only A-to-B type patch cord is needed for this method.

method-b

Method C is the most complicated. There is pair-wise “cross-over” in the backbone cable. A-to-B patch cords are used on both ends. The cassette uses MPO/MTP key up to key down and the backbone cable is pair-wise flipped so P1, P2 connects to P2, P1 and P3, P4 connects to P4, P3, etc.

method-c

Conclusion

Knowing the polarity of MPO/MTP system helps you better upgrade the 40G and 100G networks. According to different polarity methods, choosing the right MPO/MTP patch cables , connectors and cassettes will provide greater flexibility and reliability for your high density network.

Oct 18

Enhance Your Network With 40G QSFP+ AOC

To meet the requirements for higher bandwidth and throughput, 40 Gigabit Ethernet has become a trend for data transmission. A series of 40G equipment are designed to achieve the seamless interconnection in the 40G network. Devices like 40G fiber optic transceivers and 40G direct attach cables are widely used for the high speed transmission. 40G direct attach cables (DAC) are optimal solutions for short range connectivity. It can be further divided into the direct attach copper cable and active optical cable (AOC). This article will focus on presenting you some cost-effective 40G QSFP+ AOC solutions to improve your network.

Basic Knowledge of Active Optical Cable

AOC is a cabling technology that accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fiber “between the connectors”. It adopts electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. AOC is especially used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. It is made up of the multimode optic fiber, control chip and different connectors with one end terminated with QSFP+ connector and the other end terminated with QSFP+, SFP+, LC or else connectors.

active-optical-cable

Reasons for Choosing 40G QSFP+ AOC

However, why do we often use 40G QSFP+ AOC instead of 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ module? In fact, 40G QSFP+ AOC has many benefits that will provoke your interest for choosing it. First is the lower cost compared to the module since the AOC saves the need for extra fiber patch cables. Second is the low insertion and return loss. Although it is used for the same transmission distance, the repeatability and interchangeability performances of 40G AOC are better than 40GBASE-SR4 module. Thirdly, under the four-quadrant test, which is used to test whether the product still keeps better performance even under the lowest and highest voltage and temperature situations, the AOCs are qualified to meet all the demands.

40G QSFP+ AOC Solutions

Here provides some common 40G QSFP+ AOC solutions that are welcome in the market.

Each end of this AOC has a QSFP+ connector used for 40G data propagation. The maximum length can reach up to 100 meters. It is a 40 Gbps parallel active optical cable which transmits error-free parallel 4×10 Gbps data over multimode fiber (MMF) ribbon cables.

40g-qsfp-qsfp-aoc

QSFP+ to 4x SFP+ AOC is a breakout cable offering the professionals a cost-effective interconnect solution for merging 40G QSFP+ and 10G SFP+ between devices of adapters, switches and servers. Users can install this AOC between an available QSFP+ port on their 40Gbps rated switch and feed up to four upstream 10G SFP+ enabled switches.

40g-qsfp-4sfp-aoc

This is also a breakout AOC with a QSFP+ connector on one end and 8xLC connectors on the other. It is a high performance, low power consumption, long reach interconnect solution supporting the 40G Ethernet compliant with the QSFP+ MSA and IEEE P802.3ba 40GBASE-SR4. It is an assembly of 4 full-duplex lanes. Each lane is able to transmit up to 10 Gbps data rate providing an aggregated rate of 40 Gbps.

40g-qsfp-8lc-aoc

Conclusion

Along with the popularity of 40G Ethernet, the market of 40G QSFP+ AOC has been growing over the years. It is definitely a better choice for high speed transmission over short distances. Additionally, if you are looking for higher bandwidth AOCs, there are also 100G QSFP28 AOC and 120G CXP AOC suitable for your needs.