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Some of the frequent questions asked by customers when buying a vehicle are about mileage, speed and the total cost. Mileage, the distance a vehicle can be driven for a particular quantity of gas, is usually noted as a number with an asterisk next to it indicating that the value is applicable only under ideal conditions. Road performance, specifically, depends on several factors which no one can assure. So, the customers must determine the total cost of ownership.
This same principal can be applied to networks. Imagine if IT or data center managers used the same guesswork methodology to determine the channel length their fiber network could support for each application. Imagine the potential transmission performance troubles that could result. Critical parts of their network could fail to deliver the expected throughput, compromising the entire operation.
As a case in point, recently a customer wondered if their applications would continue to run if the channel topology was changed. Specifically the customer wanted to change their channel topology from an interconnected configuration to a cross-connected configuration. The cross-connected configuration offered improved security and flexibility, but it doubled the number of connections. Could the applications tolerate the added loss of the additional connections?
At active equipment locations, the interconnect configuration uses a single patch cord to connect equipment to the cabling, while the cross-connect configuration uses two patch cords and an additional patch panel. Security is enhanced by the cross-connect configuration because it allows active equipment ports to be replicated at a local patch panel, permitting circuit administration without requiring access to the active equipment.
At CommScope we used our Fiber Performance Calculator to analyze the new channel topology. This tool combines our Link Loss Calculator with our fiber Performance Specifications to provide functionality that is greater than the sum of its parts. By simply entering or selecting a few parameters that describe the target cabling channel, such as channel length, number of connections, and fiber type, the Fiber Performance Calculator instantly calculates not only the worst-case attenuation of the channel, but also lists all the applications that will run over it. From this, we were able to quickly and confidently determine that the customer could upgrade the channels to the desired cross-connect configuration.
Stepping back from this particular case, the Fiber Performance Calculator is a great tool for checking various network designs for application compatibility. Often customers have multiple options they are considering. This tool can quickly assess each one, allowing for rapid elimination of infeasible designs, exploration of alternatives, and optimization of those that work.
This infrastructure design, planning, and verification assistance eliminates guesswork by providing quick and comprehensive analysis to customers and designers.
As rightly said, information is the key to success. At CommScope we’ve got the resources and tools that quickly give the information you need to be successful.