Three Cabling Solutions for 40G Network

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.

Cabling With No Conversion Component

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.

Cabling With Conversion Module

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.

canling with conversion module to convert two 12-fiber links into three 8-fiber links

Cabling With Conversion Harness

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.

cabling with conversion harness to convert two 12-fiber links into three 8-fiber links

Which One to Choose?

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.

Conclusion

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.

Focus on MTP-link

Characterized by providing ideal plug-and-play solutions for structure cabling, pre-terminated cabling system has gained great popularity among data center manager in recent years, and it is considered as the norm for data center network deployment. In this cabling system, optical link is accomplished by pre-terminated cabling assemblies, such as MTP/MPO trunk cable, MTP/MPO to LC breakout cable, MTP/MPO cassette and MTP/MPO fiber optic patch panel. It not difficult to find that all these MTP/MPO fiber optic cable assemblies are based on the structure of MTP/MPO connector. And two types of MTP/MPO connectors—12 fiber MTP connector and 24 fiber MTP connector are commonly used for 40G and 100G transmission. This article will focus on MTP-link and share share some opinions about MTP-link performance with you.

12-fiber MTP connector vs. 24-fiber MTP connector

About Space Utilization

High-density cabling makes the available space in data centers always precious. MTP/MPO fiber optic cable assemblies used in MTP-link that contributes to promoting space utilization are reputably appraised by data center managers. With massive cables being adopted in the data centers to carry out data transmission, MTP-link offers cabling solutions with much higher density and flexibility for data center upgrades.

About Insertion Loss

As well know that insertion loss is inevitable during the cabling. Generally, lower overall optical loss allows more margin for the network to operate, or in the case for some users, offers the option of more connections for patching locations. Therefore, components characterized by low insertion loss will be preferred. For both 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO connector performance, the industry standard product rating is 0.5 dB maximum. And using low-loss ferrules, both 12 fiber MPO connector and 24 fiber MPO connector can be rated at 0.35 dB maximum. What’s more, there is no need to worry about higher fiber count will lead to higher insertion loss, because when using proper polishing techniques, 24-fiber MPO/MTP terminations can meet the same performance levels as 12-fiber MPO/MTP assemblies.

About Fiber Utilization

Both 12-fiber MPO cable and 24-fiber MPO cable can be used in 100G applications. When used in 4x25G solutions, 4 fibers of 12-fiber MPO cable will remain unused. As for 24-fiber MPO cable, it can be converted into three 8-fiber 100G channels that run over one cable, with all 24 fibers used to support data transmission. Maybe you feel confused about this, let me take an example. If you need to support twelve 100G channels with the 4x25G standard, by using 12-fiber MPO cable, you will need to install 12 connectors, or 144 fibers total, with 33% of the fiber wasted; while by using 24-fiber MPO cable supporting the same 12 channels, only 4 cables would be required, using 96 fibers total, at 100% fiber utilization.

About Network Performance

It is self-evident that MTP-link offers consistent high levels of network performance for improved network integrity, because the assemblies are factory terminated and the transmission testing is performed by the manufacturer before shipment. This will reduce the likelihood of many problems that may occur with field terminations. Also, testing and troubleshooting time can be greatly saved.

Conclusion

By using MTP components, MTP-link can provide fast installation, high density and high performance cabling for data centers. As 40G and 100G Ethernet is now a trend and hotspot for data center cabling system, MTP-link is a great option for data center managers and the network deployment will benefit a lot from this cabling solution. I hope after reading this article, you can have an in-depth understanding of MTP-link.