Big Data and the Information Autobahn

November 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

By 2017 the amount of data transported globally through mobile networks is expected to reach a staggering 7.7 zettabytes (7.7 billion terabytes), and this will be only a portion of the total data being processed in and out of data centers around the world.

 

To handle the massive throughput required these trillions of bits of data will require high-speed-connection technology such as fiber optics and 40GBASE-T Ethernet.

 

The data centers of today often employ Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet as a backbone technology and in many cases utilize Gigabit to the desktop due to the lowering cost of Gigabit Ethernet switches and interface cards. Until now this was sufficient throughput for most SMB and Enterprise networks. But with the explosion of Big Data and IoT applications this will no longer be longer adequate.  Users will require access to huge global databases as well thousands of IP enabled devices in order to run their business.

 

10GBASE-T or 10-Gig Ethernet over copper twisted pair cabling was standardized in 2006 and can be used with both Category 6 cabling (max distance 55 meters) , Category 6a cabling (max distance 100 meters) and the newer Category 7 cabling (max distance 100 meters).

 

40GBASE-T or 40-Gig Ethernet is currently in development along with Category 8 cabling that will be required to run 40-Gig over copper twisted pair.

 

Another viable option for Big Data’s throughput requirements is fiber optic connectivity. Although usually more costly than a copper based solution, fiber can, right now, support Terabits of throughput on a solitary, Single mode fiber cable. The higher system cost is due to the expensive laser driven fiber transceivers that are required to transmit and receive voice, video and data packets at blazing fast speeds.

 

The future is clear, the demand for data by businesses and consumers will grow exponentially and using fiber optic and high speed Ethernet connectivity will make meeting this demand possible. 

 

Advantages of Fiber Cabling You May Not Have Considered

September 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

 

First things first, we aren’t claiming that fiber is outright better than copper cabling.

 

We understand that as data and network design requirements vary, some applications may need copper cabling. In these cases, copper is likely the best choice and perfectly suited for that network or application.

 

What we ARE saying is that in other instances there may be advantages to using fiber in your application. 

 

When you consider the many elements that are involved in designing your network- such as cost, dependability, durability, resources, space, etc.- it will be helpful to know more about how using fiber can positively impact your network.

 

As with any technology related implementation, one might also want to consider the environmental impact that the network will have. Fiber has some environmental advantages that we will go over. 

 

So here they are, the facts about why fiber could be beneficial to your application!

1.       It generally requires less power

 

Overall, fiber uses less power to transmit at a longer distance.

 

Look at redundancy, for example. Copper backbones and Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDFs) could be converted to fiber optic direct from a centralized data center all the way to the desktop. When you eliminate the need for IDFs, you eliminate the need for all the extra space, cooling, cabling and power backup they require. This will generally mean less power consumption, especially at longer distances.

 

Copper also has limited run distances, so getting data from point A to point B can be an issue if the connection exceeds 100 meters, whereas fiber provides much further distance support.  

 

If you absolutely need copper, consider that higher quality copper cables result in less re-transmission of data and therefore less power consumption. Also, inexpensive and portable Wireless CPE units can be used remotely to provide a secondary communications link when fiber cannot be installed due to cost or physical barriers.

 

Note that fiber optic media converters can help transition your copper network to fiber optics if you choose a hybrid network design.

 

 

2.       Saves on Resources

 

Why? Fiber is lighter by nature of its composition. Therefore supporting structures can be less robust.

 

Also, since fiber runs all the way to the destination without a repeater for most networks, there is less need for intermediary network closets which saves on floor space and power consumption.  This also saves on HVAC needs too (which provides energy savings).

3.       Efficiency

 

Fiber cabling is as good as it gets for efficiency and security in network applications.  This is because it is free from threat of corrosion and is resistant to atmospheric conditions such as lightning or other electrical interference. Fiber is also resistant to environments where vibration and EMI/RFI interference might be present. And, fiber-optic cables don’t interfere with other devices.

 

Fiber proves its efficiency especially when you look at the use of materials over time for upgrading. Upgrades can be rather difficult with copper wire, though not with fiber because the real capacity of fiber is only partially utilized at today's network speeds. Cable and telephone providers often use fiber because it gives them greater reliability with the opportunity to offer new services, such as digital phone service and internet connections. 

 

With fiber cabling the signal also has a constrained loss rate, which means that very little signal is lost over rather long distances. Lastly, fiber is very hard to tap and steal data from since it transfers data with light.

 

 

4.       Saves on Waste

 

To put it into perspective, one fiber cable can do the work of TEN copper cables. That’s less material being used for manufacturing, thus less material ending up at the landfill.

 

As mentioned above, the reduced need for upgrading fiber networks also saves on waste as you are disposing of fewer cables over time.

  

All points considered, choosing the best connectivity media for your application is a balancing act. Armed with the facts you need about the implications of fiber technology, now you can consider what is most important to you and what best suits the requirements of your network.

 

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