Network technology has been developed rapidly and many data centers are utilizing 40G network to satisfy their needs for high density cabling and high speed data transmission. When it comes to 40G network cabling solutions, MPO fiber optic cable assemblies are most used by data center managers. This article is going to introduce three cabling solutions for 40G network—cabling with no conversion component, cabling with conversion module and cabling with conversion harness.
For cabling with no conversion component solution, in fact, it is a Base-12 MTP connectivity solution. The 12-fiber MTP trunk cables are deployed in the whole 40G connectivity. But in this cabling solution, four fibers are not used. Apart from this, there will be additional cost associated with the purchase of additional fibers. Though this solution does notuse 33% of the installed fiber and may require more cable raceway congestion, it does have the advantage of simplicity and lowest link attenuation.
With the use of conversion module MPO patch panel, the unused fibers can be converted into usable fiber links. For every two 12-fiber MTP connectors in the backbone cable, we can create three 8-fiber links. Using Base-12 connectivity and Base-8 connectivity together realizes 100% fiber utilization. When reusing existing deployed MTP cabling, great value will be gained if using conversion module to use all previously deployed fibers, and we can eliminate the cost of having to deploy additional cabling.
The cabling with conversion harness solution uses standard MPO patch panel and 2×3 MPO conversion harness. It can achieve full fiber utilization. Although it seems attractive, it involves considerable cabling challenges. For instance, if you only need two 40G connections to the equipment, what do you do with the third 8-fiber MTP connection? Or what if the 40G ports are in different chassis blades or completely different chassis switches? The result will be long assemblies, which will be difficult to manage in an organized way. For this reason, this kind of solution is expected to be the least desirable and so the least deployed method.
If you are installing new cabling, then you can consider cabling with no conversion component solution, assuming that the cable raceway is not a concern. If you are using previously installed MTP trunks, cabling with conversion module solution is recommended which can realize 100% fiber utilization while maintaining any port to any port patching. The cabling with conversion harness solution is typically deployed only in specific applications, such as at the ToR switch, where 40G ports are in a close cluster and patching between blades in a chassis switch is not required.
It is not difficult to find that each type of cabling solution has their own advantages and disadvantages. As for which on to choose, it all depends on your specific network deployment environment and requirements. After reading the content above, I hope you can have a better understanding of these three cabling solutions for 40G network and choose a suitable cabling solution for your network deployment.