Almost one year has passed and I can still feel the excitement surrounding the first 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) plug-festsponsored by the Ethernet Alliance. This excitement is because of the contrast from the initial perception to the results of the event.

Back in 2010, a number of leading vendors got together for first time to see if this new 40/100GbE would work in a multi-vendor environment. The decision was made to keep it a closed-door event as no one was certain how much “interoperability” would actually occur. It turned out that plug-fest was a great success. Since then, confidence continues to grow, and a series of public multi-vendor demonstrations around 40/100GbE have been carried out as a result of arrangements by the Ethernet Alliance. CommScope has been very active in these events. From the closed-door plug-fest to the public demonstrations, the industry is delivering a message to end users that 40/100GbE is very much alive and well.

This 40/100GbE technology has a significant impact on cabling infrastructure.

That’s why Cabling Installation and Maintenance invited CommScope to discuss this topic at recent webinars. Using multimode fiber as an example, 40/100GbE shifts the fiber cabling from serial to parallel. Today, you see LC connectors at the end of a fiber channel. Tomorrow, you will see MPO connectors from end to end. From LC to MPO, this is the shift from serial to parallel. Another impact from 40/100GbE is the fiber density increase—40 GbE uses eight fibers in a channel and 100 GbE uses 24 (four are left dark).

With high-speed applications running over high-density fiber cabling, my first thought is that you probably want to use pre-terminated cabling, such as SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH® 360. Using pre-terminated cabling will not only save you time during deployment, more importantly it will provide you with the consistency of factory-grade installation quality.


Today's 1 or 10GbE Network


My second thought is that the migration from serial to parallel fiber cabling needs to be deliberately considered. Figure 1 illustrates today’s 1/10GbE network. The standard B polarity scheme (a.k.a. Key-up Key-up mechanism) allows end users to migrate to 40/100GbE by reusing the MPO to MPO trunks (see Figure 2 and 3).


Tomorrow's 40GbE Network



Tomorrow's 100GbE Network


In my opinion, this method provides you peace of mind—your infrastructure is ready for 40/100GbE, whenever and wherever you need it.

About the Author

Frank Yang

Frank Yang is manager, Market Strategy Development, for the ISP Fiber business unit of CommScope. Frank leads the market strategy development for data center, central office and enterprise campus markets. Prior to CommScope, Yang worked at Dell and was responsible for server hardware development. He serves as Marketing Chair for Next Generation Enterprise Cabling Subcommittee of Ethernet Alliance. He received a Master of Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University, and has several patents, articles, white papers and publications under his name. Frank is a frequent speaker at various global and national level opportunities, for example, Data Center Summit, Ethernet Technology Summit, OFC conference, the Ethernet Alliance’s Technology Exploration Forum, Cable Installation and Maintenance (CI&M) Webinars, BICSI conference, etc. Frank holds CloudU, Cisco Certified Network Design Professional (CCDP) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certificates.

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