Back in January, I posted a blog entitled “Be Prepared for the Prime Time for 40 Gb/s Ethernet.”

Since I posted that blog, I have observed a lot of networking equipment entering the market with 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) capabilities. A plethora of vendors have exhibited at large tradeshows, such as OFC/NFOEC 2012 and Interop 2012, showcasing their 40G gear. A trend began to form—data centers were adopting 40GbE as the uplinks for access layer networks. In addition, 40GbE adoption was also gaining traction in the core of campus networks.

After seeing all these new technologies, I’d like to restate something that said in my pervious blog—the question of upgrading to 40/100G is no longer an “if” but “when” and “how.”

Given the current macroeconomic uncertainties, IT managers are looking for economical solutions that meet their high bandwidths needs.

Recently, I conducted a study on how to protect your fiber cabling investments for 40/100GbE evolution. The conclusion was to use pre-terminated fiber cabling such as SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH® pre-terminated cabling solution. According to my study, when evolving to 40/100GbE, pre-terminated fiber can preserve as much as 57 percent of your investment.

The chart illustrates the results of my study. It compares the multimode fiber cost at 10/40/100GbE data rates and equivalents. The “cost centroid” is the result of adding the cost of all the cabling components and dividing the sum by the number of Ethernet links (cabling channels) for each corresponding speed.

The field-term 4×10G is the fiber cost of four 10G cabling channels (Ethernet links) using the field-terminated approach. The pre-term 4×10G is the cost of four 10G cabling channels using a pre-terminated approach. The pre-term 1×40G is the fiber cost of one 40G cabling channel using a pre-terminated approach. The same notation applies to the 100G and equivalents in the chart.

My study demonstrates that although pre-terminated fiber cabling may cost 22 percent more than of field-terminated fiber, only three percent of the field-terminated fiber could be re-used for 40/100GbE networks.

On the other hand, using the pre-terminated approach can achieve a savings of 57 percent by re-using InstaPATCH 360 trunk cable and the fiber shelf for 40/100G networks. Please note that percentages can vary based on a number of factors such as fiber-cable length, cabling channel configurations, etc.

CommScope is committed to helping customers maximize their technological and economical benefits. That’s why we will showcase these 40GbE benefits during a live demonstration at Datacenter Dynamics Converged in San Francisco on July 17.

I invite you to stop by booth 56 to learn more.

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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1 comment for "How to Protect Your Investment Using Fiber Cabling for 40/100G Ethernet Evolution"
Matt Baldassano

Frank, I noticed the relatively fixed costs of patch cords, cable/splicing, and shelves for both 40 and 100G infrastructure. It is evident that the pre-term modules add cost to 2f serial transmission. Was there a time (cost) component that can be included with your study of skilled labor for each example?

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